How to send many files, or better: how to send large files

A guide in 3 steps

Reading time: 9 minutes

Table of contents

In the digital age, sending files is a basic skill for most. Nevertheless, there are a few pitfalls – which brings us back to the initial question. Since many smaller files can be combined in a ZIP file, the issue can be reduced to the need for a simple solution for sending particularly large files.

Suppose you want to send 50 digital photos in original size. Furthermore, assume that each file is about 5 MB in size. So you would get a volume of 250 MB. Of course, you should not send such quantities as e-mail attachments. The maximum size for emails varies from provider to provider. However, it is rarely more than 25 MB. At this point, the idea of distributing the files among many separate emails should not be pursued at all. This would be the variant that causes the greatest frustration for the recipient. Of course, this ad hoc solution is often chosen in practice. Doesn’t each of us have older acquaintances or relatives who regularly manage to blow up our mailboxes? ;)

Sending files via email attachments only makes sense if you can get by with one or two emails. Anything beyond this can be annoying to the recipient, looks unprofessional, and can also unnecessarily increase the amount of storage space used in the mailbox.

Sending large files, here is how to do it right:

Step 1 – zipping

The first sensible step would be to transfer the desired files into a ZIP file. This does not require a special program like 7-Zip or WinRAR. In Windows, it is enough to select the files, right-click on them and click ZIP compressed Folder (in the context menu under Send to). Under macOS it works similarly.

Since photos are mostly saved as JPEG, which means they are already compressed, the additional ZIP compression will only save a small amount of disk space. The advantage for our question rather results from the fact that a single file is easier to handle and easier to share.

The process of zipping is lossless, meaning no information is lost. A ZIP file can simply be “unpacked” by the recipient. All files will then be output in their original size. Of course, this assumes that the recipient knows how to extract a ZIP file. In Windows, all you need to do is double-click the file and click Extract all again. However, even this can be a hurdle for some users.

For uncompressed data (documents, source code, RAW formats, etc.) a lot of storage space can be saved via zipping. File exchange can thus be significantly accelerated. However, as mentioned, this only applies to certain file types. For most media formats (e.g. MP3, MP4, JPEG), the savings potential is very small due to the compression already present. Zipping a single media file is therefore usually unnecessary.

Step 2 – uploading, but where to?!

Of course, files that you want to send must not be arbitrary in size. Depending on the provider and tariff, the maximum file size ranges from 2 GB (WeTransfer free) to 250 GB (OneDrive Premium). Home users will probably rarely send files larger than 10 GB. For professional users, e.g. from the film industry, files beyond 100 GB, on the other hand, are not uncommon.

There are, of course, many different technical ways to send large files. The number of providers is even greater. The following three categories therefore provides only a rough overview. We have:

  1. Cloud storage services like Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud, OneDrive, etc.
  2. File sharing services that are designed for sending only and not for permanent storage of data. The best-known provider is WeTransfer. Alternatives are WeSendit, Swisstransfer, Wikisend, etc.
  3. Typical web space providers like Strato or Ionos. They allow sending large files via FTP servers.

Upload to cloud storage

If you prefer services of the first category, it is usually enough to move the ZIP file to a folder that is synchronized with the cloud storage. A right click on the file as well as another click in the context menu should then lead to a function like “Share” or “Unshare”. The generated share link can then be copied to the clipboard. Of course, this assumes that you also have the corresponding cloud service installed locally. Alternatively, you can of course log into the cloud storage via the browser and share uploaded files from there.


Sending is especially easy with WeTransfer. All you have to do there is drag and drop the file(s) (maximum 2 GB in the free version), wait until the upload is done and either click send or, if you don’t want to enter an email address, wait until a share link is created which can then be copied. By the way, if you work with WeTransfer, you can save the zipping, because this is done automatically when you upload the files. Sent files remain downloadable in the free version for 7 days, after which they are deleted. By the way, you can make several 2 GB packages or, if you are ready to spend money, use the Pro version of WeTransfer, which allows you to send 200 GB packages as well.

Share via FTP

Sharing large files via FTP is not witchcraft, yet here the hurdles are the highest, since first an appropriate program such as FileZilla must be downloaded and set up. For professionals who need to move large amounts of data back and forth between different servers on a daily basis, exchanging data via FTP is often the method of choice. For private users without any particular IT affinity, on the other hand, a cloud storage or file sharing service is more recommended.

Step 3 – sending

No matter which provider and which type of service you have chosen, in the end you still need to send your message (by email, via a messenger service or as a posting). It is especially elegant to simply insert generated download links into a message. Then the recipient knows immediately that the links actually come from you.

If you use a modern email system where a cloud environment is already an integral part, it’s especially easy. With Gmail, files stored in Google Drive can be sent directly as virtual attachments. All you have to do is click on the attachment icon and select Insert from Drive. Important: Not the files themselves, but share links to the files are sent.
However, many older email services are not yet connected to cloud storage. So here you have to copy the corresponding links manually into the editor.

Of course, if you want to share a file on an FTP server, you need to copy more than just a link. In that case, an FTP address and corresponding access data (username, password, etc.) are required. That is why sending via FTP only makes sense if the recipient is supplied by you more frequently.

Solutions for companies

For companies, sending large files raises further issues that are usually of secondary importance for private users. On the one hand, there is the problem area of data protection, which makes it necessary to generate release links not only quickly, but above all securely (e.g., through password protection). On the other hand, marketing measures are to become even more efficient through various tools such as link tracking, and the communication infrastructure as a whole is to be promoted. The providers mentioned above are mostly global players that rarely have their headquarters in the European Union and are therefore not subject to local data protection laws. In addition, large vendors are not flexible when it comes to creating company-specific functions. For European and, in particular, German companies, it is therefore advisable to rely on regional providers that work in a DSGVO-compliant manner and, if desired, also offer customized on-premises solutions.

Test the cloud-based solution from teamnext

If you are looking for a solution for your company that allows you to store all your media files centrally as well as share them easily and securely, then we recommend a no-obligation test first. If you like, you can go in medias res immediately by starting a free 14-day trial for the teamnext | Media Hub now.

teamnext’s Media Hub is a cloud-based enterprise media management system that is intuitive to use and sets new standards for sharing large media files. You can find more info about the product here:

In addition, you can of course book an appointment for a free online product demo with one of our DAM experts at any time. Simply use our contact form for this purpose.

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