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How to Send Large Files Through Gmail Without Google Drive

How to Send Large Files Through Gmail Without Google Drive

There are various ways to share files with Google Drive, but there will be cases where you can’t use the file-sharing platform. What if you have a file that needs to be sent immediately? You can use Gmail and send the file as an attachment, but there’s another problem here. Google only lets you attach a 25MB file in Gmail. Anything bigger, and the file is uploaded to Google Drive for sharing.

But worry not. We share three ways to send large files via Gmail without Google Drive.

How to Send Large Files Through Gmail Without Google Drive

Another problem with Google Drive is that you need to share files with the recipient for them to open them. Or you might be facing syncing issues in Google Drive, preventing you from attaching the file to Gmail.

1. Use Third-Party File-Sharing Apps

Aside from Google Drive, there are other third-party apps that you can use to send large files using links. This will make sending large files via Gmail a lot easier. Out of all of them, we recommend WeTransfer as it’s the fastest and easiest to use. Here’s how you can use it.

A free account with WeTransfer gives you 2GB of space for file sending. You can subscribe to a Pro plan that costs $10 if you want 100GB more.

  1. Open the WeTransfer home page.
  2. Click the plus button and upload the files you want to send.
    WeTransfer Form
  3. Fill up the form and click the ellipsis button at the bottom left.
  4. Toggle Get transfer link.
  5. Click Get a link and wait for the page to load.
  6. Select Copy link and then send it via Gmail.

WeTransfer Copy Link Details

You can also use this method to transfer large files over Gmail without Google Drive using your phone.

Aside from WeTransfer, you can also use Dropbox as an alternative. The process remains relatively the same as generating a link for the file on Dropbox that you can share online.

2. Compress Files By Creating an Archive

If you are uncomfortable uploading the files to another file-sharing service, consider compressing them. Creating a ZIP of the folder/file can help reduce its size. This could reduce the file size to below the 25MB limit of Gmail attachments. However, this trick won’t work with all types. You cannot zip an image or a text file to reduce size.

  1. On your computer, navigate to the file you want to send.
  2. Right-click the file and click Add to archive.
  3. In the new window, select ZIP and then click OK.
    Archiving Files
  4. Attach the ZIP file to your email and send it via Gmail.

Keep in mind that the file size reduction is very minimal. However, this method will be beneficial in cases where you’re just a few KBs above the 25 MB limit for Gmail attachments. Take a look at this example below.

Our original folder was 25.5MB, meaning it can’t be sent via Gmail.

After archiving, its size went down to 24.7 MB, making it possible to send it as an attachment in Gmail.

File Size After Compressing

3. Send Files Individually

This last step only applies if you send multiple files to a single sender. This could be multi-chapter documents or multiple videos that you can send in parts instead of bulk. Now, this can be confusing as you’re sending multiple files. As such, we suggest splitting and numbering your files from 1 to 5 to better keep track of what you’ve already sent.

Again, this is only applicable for large files that are in parts. This is one of the most straightforward steps, as it doesn’t require any other program or app to send all of the files through Google.

Let Gmail Help You Out

Sending large files via Gmail is easy, but you must go through a few hoops to get it done. Still, keep these steps in mind the next time you need to send a large file, and Google Drive is out of the question. Another great alternative to Gmail for sending large files is WhatsApp. You can easily send files of up to 2GB in size on WhatsApp.

Q: What is the size limit on Gmail attachments?

A: You can send up to 25 MB of files in one email. There’s no way to extend this limit, so you’ll have to use one of our workarounds above to send something bigger.

Q: What files can you send over Gmail?

A: Although Gmail is versatile regarding what files you can send, there are a few exemptions. Google will block files with these extensions: .ade, .adp, .apk, .appx, .appxbundle, .bat, .cab, .chm, .cmd, .com, .cpl, .diagcab, .diagcfg, .diagpack, .dll, .dmg, .ex, .ex_, .exe, .hta, .img, .ins, .iso, .isp, .jar, .jnlp, .js, .jse, .lib, .lnk, .mde, .msc, .msi, .msix, .msixbundle, .msp, .mst, .nsh, .pif, .ps1, .scr, .sct, .shb, .sys, .vb, .vbe, .vbs, .vhd, .vxd, .wsc, .wsf, .wsh, .xll. This protects both you and the recipient from accessing harmful files.

Q: My file is less than the Gmail attachment limit. Why won’t it send?

A: You might have connectivity issues preventing you from sending the file. Alternatively, Google’s servers could also be down, preventing files from being sent.

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Jonas Sunico

Aug 26, 2023

Jonas is a writer with over 6 years of experience in the tech and gaming industry. He holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism from University of the East Philippines and is one of the proud leaders of the academe's Journalism Society. At heart, he's a hardcore tech junkie that loves video games, the latest gadgets, and the wonderful science behind social media and AI.

314 Articles Published