Message and Attachment Size Limits in Gmail

How to send large files through Gmail with Google Drive

What to Know

  • The Gmail message/attachment size limit is 25 MB. Messages sent to your account that exceed the limit are returned to the sender.
  • To send larger files, select Google Drive icon > Upload. Select file from your device > Drive link > Upload. Send message.

Like most email providers, Gmail limits the size of messages and file attachments you can send and receive. Learn about Gmail attachment restrictions and how to get around them using both the web version of Gmail and the mobile apps for iOS and Android.

Message and Attachment Size Limits in Gmail

Gmail processes messages up to 25 MB in size. This limit is applied to the sum of the message's text and the encoded attachment. Encoding makes the file size slightly larger, so if you have a file that is exactly 25 MB, it will not go through.

Sending messages larger than 25 MB from Gmail yields an error. Messages sent to your Gmail account that exceed the limit bounce back to the sender.

You can attach any file type of file, but the size limit rules out most video and audio formats as well as large PDF documents with hundreds of pictures. That said, there are options for sending large files through Gmail.

Send and Receive Larger Files with Gmail

The easiest way to work around the message size limit is built-in to Gmail. You can send files using Google Drive while composing a message:

  1. Select the Insert files using Drive icon in the bottom toolbar (it looks like a triangle).

    Gmail with the Insert files using Drive icon highlighted
  2. Select the Upload tab.

    If the file you want to share is in your Google Drive, select the file from this screen, then select Insert in the lower-left corner.

    Insert files window in Gmail with the Upload tab highlighted
  3. Click Select files from your device and choose the files you wish to share, or drag-and-drop the files into the window.

    Gmail with the "Select files from your device" button highlighted
  4. Select Drive link.

    Insert files window in Gmail with the Drive Link button highlighted
  5. Select Upload.

    Insert files window in Gmail with the Upload button highlighted
  6. Finish composing your message, then select Send.

    An email in Gmail with the Send button highlighted
  7. Select Send again if asked to grant access to the file.

    Permission message in Gmail with the Send button highlighted
  8. The recipient will receive a link to download the file or view it in a web browser.

As an alternative, split the file into smaller chunks or use a file sharing service.

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