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Breaking down large attachments

I need to send a large file but it gets stuck in the Outbox and I get errors that the message is too large to be submitted.

How can I still send this large attachment?

E-mail is an easy medium, but usually not the best choice for sending very large files. Even though ISPs are drastically increasing their limits today, so are the sizes of many files that get created. For instance, the quality of digital pictures is still increasing but so is the file size and we’re taking more (holiday) pictures than ever which we want to share.

Picture attachments

Actually, picture attachments are not really the issue here; they easily let themselves be resized in any photo editing tool so that they still look good on a screen and you can easily send many of them in a single e-mail. Outlook offers a solution for that, there are special add-ins for it and there are many picture websites as well like OneDrive (formerly known as SkyDrive), Instagram, Flickr.

Compress and/or break up attachments in multiple parts

Some file types can be reduced in size quite a bit by means of a file compression tool such as WinRAR, WinZIP or 7UP. If the file is still to big to be send, some of these tools also allow you span a file over multiple compressions archives of a size allowed by your ISP. You’d then send these individual files by email, and the receiver can put them back together again by a similar decompression tool or automatically depending on which type of archive you created (look for an option named: self extracting archive or SFX).

There are also tools which integrate with Outlook and can do this for you all automatically such as MAPILab’s Attachments Processor (discount code 4PM76A8) or DirectXchange from Pergenex.

Unlike resizing a picture, compressing a file does not decrease its quality so for instance the video file or CAD that got compressed or split in two, still would be the exact same file once unpacked.

Alternative means

As stated earlier, e-mail might not be the best way of transferring large files. As an alternative, you could upload the files to a (secure) FTP server or a collaboration website (like SharePoint) if you or the recipient has one available.

There are also file upload services such as OneDrive from Microsoft which is free as well (7GB of space with a maximum size per file of 2GB and many options to get additional space). After uploading the file(s), you simply send a link to recipient with instructions how the file(s) can be accessed.

If you need more flexibility, there are also other (paid) services which allows you to upload the files to a hosted location. Some of them allow integration with Outlook to automate the uploading and file sending such as OutDisk from Encryptomatic.

Note 1: If your message got stuck in your Outbox, you’ll find instructions on how to remove it here.

Note 2: You can configure Outlook to prevent large messages getting stuck in your Outbox as well.