Send Mail with Large File Attachments from iPhone/iPad

The biggest gripe about email is that you can’t send large files as attachments. Most email clients, including Apple’s Mail app, let you attach and send files that are a few MBs large. (10-20MB max.)

Modern-day HD videos, images and other media, a zip file containing a lot of docs/pdfs: there are some of the things that easily cross the file size limit for attachments. When that’s the case, you need easier ways of sending large attachments over email without breaking your head. That’s what we’ll try to solve.

The reason we’re writing this today is that iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite feature a new thing called MailDrop. It’s a solution for the large-attachment problem. MailDrop will let iOS and Mac users send files of any size (up to 5GB) via Mail.

Sending large attachments via email on OS X or iOS 8 is going to be the same as sending a normal attachment. MailDrop is not changing the way you send emails with attachments. Just like with any other attachment, you compose a new Mail, attach the files and send.

  • If your recipient is using iOS 8 or OS X, he/she gets the attachment normally. (Apple sends it via iCloud)
  • If not (say the recipient is on Windows or accessing mail through the browser), he/she gets a link to download the file. Think a Dropbox-style hotlinking of the file you send as attachment. That’s it

But iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite are (at the time of writing this) still in beta. What about others? Here we go.

Dropbox/ or any other cloud storage service can help you send large files via email, although we’re just going to be using an indirect method. Here’s how it works for Dropbox (apply the same for any other Dropbox-like service you use):

1. First off, upload the file to Dropbox/Cloud.

Mostly, the app that you use on your iPhone should let you share the file through Dropbox. In which case, it will upload it to your Dropbox account. Yes, this means you’ll have Dropbox app installed on your iPhone/iPad.

2. Copy the Link to the File in Dropbox

  • Open the Dropbox app
  • Next up, open the file within the Dropbox app
  • Tap on the share icon. Then, tap on Copy Link.

How to Send Large Files as Mail Attachments on iPhone and iPad

3. Send the Link as Email

  • Open the Mail app
  • Compose a new mail
  • In the body, paste the link you just copied from Dropbox
  • Hit Send.

Yes, this is not obviously a “workaround” too. We’re just sending the link to the large file but if it saves you the trouble of thinking hard and long at a time when you need to send the file right away, I hope this solution helps.

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The founder of iGeeksBlog, Dhvanesh, is an Apple aficionado, who cannot stand even a slight innuendo about Apple products. He dons the cap of editor-in-chief to make sure that articles match the quality standard before they are published.