Video sharing 101 How to share large video files

Video sharing 101: How to share large video files

If you’ve ever tried to share videos over email, you’ll know how frustrating it can be. And it’s easy to see why.

A typical 30-second video can be as big as 250 MB. But the maximum attachment size for most email clients is 25 MB, making your video 10 times too big.

But don’t worry. There are plenty of tricks to make video sharing easier, no matter how big your files are.

Here are five steps to help you share large video files:

  1. Check the size of your video file
  2. Check the attachment limit of your email client or messenger app
  3. Render a lower resolution video or compress it
  4. Still too big? Upload your video using a transfer service or cloud drive
  5. Need to get feedback on your videos? Use video sharing and collaboration software

Let’s get into it.

1. Check the size of your video file

If you’re having a bit of video sharing trouble, the first thing you need to do is check how big your video file is.

Email clients and messenger apps have file upload limits. So this step can help you work out if there’s any chance of getting your video down to the right size, or if you should look at other video sharing options (more on those a little later).

How to check the size of a video file on Windows

Follow these four simple steps:

  1. Open File Explorer
  2. Navigate to the folder containing your video file
  3. Click on your video file
  4. Check the file size in the bottom-left corner of the window
Check video file size in Windows

How to check the size of a video file on Mac

Follow these four steps:

  1. Open Finder
  2. Navigate to the folder containing your video file
  3. Right-click on your video file and click Get info
  4. Check the file size in the top-right corner
Check video file size on Mac

2. Check the attachment limit of your email client or messenger app

Once you know how big your video file is, you can check this against the attachment limit of your email client or messenger app.

Here are the attachment limits of all the most popular tools:

  • Outlook: 20 MB
  • Gmail: 25 MB
  • Yahoo: 25 MB
  • Apple iCloud Mail: 20 MB
  • WhatsApp: 16 MB
  • Slack: 1 GB
  • Microsoft Teams: Approximately 28 KB*

* Note: Microsoft has a much higher upload limit of 250 GB for SharePoint.

3. Render a smaller video or compress it

If your video file is under 200 MB, you can tweak your render settings or compress your video to get the file size down. This should make it small enough for you to share videos using the most popular email clients.

But if your video is way over the limit or you want to set up a video review and approval process for your content, skip to steps four or five.

How to render a smaller video

If you’re exporting your file with video post-production software like Adobe Premiere Pro or After Effects, you can adjust the render settings to shrink the size of your video.

Here are a few things you can try:

  • Adjust the Bitrate Encoding setting to VBR, 2 pass
    Bitrate is the amount of data per second in your video, and VBR stands for “variable bitrate”. With this setting turned on, Adobe’s encoder will make two passes of your video – once from start to end, then again from the end to the start. This often takes a little longer, but makes the encoding more efficient and keeps the file size down.
  • Reduce the export resolution
    If you exported your original video at 4K (3,840 x 2,160 pixels), you should try exporting it at 1080p (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) or 720p (1,280 x 720 pixels). This will make the overall size of your video smaller, both in terms of resolution and file size.

Following these two steps could cut your video down to around 10% of its original size.

How to compress a video

If your video is still too big to share, you can compress it with a free tool like Handbrake. 

As a test, I just had a go at compressing our Filestage explainer video using the settings below. The original video is 1 minute and 44 seconds long and was rendered at 1080p. The file size was 231 MB, but Handbrake managed to get it down to 34 MB – a reduction of over 85%!

Here’s how you compress a video file with Handbrake:

  1. Download and install Handbrake
  2. Drag and drop your video into the interface
  3. Click on the Summary tab
  4. Check the box next to Web Optimized is ticked
Tick the box next to Web Optimized on the Summary tab
  1. Click on the Video tab
  2. Check the Video Codec is set to H.264 (x264)
  3. Check the Framerate (FPS) is set to Same as source
  4. Set the Constant Quality to 20
Adjust the video settings in Handbrake
  1. Click Browse in the bottom right to choose a destination folder for your video
  2. Click Start Encode at the top of the screen

4. Still too big? Upload your video using a transfer service or cloud drive

If you can’t get your video down to the right size for your email client or messenger app, don’t worry! You can use a free transfer service or cloud drive to share video files instead – as long as they’re under 2 GB each.

If your video files are over 2 GB, skip to step five to see how you can share large video files up to 20 GB with Filestage.

How to share videos with WeTransfer

WeTransfer is a free file sharing tool that lets you upload your content and share it via email or a transfer link.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Go to WeTransfer
  2. Click the three dots in the bottom-left corner to choose between an email or link transfer
  3. Upload your files and write a message
  4. Click Transfer

This is a quick and free way to share video files up to 2 GB. But there are a couple of downsides.

First, people will need to download your video content before they can watch it. And second, download links time out after seven days, which can cause frustrating delays during the video collaboration process.

How to share videos with Dropbox

Dropbox is a cloud drive that makes it easy to share video files by email or chat. Unlike WeTransfer, video sharing links don’t time out with Dropbox. So you can share video files and rest assured that your teammates and clients can access them, even if they don’t download them right away.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Create a free Dropbox account and open it in your browser
  2. Upload your video
  3. Hover over your video file and click Share
  4. Click Create a link on the window that appears
  5. Paste the link into an email or chat message

The only downside with Dropbox is that its 2 GB size limit applies to your whole account, not each individual video. So if you want to share four different videos, your limit for each video instantly drops to 500 MB.

If you want more space, you’ll have to upgrade to Personal Plus for $9.99 per month, which would give you 2 TB of storage. Or, if you’re a business user, you can get 5 TB with Business Standard for $12.50/user per month.

5. Need to get feedback on your videos? Use video sharing and collaboration software

With Filestage’s video review and collaboration software, you can share large video files and invite people to give feedback. They can then view your videos and add feedback directly in their browser, without needing to download anything or make an account.

And that’s not all. It also includes great video sharing features like:

  • Project dashboards to keep all your files in one place
  • Automated version management so you can quickly refer back to previous review rounds
  • To-do lists so you can check off feedback as you work on the next edit
Project dashboard with multiple review steps

How to share video files with Filestage

Filestage was designed to help you share video online, collaborate on feedback, and get approval from all your reviewers – all in one place. And to help streamline your creative process, it also supports designs, live websites, and other file formats.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Open Filestage or request a free trial
  2. Create a project and give it a name
  3. Upload your video file
  4. Invite your reviewers

Your reviewers will get an email inviting them to take a look. So you can sit back and relax while the feedback rolls in.

Share large video files up to 20 GB

With Filestage, you can share large video files up to 20 GB each. Your stakeholders can then open them in their browser in seconds to start adding comments or give their approval.

The total storage for you and your team ranges from 75 GB to unlimited, depending on your plan. So whatever you’re working on, there’s plenty of space for all your content.

Password protect your content for private video sharing

If you’re sharing sensitive video content like upcoming marketing campaigns, it’s only natural that you’ll want to keep it under wraps.

With Filestage, you can add a password to your content in a couple of clicks. You can then share this with your teammates or clients, giving them exclusive access to your content. So even if someone else gets hold of your review link, they won’t be able to see or comment on your videos.

With our Enterprise plan, you can even request that reviewers verify their email addresses before accessing your content.

Your questions about video sharing, answered

How do you share large video files for free?

You can share large video files up to 2 GB for free using WeTransfer or Dropbox. Simply upload your videos, then you can create a transfer link and copy and paste it into an email or chat message. If you want to share larger video files, you’ll need a paid plan.

Can you share large video files by email?

You can only share video files up to 25 MB when uploading them as attachments. But if you upload your videos to a tool like Filestage, WeTransfer, or Dropbox, you’ll be able to paste a link into your email.

How do you share a video with multiple people?

You can share a video with multiple people using Filestage. Simply create a project and review step (for example: Marketing team). Then invite all the people you want to see your video and give feedback. And the best bit? When you upload new videos or versions to your project, it’ll be shared with the same people automatically!

How do you share videos privately?

With Filestage, private video sharing is easy. Simply upload your videos to a project, then adjust the settings to add password protection to your review step. This will add one password to all the files in your review step, rather than each individual video – helping to save time and effort for your reviewers.

Final thoughts

It feels like we’ve come a long way from sharing videos over email. WeTransfer and Dropbox are both great alternatives if your videos are a bit big for email and messenger. But if you spend a lot of your time sharing videos and collaborating on creative content, you’ll be better off with Filestage. Request a trial to give it a try with your team today!

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