How to send large files through cloud storage

Have you ever been stopped you in your tracks while by an email message like this: “The file you are trying to send exceeds the size limit for email.” Luckily, there are other options for sending large files.  

Let’s explore other ways to send big files—and help you decide which is best.  

Why you can’t email large files as attachments 

It can be frustrating to see your email returned or blocked because of a large attachment. So why does it happen?  

Most internet service providers (ISPs) and email providers limit the sizes of the files you can upload or send through email. These limits prevent massive amounts of data from slowing down their services. Size limits vary from provider to provider.  

Sometimes, you can purchase the ability to transmit larger files. For example, some business email providers allow you to send files of up to 150 MB, which far exceeds the usual limit. However, you don’t have to upgrade your email account to send large files. There are other methods for sending big attachments that don’t require you to change your level of service.   

The best methods for sending large files 

If your file is too large to send via email, you have three other options for sending it. 

Cloud storage 

While cloud storage is often thought of as a tool for storing and protecting files, it’s also great for sending or sharing large documents and media. After uploading to cloud storage, you can share it with a simple link, no matter what size it is.  

If you are working in document or spreadsheet, you’ll likely see a share button in the upper corner. Clicking on that button will generate a link that you can send via email, chat, or text. 

If you are viewing your cloud files within a folder, you can right-click on a file to bring up a sharing option. You can even share an entire folder. 

Chat and meeting software  

Communication and collaboration platforms combine workplace chat, video meetings, and file storage. These systems are often integrated with cloud storage and make it easy to send files via chat. 

File transfer sites 

File transfer sites allow you to upload a large file, then send a link to someone who can then go a download the file. Some sites offer this service for free, and others require a subscription. 

Before using sites like these, consider the security protocols they have in place. These sites are not likely to have robust security or privacy protocols. Because of this, it’s best to use your cloud storage provider to share files.  

The benefits of sending large files through cloud storage 

At the end of the day, sending large files through cloud storage is the safest and most cost-effective way to go.  

Cloud storage has far more benefits than other methods, including: 


You can send large files through an email invitation or a direct link. Recipients simply click on the link to access your file. They won’t need an account with the cloud storage provider to use the link.  


Cloud storage services are highly secure. They include features such as file encryption, suspicious login activity monitoring, ransomware detection, virus scanning, two-factor authentication, and password-protected sharing links. If your files are sensitive, then cloud storage offers the best safeguards. Additionally, to ensure that only the right people can access your shared files, you can send them password-protected and time-expiring links. 


When you send files with cloud storage, you can set the access permissions to restrict who can view, comment on, edit or reshare files. For example, you limit access to one person, a group, all company employees or anyone.   


You can protect yourself from human mistakes, too. If your recipient deletes your file, you can reclaim it from the recycle bin. If they accidentally alter your file, you can restore the prior draft using built-in version history. 


All the files that you keep in cloud storage and backed up. If your computer is lost, stolen or crashes, you’ll still have your data.  


There’s probably a reason you’re sharing a large file. In most cases, you want to work on it with someone. Collaboration is a top benefit of cloud storage. You can share large files with coworkers. Then, they can suggest or make edits in real-time. You can even track changes to see what items others add and delete. 

Less storage

Using cloud storage takes up less local storage on your device and less storage of your allotted email quota. 


Most cloud storage services offer a free plan and a paid plan. If you are using the subscription plan, why pay extra to upgrade your email service or purchase a service from a file transfer site?   

Sending large files with email can be a frustrating experience. Thankfully, cloud storage is a fast, secure, and feature-rich method for sending large files. 

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Business Insights and Ideas does not constitute professional tax or financial advice. You should contact your own tax or financial professional to discuss your situation..