iCloud Mail Message Size Limitations

Send bigger files over iCloud mail

iCloud Mail has an upper limit to the size of any message that you can send or receive, which includes emails sent with file attachments. Messages sent through iCloud Mail that exceed this limit will not be delivered to the recipient. 

If you can't send an email with iCloud Mail because of a limitation error, be sure to check the other limits imposed by iCloud.

What Is the iCloud Email Size Limit?

iCloud Mail lets you send and receive messages that are up to 20 MB (20,000 KB) in size, which includes the message text as well as any file attachments. For example, if your email is only 4 MB with text, but then you add a 10 MB file to the message, the total size is only 14 MB, which is still permitted.

However, if you add an 18 MB file to an email that exceeds 2 MB, it will be rejected, since the whole message exceeds 20 MB. iCloud Mail's email size limit is increased to 5 GB when Mail Drop is enabled.

How to Email Large Files in iCloud

Here are some options and workarounds for sending large files via email.

File Sending Services

If you need to send files that exceed these limits, use a file sending service with a higher data limit. Some services let you send files as large as 20 to 30 GB or more, and others have no limits at all.

Cloud Storage Services

You can also use a cloud storage service, such as DropBox or Google Drive. With these, upload the files that you want to share, and then, instead of sharing the files, share a URL that points the recipient to the online files. (You may need to change access or share settings within the cloud service.) These work well for avoiding email limits since most cloud storage services support very large files.

File Compression

Another option is to compress file attachments into an archive, like a ZIP or 7Z file, with a tool like 7-Zip. When used with the highest compression level possible, some huge files can be cut down enough to still be usable within the iCloud Mail limits.

Send Multiple Emails

If none of these options work well for you, send multiple emails that each include part of the original, so that the large email can be reduced to several smaller ones. This isn't generally desirable for the recipient but it does work just fine for avoiding iCloud Mail's file size limits.

For example, while you can't send one 30 MB archive of several images and documents over iCloud Mail, you can make three archives that are 10 MB each, and send three separate emails that don't exceed the limits.

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