2 Ways to Send Large Files over Email


1. Use a Cloud Storage Service

By far the simplest option would be storing the file — or files — you want to share in a cloud storage service like Dropbox, Google Drive, or SkyDrive. You could then share the file with someone and inform them that the file is shared over email. They could click a link and download the file directly to their computer.

If you use Gmail or Outlook.com, you’ll find that Google and Microsoft have integrated Google Drive and SkyDrive into their respective email services. Just click the Google Drive or SkyDrive button when sending an email and you’ll be able to share a file via email. Gmail and Outlook will walk you through choosing a file that already exists in your cloud storage drive or uploading a new file.


If you use something like Dropbox, you can share the file from the cloud storage service’s website. For example, right-click a file on Dropbox’s website and select Share link if you use Dropbox.


This is the option many email providers are pushing us towards — if you try to attach a large file in Gmail or Outlook.com, you’ll be prompted to upload it to Google Drive or SkyDrive first.


2. Use a Large-File Sending Service

In response to the difficulty of sending large file attachments over email, a large number of large-file-sending services have sprung up online. These services allow you to upload a file and give you a link. You can then paste that link into an email and the recipient can click the link and download the file.

These services have to make money somehow, and they may do it by displaying ads, limiting the maximum file size available to free users, or demanding a subscription fee.

Such options work fine, but you may prefer using a cloud storage service instead. When you use one of these services, you’re entrusting it with your files — that works okay if your files aren’t particularly sensitive, but you’ll probably want to shy away from uploading sensitive data to a free service you haven’t heard of before. Of course, you could encrypt the files before uploading them — but that would add additional hassle for the recipient, too.