How to Share Large Files Over the Internet


You’ve got a file to share—a huge document, video presentation, or set of images. You can’t just email it, because you’re running up against your—or your recipient’s—email size limit. Here are several ways you can share large files over the internet.

We’re going to look at a few different ways you can get large files to someone, and they’re all useful in different situations. Maybe it’s a one-time thing, and you just need to get a file to someone quickly. Or maybe it’s something you’re going to need to do regularly. Whatever your needs, we’ve got you covered.

You Might Be Able to Use Email After All

Most email services—especially corporate services—place limits on the size that message attachments can be. And that can certainly be annoying.

Even mainstream email providers like Gmail, Outlook.com, and Yahoo don’t support sending very large files. Gmail and Yahoo both have a 25 MB limit, while Outlook limits you to 20 MB. Despite their limitations, these email providers typically offer a workaround for large file sharing using cloud sharing services.

If you try to send a file that’s too large in Gmail or Outlook.com, you’re automatically given the chance to upload that file to the respective cloud services (Google Drive and OneDrive), and then include a link to the file in your email.

Let’s take a closer look at Gmail, for example. After you compose a message in Gmail, you’re given the opportunity to attach a file. If Gmail determines that the file is too large, you’ll receive a message like this:

If you click the “OK, Got It” button, Gmail automatically uploads the file to Google Drive and prepares a link to include in your message. When you send the message, you’re given the chance to edit the permissions of the file before the message is sent. This can be handy if your document contains sensitive data. Google supports uploading files up to 5 TB in size, as long those files are not converted to a Google doc, slide show, or spreadsheet. In those cases, the upload limit is 50 MB for docs and slide shows, and 100 MB for spreadsheets. And, of course, you’re limited by the amount of space you have in your Google Drive account. Typically, though, it’s enough for most files.

Much like Gmail, Outlook.com offers their own workaround for large file sharing using their OneDrive cloud storage service. In this case, it doesn’t happen automatically. You’ll need to upload the file to OneDrive first, and then you can include a link to it in your email. OneDrive limits uploaded file size to 10 GB.

Yahoo doesn’t have a dedicated file sharing service, but it plays well with others. You can link a DropBox account to Yahoo in your DropBox settings, or use a similar cloud service. Keep in mind that just like Yahoo, most email providers support plugins for your favorite cloud services.

Compress Your File If It’s Just a Little Too Big

If you have a file (or set of files) that’s just a little too big, you can always try compressing the file and then sending that over email. What does zip the data mean? Let’s take a look.

Compression tools compress your data into a new file that takes up less disk…

Sasha Harriet

Sasha Harriet

As content editor, I get to do what I love everyday. Tweet, share and promote the best content our tools find on a daily basis.

I have a crazy passion for #music, #celebrity #news & #fashion! I'm always out and about on Twitter.
Sasha Harriet

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