How to Send a Large Video From iPhone

Send long videos from an iPhone without missing a second!

A hand holding an iPhone with a selected video and the share menu.

Issarawat Tattong/Getty Images

iPhones are great for capturing footage, but determining how to send a large video from your iPhone can prove frustrating. If you try to send someone a video longer than a couple of minutes you’ll inevitably run into a notification telling you your clip must be trimmed or downsized. Thankfully there are several ways to get around the issue, allowing you to share your video unedited and at full resolution.

Understanding iPhone Sending Limits

The most obvious way to send video from an iPhone is to use the stock text or email apps, but iMessage content caps at 100MB per message and the Mail app limits attachments to 20MB.

Newer iPhones are capable of recording 4K footage at up to 60 frames per second, which equates to roughly 400MB per minute of finished video. Even shooting at 720p HD for a couple of minutes will generate content too big to send directly through Messages.

How to Send Long Videos From iPhone Using AirDrop

If you want to share a large video from your iPhone with a nearby iOS or macOS device, AirDrop is often the quickest and most straightforward method. There are no limits to the video size and no need to download additional apps.

  1. Make sure the receiving device is close by and powered up.

  2. Ensure the receiving device is set up to accept AirDrop files.

    On iOS: Go to Settings > General > AirDrop, then tap either Contacts Only or Everyone.

    iPhone screenshot showing AirDrop settings with showing the device can accept files from Everyone.

    On macOS: Search for AirDrop in Spotlight or open the app directly from Finder. Once opened, click Allow me to be discovered by, then click either Contacts Only or Everyone.

    Desktop screenshot showing AirDrop settings set to accept files from Everyone.
  3. Next, open the stock Photos app on the sending device.

  4. Find the video you want to send and tap to open it.

  5. Tap the share icon.

    iPhone screenshot showing a video in the Photos app with the sharing icon highlighted.
  6. You will see the sharing panel, including the AirDrop icon. After a few seconds, you should see a list of available devices.

    If you don’t see the receiving device, wait a moment for the list to refresh automatically or tap the AirDrop icon.

    iPhone screenshot showing a selected video and the sharing screen.
  7. Tap the receiving device icon.

  8. The transfer will automatically start. Depending on the size of the video it can take some time to send, but be patient and avoid moving the devices too far from each other. You’ll know the video has arrived when it appears in the Photos app on the receiving iOS device or within Downloads on macOS.

AirDrop is usually pretty stable, but if you try to send multiple videos that are larger than a few hundred megabytes, the transfer may fail. For this reason, it’s best to transfer one video at a time.

How to Send a Large Video From iPhone Using iCloud

There are lots of cloud storage services available, but if you have an iPhone you’ll likely already have an iCloud account. iCloud comes with 5GB free storage as standard, which can be used to share long videos and other large files. If your file is within this 5GB limit, Mail Drop is your best option.

As already noted, Mail limits attachments to 20MB. However, the Mail Drop feature lets you share files up to 5GB in size via a direct email link. Once the link is shared, the recipient has 30 days to download the file.

If your video is over 100MB you must be connected to Wi-Fi for Mail Drop to work. Even if the clip is already backed up to your iCloud account, Mail won’t allow you to send it as an attachment via cellular data alone.

  1. Open the Photos app and tap the video you want to share.

  2. Tap the share icon.

    iPhone screenshot showing a video in the Photos app with the sharing icon highlighted.
  3. This opens the share menu. Tap Mail.

    iPhone screenshot showing the share menu with the Mail app highlighted.
  4. You’ll be taken to a Mail compose page with your attachment automatically added to the bottom of the message. Add the recipient and subject, then compose your email as normal.

    iPhone screenshot showing Mail compose window with a video attachment.
  5. Tap Send.

  6. You’ll see a notice that your attachment is too large to send. It will give you the option to use Mail Drop. Tap Use Mail Drop and your message will automatically start sending.

    iPhone screenshot showing a Mail message with a large video attachment with the option to send via Mail Drop highlighted.
  7. If your video attachment is not already backed up to iCloud it will do so automatically in the background. Your email will be sent once the upload is complete.

How to Send iPhone Videos Larger Than 5GB

iCloud is generally useful for backing up your iPhone files, but when it comes to sharing videos larger than 5GB, a third-party app such as Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, or Google Drive is often a better option.

For this example, we’ll use Google Drive because it offers 15GB storage on its free tier and it supports huge video files up to 5TB. You can also share the video via a link in Messages, email, WhatsApp, and more.

  1. If you haven’t installed it already, download Google Drive from the iOS app store.

  2. Open Google Drive. If this is your first time using it on your iPhone, use your Gmail credentials to sign in.

    iPhone screenshot showing Google Drive sign in window.
  3. Tap the Plus (+) in the lower right corner.

    Screenshot showing the Google Drive homescreen with the upload button highlighted.

    You may see a notification asking if you want to give access to your photos and videos. Simply tap OK to continue.

  4. Tap Upload.

    iPhone screenshot showing the new file pane in Google Docs with the upload option highlighted.
  5. Tap Photos and Videos.

    iPhone screenshot showing Google Drive upload process with the photos and videos option highlighted.
  6. You’ll see a list of your various iPhone albums. Tap Videos.

    iPhone screenshot showing the Google Drive upload process.
  7. Find the video you want to share. Tap it to highlight it, then tap Upload.

    iPhone screenshot showing the Google Drive upload process with the upload button highlighted.
  8. Your video will begin to upload.

  9. Once the upload is complete, tap the three horizontal lines menu.

    iPhone screenshot showing the Google Drive menu button.
  10. Tap Recent.

    iPhone screenshot showing Google Drive app with recent files highlighted.
  11. You’ll see your video at the top of the list. Tap the three dot menu on the right side of the video’s filename to launch more options.

    iPhone screenshot showing Google Drive's recent files and the three dot options icon.
  12. Tap Copy link. A link to the video is now saved to your clipboard.

    iPhone screenshot showing the option to share a file with the copy link feature highlighted.
  13. Now you can paste and send your video link via a chat message or email.

    iPhone message window showing a Google Drive sharing URL.
  14. Congratulations, you've now shared a long iPhone video.