Get the down low on how to send BIG files via e-mail!

Posted By : of Data Doctors on August 21, 2003

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When I try to send big files via e-mail, most of them get returned as 'undeliverable'. How can I get these big files sent?


This question was answered on August 21, 2003. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Sending files via e-mail has vastly improved our ability to communicate, whether it is a business transaction or just sending a photo of our kids to friends and family.

But just like 'snail-mail' there are limitations to how large the 'package' can be Both the sender and recipient Internet Service Provider’s mail services impose these limitations upon us.

A typical document, even if it is dozens of pages long, will make it through virtually any mail system It’s when we try to send uncompressed photos or PowerPoint presentations that the size becomes a problem.

The first thing to consider is the type of file that is being sent If you are attempting to send photos that are fresh out of your high Mega-pixel digital camera, the file size is likely to be way too big.

Photos should always be made 'e-mail' friendly by compressing them to a manageable size Compression utilities will remove ‘redundant pixels’ so the file size can be dramatically reduced For instance, if someone in the photo is wearing a black shirt, your camera may use several million pixels to capture it, but the naked eye would notice no difference if the number of

dots was reduced to several hundred thousand.

Most camera image programs include an easy to use option for converting images to e-mail friendly versions Check the help menu of your camera image program first.

If you can’t find anything or can't understand how it works, you can download a number of free programs that will do the job A very easy to use program, Photo Resizer, can be found at

Users of Microsoft's Outlook and Outlook Express can actually 'break up' large files and send them in multiple pieces to the recipient The catch is that both the sender and the recipient must be using Outlook or another e-mail client that supports multipart messages This means AOL & JUNO users (as usual!) are out of luck…

To activate this setting in Outlook or Outlook Express, click on Tools, Accounts then double-click the account you want to work with Once the accounts 'Properties' window is opened, click on the 'Advanced' tab and look for the 'Break apart messages larger than' option.

If you choose 1000 KB, than Outlook Express will break apart any message attachment that is over (roughly) 1MB Pictures can be as large as 3MB and PowerPoint presentations can easily hit 5 to 10 MB.

Another option for getting large files across the Internet does not use e-mail at all Instead of physically sending the file to someone, you can ‘post’ it on the web and then give access to the file to anyone that you want to have it This is especially useful if you have to get the

information to a large number of people.

A free site for this purpose that I have recommended in the past is the Yahoo! 'My Briefcase' feature available by going to Once you register yourself as a user, you can have up to 30MB of files, pictures or whatever you want to share with others and if you find it particularly useful but need more space, you can purchase additional space for as little as a couple of bucks per month!

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Posted by of Data Doctors on August 21, 2003

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