How to send a video through email

Content is king, and the king of content is video. Your company may make videos to win over new customers, train new employees, or introduce new product lines. When you're working on your latest video, you may need to share it with your collaborators or get approval from managers. To do that, you need to send the video to them. 

There’s just one problem:  The higher the quality, and the longer the video, the bigger the file size you’ll be sending. Large files can be tricky to share over email as many email servers have size limits for attachments. Fortunately, as videos have become more common and technology has advanced, the options for emailing or sharing them have expanded. In this article, learn how to send a large video through email, and discover a few alternatives that you might even prefer instead.

While it's possible to email large videos, it's not necessarily the optimal way to share your files

A word of caution about emailing videos 

Whether you need to send a video to a single collaborator or a group of people, it's sometimes possible to email video files. The method you employ depends on the email server you use and the size of the video. But note that even while it's possible to email large videos, in some cases, it's not necessarily the optimal way to share files. 

It's possible to email large videos, but it's less secure

For one thing, email isn't the most secure method of transmitting information. Bad actors can get unauthorized access to email by intercepting a message while it's in transit. If the message and its attachments aren't encrypted, bad actors can see the content and use it for their own purposes.

A bad actor can also access a message or attachment by breaking into someone's email account. Some passwords are easy to guess, and software can help bad actors crack more challenging passwords quickly. Another issue with emailing videos is that it's easy for the message to get buried. Many people don't keep up with their inboxes and might miss an important message sent by email.

However, if your company typically does work over email, it might simply be the best option for you to share video files. Depending on your email provider, there are various methods for doing this.

How to send a video using Gmail

You have two options for sending a video using Gmail, depending on the size of the file. If the video is relatively small — less than 25MB — you can email it to one or more recipients as a standard attachment.

  • Open a new message by clicking on the pen icon to compose an email
  • Add the addresses of the recipients in the "To," "Cc," or "Bcc" fields 
  • Create a subject for the email message — ideally, something that lets people know what's inside
  • Write a short note to the recipients letting them know that the video is attached

To attach the video, click on the "Attach file" button (which looks like a paper clip) search for the video in the file folder, then click “Attach.” 

If the video is within the size limit, it will attach itself to the message. During the attachment process, Gmail will scan the file to ensure there are no viruses. When the video is attached, and everything else looks good, click "Send" or "Schedule send.”

Note that Gmail's attachment size limit is 25MB. One minute's worth of an HD video might be 20MB in size, while a one-minute long 4K video might be 84MB. Unless the video is very short or low-quality, it will likely be too big to email as an attachment. 

Gmail does give you another way to email videos without attaching them. You can upload the files to Google Drive, then send them through email. To do so, open a new message and add the recipients' email addresses and your note. Instead of clicking the paper clip icon at the bottom of the message box, click on the Google Drive icon, which looks like a triangle. Choose the file you want to send from the window that pops up. 

Note that to send a video through Google Drive using Gmail, you must first upload the video to your Drive. If the video is set to private or can only be viewed by the owner of the file, change the settings on the file before sending it. Also note that Google Drive does have storage limits based on your service tier.

How to send a video using Yahoo Mail 

Similarly, you have two options to send a large video through Yahoo email. The attachment size limit for Yahoo Mail is also 25MB, so if your file is smaller than that, you can attach it to the email message — provided you aren't also sending other attachments in the same email. 

To email a video using Yahoo Mail: 

  • Click on the compose button
  • Add the recipient's addresses and type in your message
  • Click on the paper-clip icon to attach the video, and from the box that pops up, choose the file name, then click open
  • Click “Send” when you're finished

If the file is above 25MB, or you need to send several attachments that total more than 25MB, you'll need first to upload the files to a cloud storage platform. You can then compose a new email message and share the files from the cloud storage platform. Before doing so, make sure you change the permissions on the video file so the recipient can open it or edit it as needed.

How to send a video using Outlook 

Outlook also lets you send a video file either as an attachment or by sharing a link to a file stored on a cloud-based platform. If you want to email the video file, it needs to be less than 20MB or less than 10MB, depending on the type of Outlook account you have. To email a small video file;

  • pen a new message
  • Click on the "Attach" tab
  • A drop-down menu will appearrom the menu, choose from recently uploaded files or click on "Browse this PC" to open a new box, from which you can select the file you want to attach
  • Click attach or insert, and the file will be uploaded to your message
  • Once you've added a note and the recipient's addresses, you can send the email

If your video file is bigger than 20MB, you'll have to use Microsoft OneDrive to send it to recipients. Instead of attaching the video file to the message, the cloud-based OneDrive platform allows you to send a link to the video. Recipients can access the video by clicking the link. 

To use OneDrive to send a video through Outlook, go to OneDrive.

  • Choose the video file or upload the file to OneDrive if you haven't already
  • Once the video file is uploaded, click "Share link"
  • The program will prompt you to type in the recipient's address
  • You can also add a personal message
  • After you've done that, click send

If you want to reduce the file size of your video, here are a few ways to do it: Create a zip file, convert the file to an MPEG, make the video shorter and smaller with a video editing service

Is it possible to compress a video to send through email?

If your video is more than 20 or 25MB and you don't want to upload it to a cloud storage platform, you can try compressing the video to make the file size smaller. The goal of compression is to remove data from the file to reduce its size. 

Compression works in two ways — it can be either "lossy" or "lossless." Lossy compression shrinks a file size by eliminating data from it. When the file is decompressed, the eliminated data doesn't come back. Often, lossy compression affects both the file size and file quality. When you remove the data, you gain space and miss out on things like smooth images or sharp picture quality. In some cases, only people with very sharp eyes are likely to see the degradation in quality that occurs when you use lossy compression to shrink a video file down. 

The other option is lossless compression. While lossy compression permanently removes certain redundant data pieces from a file, lossless compression replaces that data with an identifier. One way to think about it is this — if a video has five frames of red, lossless compression removes four of those frames. It could mark the remaining red frame with the number 5 to signal when the uncompressed video needs to have five red frames.

Lossless compression typically doesn't impact the quality of a video. Once the file is uncompressed, the data is restored, and the video plays as it did previously. The trade-off is that lossless compression doesn't trim away as much as lossy compression. Depending on the starting size of the video, lossless compression might not be able to shrink your file down to 25MB or 20MB.

If you want to reduce the file size of your video, here are a few ways to do it:

Compressing or "zipping" a video file reduces its size using lossless compression

1. Create a zip file

Compressing or "zipping" a video file reduces its size using lossless compression. When the recipient gets the file and unzips it, the quality does not degrade. To compress a video file, right-click on the file's name. From the drop-down menu that appears, choose "compress" or "zip selection." The exact phrasing will depend on the operating system you use. Once you've decided to compress the file, your computer will make a new, compressed version, usually with the extension ".zip" after it.

If your video is just slightly above the size limit for sending as an attachment, zipping the file can be the way to go. You won't lose that much in terms of overall file size, and the quality of the video won't be affected.

The Moving Picture Expert Group (MPEG) refers to both the file extension and the type of compression used to create the file

2. Convert the file to an MPEG

Zipping a file will result in a slight reduction in its size. If you're starting with a very long video, the reduction might not be enough for you to email the file. Converting the file to a compressed format might be the better option for you.

The Moving Picture Expert Group (MPEG) file format is a lossy format. MPEG refers to both the file extension and the type of compression used to create the file. You can compress a file with MPEG and still use a different file extension, such as MP4 or MP2. 

MPEG compresses files by keeping only the changes between video frames rather than all of the video frames. There are two types of MPEG compression, MPEG 1 and MPEG 2. MPEG 1 compresses lower-quality videos — think old-school VHS — to 1.5 megabits per second. MPEG 2 is for higher-quality videos — think digital TV and DVD. It compresses videos to 6 megabits per second.

If you want to try converting a video file to MPEG, you'll need to use converter software. After you convert the file, it's good to play it back on your device to ensure its quality and function  before you email it. 

Trimming sections from the video will reduce its length and the file size

3. Make the video shorter and smaller with a video-editing service

Another more labor-intensive option for reducing video file size is to edit the video. Trimming sections from the video will reduce its length and file size. Editing the video can be a good choice if the video is a work in progress. If you're about to send over the final draft of the video, editing it further may not be an option. Editing the file can also be an appropriate choice if you only want to share part of the video with your colleagues.

If you made the video on a smartphone, you could likely edit it directly on your phone, using the camera's built-in tools. You can select the part of the video you want to keep and cut away the rest. If you're editing on your computer, there are several editing software programs available. Some are free, while others charge a subscription or one-time fee. Your operating system might have come with a video editing program pre-installed, too.

Create, share, and edit videos from one place with the Content Cloud

How to send a video using a cloud service

When you don't want to compress or edit a video file to meet size restrictions imposed by your email server, your best bet is a cloud-based content platform. 

With the Content Cloud, you create, share, and edit videos and other forms of content from one secure platform. The Content Cloud integrates with more than 1,500 apps, making it easy for you to use it with your existing business programs. The available integrations also mean that people receiving your videos can edit or view them using their preferred apps.

You can add video files to the Content Cloud in a few ways. You can upload them directly from your device — or connect the Content Cloud to Google Drive, OneDrive, or another app and upload from there. If you upload the videos from your device, you can drag and drop the file icons from the desktop. You can also click the "Upload" button and add them that way. Once that's done, your files are in the cloud.

After you've uploaded your video to the cloud, you can share it with collaborators or anyone else you want to view the file. To do so, click on “Share,” then type in the email address of the recipient. You can add a personalized message to let the person know what the file is and why you're sharing it with them.

Depending on who you're sharing the video with, you may want to adjust their access to the video. If you add the user as co-owner, they'll have the same level of access to the video as you. If they're an editor, they can alter the video file and delete it. Viewers can look at the video and download it, while previewers can only view the file. And you can remove a person’s access from the video at any time. 

Box makes sharing video simple

Box simplifies how you shars videos

Content — including videos — powers every business. You need collaboration tools that streamline the sharing process and make it easy for you and your colleagues to work on projects together. Don't waste time compressing files or editing videos to make them fit your email server's limited attachment size requirements. Instead, rely on the Content Cloud to facilitate sharing and collaboration. 

Box collaboration tools allow you to share your content with various users and set those users' permissions levels based on how much access you want them to have to the files. Once your videos are added to the Content Cloud and shared with the appropriate people, you can assign tasks so everyone stays on the same page and understands their tasks. 

Our platform's collaboration tools facilitate sharing, enhance security, and streamline work processes. Users can annotate files or add notes and comments to let coworkers know which changes they think should be made to a video. And when changes are implemented, there's no need to worry about saving the newest version of the file and having to email it to everyone to get their approval. The new changes are easy to access for anyone with permissions and an internet connection, facilitating a seamless workflow.

Every piece of content that gets uploaded to the Content Cloud is secure and encrypted from end to end. Security features, including password protection and multi-factor authentication, help to keep your content — including marketing and sales videos — protected. 

Learn more about Box

Box does more than make it easy for you to share content. The Content Cloud is also a place where you can create, edit, and control your company's content. Need to sign documents in your day-to-day workflow? No problem. Box Sign enables secure e-signatures right where your content lives. Looking to automate your workflows for improved productivity? Box Relay lets you establish prebuilt workflow templates to keep content moving automatically — no coding required.

To learn more about our collaborative tools and see what Box can do for your team, contact us today.

Learn more about what the Content Cloud can do for you

**While we maintain our steadfast commitment to offering products and services with best-in-class privacy, security, and compliance, the information provided in this blogpost is not intended to constitute legal advice. We strongly encourage prospective and current customers to perform their own due diligence when assessing compliance with applicable laws.