How to Share Large Files via Email (The Complete Guide)

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When you just need to get something done, Outlook and the other cabal of business email providers tend to get in the way. Sharing information quickly and efficiently is crucial to effective business practice. Whether you’re a professional, a student, or simply someone who needs to send large files to friends and family, you’ve likely encountered the frustration of trying to send large files via email. Email providers often have strict size limits on attachments, which can make sending large files a real pain. But don’t worry—there are several effective methods to get around these limitations and ensure your files reach their destination without a hitch. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore various strategies for sending large files via email, ensuring you find the perfect solution for your needs.

Understanding Email Attachment Limits

Before diving into the options available, it’s important to know the limits imposed by various email providers. Here’s a quick ruindown of the maximum file size you can send with some of the most popular email services (spoiler – they’re small!):

  • Gmail: 25 MB
  • Outlook/Hotmail: 20 MB
  • Yahoo Mail: 25 MB
  • Apple Mail: 20 MB
  • ProtonMail: 25 MB

These limits can vary slightly depending on specific conditions, such as whether you’re using a web client or an app. Additionally, it’s important to remember that email attachments are encoded in a way that increases their size by about 33%. This means a 20 MB file could actually take up around 26 MB of space once attached.

How to Send Large Files via Email

Given these limitations, you might wonder how to send large files via email. Here are several methods to consider:

1. Using Cloud Storage Services

One option is to use a cloud storage service. Services like Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, and iCloud allow you to upload your large files and share a link with your recipient. All the main providers will allow you to get a shared link, once you upload your file(s) to their servers that is. Remember – the cloud is just someone else’s computer!

2. Using File Compression

Compressing files can reduce their size, making them easier to send via email. You can use built-in tools on your computer, such as WinRAR or 7-Zip for Windows, or the Compress feature on macOS. Here’s a quick guide:

  • Windows: Right-click the file or folder you want to compress, select “Send to,” and then “Compressed (zipped) folder.”
  • macOS: Right-click the file or folder, then select “Compress.”

This method is particularly useful for moderately large files that are just over the email size limit.

3. Split the File

For particularly large files, consider splitting them into smaller parts using file splitting tools like HJSplit or GSplit. Each part can be sent in a separate email, and the recipient can reassemble them using the same tool.

4. Using File Transfer Services like Safedrop

Services like safedrop are specifically designed to send large files quickly and securely. Some popular features include:

  • Huge files: You can send hundreds of GB in one go, completely blowing the paltry limits on your email provider out of the water.
  • Robust security: Set download/preview limits including self-destruct to prevent files being left available unintentionally. Files are watermarked when previewed to prevent data leaks.
  • Easy to use: Recipients can retrieve files without an account in seconds, keeping the entire process straightforward throughout.

5. Using Email Provider Extensions

Some email providers offer built-in solutions for sending large files. For example:

  • Gmail: Automatically converts attachments over 25 MB to Google Drive links.
  • Outlook: Can integrate with OneDrive to share large files seamlessly.
  • Safedrop: The safedrop Outlook plugin lets you send massive files from within your email client, providing all the benefits of safedrop, without interrupting your workflow.

Best Practices for Sending Large Files via Email

To ensure your files are received without any issues, follow these best practices:

  • Notify the Recipient: Let the recipient know that you are sending a large file, especially if you are using a method they may not be familiar with.
  • Check Compatibility: Ensure the recipient can access the service you are using. For example, not everyone may have a Google account. Services like safedrop negate this issue.
  • Include Instructions: If the recipient needs to take specific steps to access the file, include clear instructions in your email.
  • Ensure Security: For sensitive files, consider using password protection or encryption. Most cloud storage services offer these options, albeit in a very limited capacity. Choose a tool like safedrop for a more reliable and accredited solution.

Sending large files via email doesn’t have to be a frustrating experience. By leveraging tools like safedrop, you can easily overcome attachment size limits. Choose the method that best suits your needs and ensure your files are delivered safely and efficiently.

For more tips and tricks on managing large files and optimising your digital communications, stay tuned to our blog. Whether you’re dealing with large confidential files, extensive project documents, or any other type of data, there’s always a solution with safedrop. Happy emailing!