How to send a big attachment over e-mail

Updated: 06/10/2020 by Computer Hope
E-mail attachment

All Internet e-mail services have limits on how big an attachment can be when it is sent over e-mail. To send a large attachment over e-mail (e.g., over 20 MB), you need to use a different method of sharing it. Below is additional information about how big of attachment you can send, and other ways of sharing files.

What are e-mail attachment size limits?

All e-mail service providers have different attachment limits. The table below shows these limits.


These limits are for messages received. If you're using an e-mail service, like Gmail, and send a large attachment to someone with a different provider, it may not work because they have a smaller limit size.

E-mail provider Attachment limit
AOL (America Online) 25 MB
Hotmail 10 MB
Gmail 25 MB
GoDaddy 20 MB 50 MB 10 MB
Yahoo Mail 25 MB
Zoho Mail 12 MB

What happens when I send an attachment that is too big?

If you send an attachment that is too big, you may receive a bounce back from the e-mail service with one of the following errors.


It is also possible that a service may drop an e-mail, which means your recipient will not receive the message you sent, and you are not notified.

Too big of attachment e-mail errors

  • 552: Message size exceeds maximum permitted.
  • Attachment size exceeds the allowable limit.
  • System Undeliverable, message size exceeds outgoing message size limit.
  • The size of the message you are trying to send exceeds the global size limit of the server. The message was not sent; reduce the message size and try again.

What services can I use for big attachments?

What service you use depends on what you're trying to share and what your recipient has access to on their computer or device. Below is a list of services in our recommended order.

Service Accepted files and advantages
Google Drive Today, it's common to have a Google account for at least one of their many services. It permits access to Google Drive, which provides 15 GB of free storage with a proprietary interface and some specific limitations.
Dropbox Dropbox is another excellent service that comes with a free 2 GB and the ability to earn up to 16 GB of free storage. Also, with a Dropbox account, you can share files with other people who do not have one.
YouTube To attach a video, there is no better online service than YouTube. Also, what most people don't realize is that YouTube videos can be made private which means only people who you share the video link with can view it.
OneDrive Windows 10, Windows 8, and all Office 365 users can access OneDrive, which offers to 5 GB of free cloud storage. OneDrive makes it easier to share big files (up to a maximum size of 10 GB) that cannot be sent over e-mail as an attachment. If you have subscribed to Office 365, you have 1 TB of OneDrive storage available to use.