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Email was never made for large file attachments. Many email servers won't even accept emails with attachments over 10 MB in size. To send large files via email, you'll need to upload your email attachments to a file storage and sharing service. The email recipient will receive a link they can click to download the email attachment, allowing you to send gigabytes of attachments without clogging up inboxes and running into size limits.
There are quite a few services you can use here, and most of them are free. Exercise some basic caution when using these services – encrypt any sensitive files (such as financial documents) before uploading them.
Google Drive – Gmail Integration
Gmail now has the ability to attach files stored in your Google Drive to emails. If you use Google Drive on your computer, you can place a large file in your Google Drive folder and it will be automatically uploaded to your Google Drive account.
Click Insert Files using Drive link at the bottom of the compose window when sending an email to attach an already-uploaded file or upload a new file. The files you attach here won't actually be attached to the email you send, so they won't take up space in anyone's email inbox. Your recipient will receive a link they can click to download the attachment from your Google Drive storage.
SkyDrive – Hotmail & Outlook.com Integration
Microsoft actually beat Google to this feature with its SkyDrive integration for Hotmail and Outlook.com. if you use Microsoft's online services, the process is seamless. When you try to attach one or more files that are over 25 MB in size, Hotmail or Outlook.com will prompt you to upload the files to your SkyDrive account. The recipient will receive a link to the file instead of the file itself in their inbox.
File Dropper – Up to 5 GB per File
File Dropper isn't integrated with any email program, but it allows you to upload files up to 5 GB in size each. You don't even have to create an account. You'll receive a link to each file you upload and you can paste that link into an email to email the file to someone. Files will be deleted if they aren't downloaded at least once every 30 days.
We loved File Dropper when we wrote about this years ago, and it's still a great service.
WeTransfer – Quick & Easy Emailing
WeTransfer only allows you to send files up to 2 GB in size and the files are only available for two weeks. However, WeTransfer has a trick up its sleeve – it makes it easier and faster to email these files. While you have to copy-paste your File Dropper link into an email, you can specify your friends' email addresses and your email message directly on the WeTransfer site.
There's no sign-up process here, either – WeTransfer is a very quick way to send large files.
TransferBigFiles – More Features
TransferBigFiles offers a few more features, such as a Chrome extension that integrates with Gmail for easy uploading files. You can also protect your downloads with a password, set a custom expiry date, or get notified when the files are downloaded. You'll need to sign up to use these features – you can use TransferBigFiles without signing up, but files will expire in 5 days.
If you don't want to sign up, you're better off using one of the above services.
DropSend – Outlook, Windows, Mac, & iPhone Integration
DropSend allows you to quickly send files without signing up, but its most unique features are its plug-in for Microsoft Outlook and the DropSend Direct desktop app, which allow you to quickly email large files from your Windows or Mac desktop. DropSend offers an iPhone app, too.
EmailLargeFile – Android & iPhone Apps
EmailLargeFile doesn't offer a lot of storage space at up to 200 MB per file. Its main distinguishing features are the Android and iPhone apps it offers, allowing you to easily send large files from an Android or iOS device. If you want to email a video or another large file without transferring it to your computer first, give EmailLargeFile a go.
YouSendIt – For Businesses
YouSendIt is one of the big names in sending large files via email. After you upload a file to YouSendIt, it will automatically send a link to the file to the address you specify.
Unfortunately, the free version of YouSendIt only supports files up to 50 MB in size. If you're sending larger files, you'll need a paid YouSendIt account. You can get a 14-day free trial to try it out, but this option is best for businesses that want more security and control (unless 50 MB per file is good enough for you!).
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