How to Send a Large Video From iPhone

Send long videos from an iPhone without missing a second

What to Know

  • Send via AirDrop: Tap Photos > Videos > select video > Share icon > tap AirDrop > select recipient.
  • Send via iCloud if recipient is not nearby: Photos > Videos > Share icon > Mail > compose email > tap Send > Use Mail Drop.
  • To turn on AirDrop: Go to Settings > General > AirDrop, then tap either Contacts Only or Everyone.

This article explains how to send large videos from an iPhone using AirDrop and iCloud. Instructions apply to devices running iOS 7 or later and macOS.

How to Send Videos From iPhone Using AirDrop

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.
    General, AirDrop, Contacts Only/Everyone
    • On macOS: Search for AirDrop in Spotlight or open the app directly from Finder. Once opened, select Allow me to be discovered by, then select either Contacts Only or Everyone.
    AirDrop, Allow me to be discovered by: Everyone on macOS
  3. Open the Photos app on the sending device.

  4. Under Media Types, select Videos. Tap the video you want to send.

    Photos icon, Videos content, Selected video
  5. Select the Share icon.

  6. Select 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.

  7. Select the receiving device.

    Share button, AirDrop icon, receiving device
  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 several videos 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 Videos From iPhone Using iCloud

There are many 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 share long videos and other large files. If your file is within this 5GB limit, Mail Drop is your best option.

iOS Mail limits attachments to 20MB; however, the Mail Drop feature lets you send large attachments in Apple Mail via a direct email link. After 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 Drop won’t allow you to send it as an attachment through cellular data alone.

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

  2. Select the Share icon, then choose Mail.

  3. You’ll be taken to a Mail compose page with your attachment automatically added to the message. Add the recipient and subject, then compose your email as normal.

  4. Select Send.

  5. You’ll see a notice that your attachment is too large to send, along with the option to use Mail Drop. Choose Use Mail Drop, and your message will automatically start sending.

    Mail icon, Send button, Use Mail Drop

    If your video attachment is not already backed up to iCloud, the transfer process begins in the background. Your email sends after the upload is complete.

Sending iPhone Videos Larger Than 5GB

Although iCloud is generally useful for backing up your iPhone files, for sharing videos larger than 5GB, a different service such as Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, or Google Drive is often a better option.

Understanding iPhone Sending Limits

The usual way to send video from an iPhone is to use the Messages or Email app, but iMessage content caps at 100MB per message, and the Mail app limits attachments to 20MB.

Curious about how much video you can record on your iPhone? Newer iPhones can record 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.

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