Email Size

June 10, 2011

Customers often call us to get help with their email. A common problem is that they can’t send any email. When we look at their email, we often find it is stuck because they tried to send an email with an attachment that is too big for email. Yes, there is a size limit to email. But the maximum size varies.

Each email service decides the maximum email size they will allow. Google Mail (Gmail), for example, is 5mb. But many email providers limit the size of an email to 2mb. If you try to send an email that is bigger than your email provider allows, the email will probably get stuck in your outbox and prevent you from sending any further email until you clear it out. You would think that your email program could just tell you, “Hey. Your email is too big. The maximum size is X”. But because the size limit varies, your email program doesn’t know.

Let’s say your email provider allows email to be up to 5mb in size. Let’s further say that you are sending an email that has a 4mb attachment on it. It’s big enough to send through your email service, but what about the person you are sending it to. What if the size restriction on their email service is 2mb? In this case, the email will not be delivered to the person you were sending it to. Depending on the email service, you may or may not get a message back telling you the message couldn’t be delivered because it was too big.

A good rule of thumb is to keep emails no bigger than 2mb to make sure they can not only be sent, but can also be received.

For more information on sending large files over the internet, check out this article.

For more information on sending/sharing photos, check out this article.

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