Send Files (Up to 10 GB) With Gmail Using Google Drive

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Big enough, email inboxes today have no problem holding and accepting messages made several GB big in size by their attachments. Email itself as a transport medium is equipped, too, in principle to hurl along documents of practically any size.

The means employed are not the most efficient, though, and any email server through which a message must pass can choose to reject mail exceeding a certain—possibly quite limited—size.

Email and File Sending Services

So, file sending services, which offer the document for recipients to download from the web (or via FTP), and online collaboration sites, which let recipients edit and comment on files to boot, are more reliable means to pass along and share larger files. Typically, they are also more cumbersome to use than simply sending an email attachment; typically, and not necessarily.

Google Drive, Google's tools for storing files, working and working together online, for instance, integrates well with Gmail. Sending files through Google Drive right from Gmail becomes very similar to and almost as simple as attaching them. Instead of up to 25 MB, documents can be anything up to 10 GB in size, though, and you get to choose permissions for the shared files, too.

Send Big (Up to 10 GB) Files with Gmail Using Google Drive

To upload a file (up to 10 GB in size) to Google Drive and share it easily by email in Gmail:

  • Hover the mouse pointer over the Attach files button (or the + sign) while composing a message in Gmail.
  • Select Insert files using Drive.
  • To send a file (or more than one) from your computer (which you have not yet uploaded to your Google Drive account):
    (Note that you can insert either files from Google Drive or from your computer at a time; you can add both types to your email, of course, separately.)
    • Go to the Upload category.
    • Drag a file (or more than one) from your computer and drop it onto Drag files here.
      • If you do not see Drag files here or in general to pick documents to upload via a dialog:
        • Click Select files from your computer.
          • If you have already uploaded files, click Add more files.
        • Highlight all files you want to upload.
        • Click, typically, Open.
    • Click Upload.
  • To send a file (or files) in your Google Drive account:
    • Go to the My Drive category.
    • Highlight all documents you want to share by email so they are checked.
      • Use search and labels to locate files.
    • Click Insert.
  • If one or more of the documents you have added to the message are not yet shared in Google Drive with all the email's recipients, after clicking Send:
    • To send a link that allows anybody to view but not edit or comment on the files in Google Drive:
      • Make sure Can view is selected under Anyone with the link:.
    • To send a link that allows anybody to edit and comment on the files in Google Drive:
      • Make sure Can edit is selected under Anyone with the link:.
    • To send a link that allows anybody to view and comment on but not edit the files in Google Drive:
      • Make sure Can comment is selected under Anyone with the link:.
    • To share the documents only with recipients (instead of anybody using a link) via their Gmail (or Google) account in Google Drive:
      • Click More options.
      • Make sure Recipients of this email is selected under Change how these files are shared on Drive.
      • To allow all recipients to view but not edit or comment on the files in Google Drive:
        • Make sure Can view is selected under Recipients of this email:.
      • To allow all recipients to edit and comment on the files in Google Drive:
        • Make sure Can edit is selected under Recipients of this email:.
      • To allow all recipients to view and comment on but not edit the files in Google Drive:
        • Make sure Can comment is selected under Recipients of this email.
    • Click Share & send.
      • To send a link that does not itself come with permissions and without altering—and adding—permissions in Google Drive:
        • Click Send without sharing.

    (Gmail lets you go the other way, too: saving files received as—regular—email attachments to Google Drive is a matter of typically one click.)