Please Don’t Email Pictures or Videos

One of the best technical skills you can learn is how to send links via email.

Email was never designed to send big files. It’s great for sending a few words, small documents, small pictures, or links, but it can get bogged down or fail if you try to send large attachments.

Here are a few things that can happen if you try to send attachments that are too large:

  • Your email storage (local or online) can get filled up
  • Your recipient’s email storage (local or online) can get filled up
  • Email servers can bog down, or may simply refuse to handle your email if it is larger than their maximum accepted size (anywhere from 5MB to 30MB per email)

Note that every email you send passes from your email server to your recipient’s email server, via any number of intermediate servers … so the size of the emails you send affects others around you.

So what can you do to avoid causing issues when you send email?

Teach yourself, or have someone teach you, how to send LINKS to your large files rather than the files themselves. Sending links falls into two categories: links to things that are already online (i.e. in the cloud), and links to things that are on your computer/device. If there’s something online that you want to send, simply grab the link from the address bar of your browser and paste it into your email. (I can’t emphasize this enough …) You do not have to download a video from YouTube in order to send it to others!

As for sending files from your own computer/device, The best way to do this is to save your files to a cloud storage, and simply send links to them. This is both easy and secure.

If you aren’t using cloud storage yet, it’s a good time to start. Sign up for a free (or paid) account on Dropbox, Google Photos, iCloud, OneDrive, or similar, upload the files you want to send, and either read the instructions, or watch a YouTube, on how to share the files using that service. It’s not that difficult, and when you get used to doing it this way, it will become second nature.

There are also file sending services like,, and, but before you do, be sure to read the fine print as to what those services may be doing with your personal information.