Email is the oldest and most preferred medium of communication over the Internet. Sometimes we need to send large files with email as attachments. If you are using one of the most popular email services such as Gmail, Outlook.com or Yahoo, all of them impose a attachment file size limit for sending emails. Fortunately, there are a number of ways we can send files in email if the file size limits are exceeded.
Let’s first discuss about the imposed limits of each service and then we’ll also give a workaround for sending larger files via email.
There can be two scenarios while interpreting the size limits of each email service:
- Attachment size limit for a single file in an email
- Attachment size limit for all attachments including the email body
We will discuss both of these scenarios for each service.
Table of contents
Email attachment size limits
The maximum size of all the attachments with the email can be 25 MB. If it is greater than 25 MB, Gmail will automatically attempt to upload the desired attachment on Google Drive and place a link to the attachment inside the email.
If you want to send executable (.exe), Google will not allow you to attach them directly to the email even if you are attaching it in the form of a zip file. You will need to upload them to Google Drive directly and then paste the link in the email.
The free version of Google Drive which comes along with Gmail gives you 15 GB or storage. You can also buy more storage if required.
Outlook.com/Hotmail has a generous attachment size limit of 33 MB. If you are exceeding this limit, you will have an option to upload the file to OneDrive and keep a link in the email. Unlike Gmail, Outlook.com does not automatically upload the attachment to OneDrive but will give you the option to do this by clicking the upload button.
If the file size exceeds 25 MB, Outlook.com will give you a warning that the file is too large but will let you attach it with the email.
And Outlook.com is intelligent enough that it will also calculate the remaining size of the files which can be attached with the single email. For example, I attached a file of 26 MB. When I tried attaching more files, it gave me a warning that I could attach files with a maximum size of 7 MB.
Microsoft OneDrive gives you 5 GB of storage for free.
For Yahoo Mail, the maximum size of the complete email including the attachments and email body is 25 MB. Yahoo does not give any option for using a cloud storage at the moment. It only tells the user that large attachment support is coming soon.
Let’s hope the attachment size will be something which can distinguish Yahoo from other providers.
Outlook is a popular email client especially for corporate environments and checking multiple email from a single interface. Earlier, Outlook email client used to have a file attachment size of 10 MB only but this seems to have removed from the latest version. Now Outlook follows the attachment file size limits of the email provider instead of creating its own limits.
If you are using Apple’s iCloud Mail, it will give you the attachment size limit of 20 MB only. If the file size is larger than 20 MB, iCloud Mail will give you an option to upload the file in Mail Drop which has a free storage of 5 GB and the attachment can be retained for up to 30 days.
If you are using Facebook Messenger, you can send a file of 25 MB maximum. But there is not limit on how many files you can send. You can send as many files as you want.
Skype gives users a generous file size limit of 300 MB. There is no limit on how many files you can send.
WhatsApp has a limit of 16 MB for sending a single file. There is no limit on how many files you can send.
Workaround for attachment size limits and policies
The easiest way to send larger files is to compress them and then try to send them within the size limits. If it doesn’t work, a majority of email providers give you some sort of cloud storage uploading capabilities. If it still doesn’t work for you then you can use public services like WeTransfer which provide greater size limits. Here are some services:
FileTransfer.io – Send files up to 6 GB, can be downloaded up to 50 times and is kept in the cloud for 21 days.
SendGB – Send files up to 4GB each. The files are kept for 7 days.
SendAnywhere – No size limit. SendAnywhere sets itself apart by not limiting the file size and securing the uploaded files with a six digit code. The user who has the code will be able to download files. The shared files links only last for a maximum of 24 hours in the free version.
Which service do you use for sending files in your emails? Have we missed any service? Please let us know through comments below.