Get Around Those Pesky Attachment File Size Limits


Spend enough time on corporate or ISP provided email, and eventually you’re going to run into a situation where the file you need to send is too big — you click ‘send’ and get an error message, and the person you’re sending it to gets nothing. These caps on email attachment size often aren’t explicitly stated, and it can be hard to know you’re going over them until you realize that the person on the other end never got your file.

I ran into this problem the other day when a person was trying to send me some large image files for a project I was working on. The problem was actually on his end, but nevertheless I went searching for solutions. Here are a few easy ones that should get the job done in almost any situation.


Just last month, Google raised their attachment size limit to a healthy 25MB. That gives it the largest attachment limit of any of the major email providers (that I know of). 25MB should be enough to attach most files you would consider sending via email — including images, music, or a Powerpoint presentation stuffed with effects and animations.

If you don’t already have a Gmail account, creating one is free, fast, and easy, especially if you already have a Google login. A lot of people really like Gmail because of its fast web interface, good IMAP support, and large disk space, but even if you’re not willing to give up your main email provider it’s easy enough to create a Gmail account just for sending files and using as a backup.

Of course, even with an attachment limit of 25MB, you’re still constrained by the attachment limit of the person on the other end (unless you can convince them to create a Gmail account too). Plus, sometimes 25MB just isn’t enough. In these cases, one of the following services should come in quite handy. is really simple. You click to upload the file(s) of your choice, enter the email address of the person you want to send it to, and hit ‘send it!’. Done! The person on the other end will get an email with a link to download the file.

The service is free (they’re in that stage where they’re still trying to figure out a way to make money), and doesn’t even require signup. Their maximum file size is 1GB, which should honestly be large enough for just about everybody. Any kind of document, image, or audio is easily under 1GB, and practically all video comes in under 1GB as well. (Actually, if you’re trying to send a file bigger than 1GB, I don’t know what you’re doing trying to email it in the first place.)

The service keeps your file on their servers for 5 days or 20 downloads (whichever comes first), which is a relief for those who have privacy concerns and are nervous when their files are on other people’s servers, but a disadvantage to those hoping to use the service to host something on the web forever.

To make things more secure, you can add a password to your file so only your recipient (who you’ll have to tell the password to) will be able to open it.

TransferBigFiles was the service I used to overcome my large images problem, and the other person was able to send the files easily and without a hitch.

One important thing: remember to include a personal message with the file, so the recipient will know who’s sending them the file and what it is. Otherwise, your recipient could get confused — and he or she will probably delete the cryptic email from an unknown source that just showed up in their inbox.

File Dropper

If 1GB just isn’t big enough for you, take a look at File Dropper. This service lets you upload files up to 5GB — and that’s just to start. With a paid account, you can upload files up to 250GB in size (at that point, they might as well just make it unlimited).

With File Dropper, you upload one file at a time (you can’t send a group of files at once, like you can with the other options). Once it’s uploaded, it’ll give you the URL where the file is hosted. At that point, it’s up to you to copy and paste it into an email and send it to your recipient.

You can do also other things with that URL, such as linking to it in places outside of email. Unlike TransferBigFiles, File Dropper keeps your files their server forever (as long as they’re being downloaded), which means you can essentially use it as a web host for your files.

A free account lets you upload files up to 5GB, but features such as password protecting your files, making them private, or even deleting them requires a paid account, which start at $0.99 per month.

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