Gmail Attachment Limit – 3 Ways to Send Large Files via Gmail

Having issues with Gmails attachment limit? If you have a large file to send over email, Gmail restricts you to a file size limit of 25MB. But Google isn’t alone in this. Most email providers put a cap on the size of your files (Outlook and Yahoo have a cap of 20MB and 25MB, respectively).

These limits prevent recipients from encroaching on their storage limit every time a vast file lands in their inbox. But that doesn’t mean you can’t send large files over Gmail.

Here, we’ll walk you through three different methods, so you won’t be limited in the future.

The Gmail Attachment Limit Explained

As we’ve already discussed, the maximum file size you can send via Gmail currently stands at 25MB. However, this 25MB limit includes both the file itself plus the encoded copy of the file. So in reality, you’re looking at a maximum file size of only 12.5MB.

If you send a file larger than 25MB, you’ll receive an error code.

Gmail then automatically uploads the files to Google Drive and places a link to the Drive file into the body of the email.

Method 1: Save to Google Drive and Send as a Cloud-Based Attachment

Google Drive is essentially Google’s cloud-based answer to Microsoft Office. It allows users to share and synchronize documents and data via the Cloud and can be accessed on any device so long as there’s internet connection.

Step 1. Go to Google Drive and click on My Drive

Step 2. In the drop-down menu, you can choose to either upload files individually or create a new folder for them

Step 3. Upload the files you want to email to your Google Drive

Step 4. Open Gmail and compose a new email

Step 5. Click the Drive icon at the bottom of the compose window

Step 6. You can now select the file you want to send, or search for it using the search bar.

Step 7. Click Insert as Drive link, and your file will be placed into your email as a link.

Method 2: Send the File Bit-by-Bit

If your file can be broken up into bite-size pieces, then you could consider sending your file in a sequence of email installments. However, this method can be time-consuming, and potentially annoying for your contact(s) on the receiving end, so if you’re going to take this approach, it’s worth warning your recipient(s) first.

That said, Word documents that naturally fall into chapters or sections may lend themselves to this method.

Step 1. Copy and paste sections of your document into new documents

Step 2. Save each of these documents into a folder on your computer. Make sure you save them in an obviously numerical order so when it comes to it, you send them in the right order.

Step 3. Go into Gmail and open a new email

Step 4. Attach the first document to the first email, the second document in the sequence to the second email, and so on

Additional Reading: How to Attach an Email in Gmail

Method 3: Compress Your File and Send as a Compressed File

A good way of getting around the file size limit – particularly if you’re sending several files at once – is to compress the files into a zip folder.

Step 1. Open file explorer and find the documents you want to send

Step 2. Select/highlight the files you need to compress

Step 3. Right click (for Windows) and select Send to – Compressed (zipped) folder in the drop down

Step 4. Name the folder

Step 5. Compose a new email in Gmail and click on the Add attachment icon at the bottom of the window

Step 6. Locate your zipped file and click Open

Step 7. Your zipped file will now be attached to your email

When you want to send large files or multiple files over Gmail, you run the risk of hitting your 25MB limit. However, you still have options.

By far the easiest is using Cloud storage like Google Drive to send link-based files to your recipients, particularly as Gmail automatically gives you this option anyway. Other cloud-based storage solutions, such as DropBox and OneDrive work in the same way, allowing you to send access to a cloud-based document securely over email.

If you opt not to use the Cloud option, you always have the option of compressing your file(s) into a zipped folder and sending them, or breaking your files up into smaller chunks. Just be cautious when using these methods, as they’re somewhat clunky by comparison.


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