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How to Send Files by Gmail When They’re Beyond the Attachment Size Limit

By June 28, 2020July 4th, 2020Tutorials


This video is a fresh take on my “Reducing Email Attachment Sizes With Compression” video, posted April 20th, 2011. Since then, things have changed – it was time to revisit it.

As mentioned in the video, I had difficulty uploading the partial 7z files to Gmail as attachments. I’m not sure why – your mileage may vary. 7z would be preferable because it likely has more compression options, and even without instructions I like that searching for “7z” will inevitably lead you to conclude that it’s related to 7-zip whereas “zip” is more of a household term. I’m not sure that all applications that handle zips can handle the multi-volume approach done by 7-zip.


“So let’s say you have to send a bunch of files to someone you know, and you really want it to be sent by e-mail. How can you do this? Well there’s actually two main methods I’ll show you – the first involves using compression, the second involves using a cloud service.

So to use compression, let’s open up Gmail here which I’ll be using to test. At the moment that I’m recording this video, Gmail has a limit for 25 megabytes for attachments on a single e-mail. So to get around this, let’s look at this folder we have over here. So as you can see I have a bunch of images here – if I select all them and then look in the bottom left corner, you’ll see that it’s 66 MB. Well, that is more than 25, so how do we get around it? Like I said before, we can use compression. So let’s make sure we have 7-zip installed first. You can download 7-zip from, and then you just install whichever is relevant to your machine, so whether you have a 32-bit or 64-bit machine and operating system. Once that’s done, you should have a new context menu option, so when you right-click, when all the files are selected, if you right-click, you will see 7-zip as an option, and it will have a sub-menu which includes Add to archive and a bunch of other stuff. Okay? In my case, I care about Add to archive, so I’m going to redo that… Add to archive.

So on this screen there’s two things you need to be careful of. First is the archive format – by default, the archive format is probably going to be 7z, right now it’s set to ZIP because it knows I prefer that. With 7z Gmail gets a little concerned about it and doesn’t let you attach it. ZIPs, it doesn’t mind. So I’m going to set it to ZIP.

The next thing that’s really important here is the split to volumes, bytes section. This is the magic that I wanted to show you. Since we have 66 MB of files down here, if we were to select 10 MB here, notice that there’s a bunch of other options, you know, for the size of a CD and a DVD, but let’s say we select 10 MB here, and I click OK. So what it will do at that point is create multiple compressed files, each of which contains a maximum of 10 MB, but in this case, 10 is not so much what we want, right, because we’re dealing with a limit of 25… so to be safe, I’ll do… 24. And then what I will do is just press OK. Now the key of course is making sure that we followed the right format, so 24 M, 10 M, yep, that’s pretty consistent, we’re using their language. And I’m going to press OK.

Just wait a little bit… and there we go. Three files were created. Now here’s the magic. One of these files by themselves is not very useful. The three of them together? That’s great, and you’ll see why. Let’s create a new folder here, called test, and copy your three files into that folder. Now, when we right-click these files, select 7-zip, and select, in this case, extract here, because I don’t really care where it’s extracted, I just want to see the files. 7-zip magically rebuilds all these images that were compressed into it. And yet each file is actually under 25 MB, and because it’s under 25 MB, let me go back to my original folder… so if I grab this first file and drop it here, in my e-mail, you’ll notice that it is uploading, and it will successfully finish uploading. At that point I can send it to whoever I want, whatever I want, so I can send the first e-mail like this, create a new e-mail, attach 002 and repeat until all three files are gone, and just make sure that the person has 7-zip, and then I can tell them how they use 7-zip to extract them. So that’s the first method which involves using compression.

The second method is much more modern. Let me start by just getting rid of this… okay. So the next method involves going into our folder, let’s delete these files, and instead of using the compressed files, we’re going to select everything that we have here, which is more than 25, remember, it’s 66. And we’re going to drop it right here. So you’ll notice a new pop-up, “Large files must be shared with Google Drive,” this is the second option, it’s more of a modern option. So Google is offering automatically to take your files and stick them in Google Drive and create a link, so I’ll say okay, got it. And then you can see, that it’s just going to start working on uploading everything, and at the very end all I’m going to have is a nice neat link. Now, you might not want to do this, which is why I show two methods, but personally I find this is a very convenient way to do it. As you can see, all of the files have been attached, we can even try clicking one of them, and prove that the image is in fact visible.”

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