Webmail Providers and Attachment Size

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EmailIt’s difficult to keep up with all the email providers of the world these days. When I first got into the internet and wonderful world of web development there wasn’t too many to choose from. Most people at the time were using an email address from their internet service provider.

Hotmail is one of the early email services that I can remember. Wikipedia says it was launched on July 4th, 1996 (16 years ago). I got my Hotmail account somewhere between 1996-1998, and I still use it to this day. gMail has come along way, but it didn’t even exist until 2004, which still seems like a long time ago (8 years at the time of this post).

Email storage capacity has increased substantially over the years. As an early Hotmail user I do vaguely remember something like 10 MB’s to 25 MB’s of storage in the early days. Yes, I said MB’s not GB’s. It’s hard to imagine what you could actually do with such a small amount of storage today. Sending a handful of images from your digital camera could fill that up in a hurry.

Most of us probably have no idea what our email storage capacity limit even is. The major email service providers allow more storage space than what most of us will ever use. It varies from one to the next, but 5 GB’s to 10 GB’s seems to be fairly common. There are a few that provide 100 GB’s or even unlimited capacity. Most likely because they know most people will never use that much anyway.

What about attachments?

The size of an attachment that you are allowed to send has certainly gone up over the years. Then again, we couldn’t send large attachments back in the day because most of us had very slow dial up connections.

gMailHere it is almost 2013 and most email service providers limit attachment sizes to around 25 MB’s. You would think that they would have bumped this up a little more by now. Let me see I can store 10 GB’s in my inbox, but I can’t send something larger than 25 MB’s. Seems a little small and outdated given the technology and speed of things today.

I don’t have the need to send something larger than 25 MB’s very often, but every now and then I send a collection of photos that happens to be larger than that. What I end up doing is splitting it into more than one email, which is a waste of my time.

We have digital cameras that are constantly upping the megapixel size. I don’t even know what the industry standard is anymore. The last digital camera I looked at was 16 megapixels. The problem is people think the highest available setting is better for some reason. What that results to is pictures that are much larger in size than they really need to be. I have seen some pictures that are 3 MB’s to 6 MB’s in size. People are too lazy to resize them before they send them. So in some cases 5-8 pictures could easily max out the allowed attachment size. If that happens to be the case generally your email is returned undelivered or you get some other warning error. Then, you have to start over and split them up. Seems to me it would be reasonable enough to bump the allowed attachment size up to 50 MB’s to 100 MB’s.

The mighty gMail even limits their attachment size to 25 MB’s at the current date and time. They don’t have a problem with allowing everyone to upload videos on YouTube that are much larger than 25 MB’s though. Apparently YouTube is OK, but gMail attachments is not. Then again, they make more money off YouTube then they do gMail.

It isn’t too often that I would need to send an attachment that is 25 MB’s or larger, but come on I should be able to if I want to.

About: Jeremy LeSarge - AKA: Ray (209 Posts)

I am the site owner and administrator of DialMe.com. I provide help and tips for Boonex Dolphin on the main part of this website where you will also find an assortment of other resources. Here, on the blog I write about a variety of topics surrounding WordPress, technology, social media/networking, SEO, and webmaster resources.


  1. Tan


    Maybe you can consider to use Google Drive as a channel to share your photo/video, but I am not sure the file size limit. I am now not a heavy user of Google Drive, but I know there is a function to share your file in Google Drive with other. I am using Skydrive to backup my photo/video.

    • Reply

      I am kind of trying to avoid Google Drive for the time-being. It would be nice if I could send and receive something like 30 MB’s to 50 MB’s in one email without relying on a cloud service. I think a 25 MB attachment size a lot of email providers have imposed are a little small in this day and age. I think they could bump it up at least a little bit.

  2. Leo


    One way around this size limitation is to use a free service like Dropbox, and give the recipient access to the Dropbox, so he can easily get the file when it’s fully uploaded.

    • Reply

      I use Dropbox from time to time, and would rather use it over Google Drive. It gets confusing trying to manage several different cloud services and who gets access to all the folders and files. I know some people use quite a few of the different popular cloud storage services, but I am trying to limit my use to just Dropbox. I am not against others. I just don’t want to manage a bunch of them all at the same time.

  3. Rahul


    very nice post very helpful information we can use also drobox that provide free 2gb space for sharing file information
    thanks for sharing..

    • Reply

      Dropbox is a nice service. I use it fairly often. It would just be so nice if I could email larger attachments rather than going through a cloud service. I can hope and wish all I want.

  4. Reply

    Hotmail does go back to the early internet that we know. They still have a pretty large user base. It was a little more popular back in it’s early day because there weren’t that many other options like there are now, and gMail didn’t exist back then.

  5. Reply

    Hotmail has started Skydrive to contain large media upload and it works for me. Google drive has slowed down Google altogether in my case. Thanks for sharing the information.

  6. Kelly


    I don’t really use a lot of attachment space which means I don’t really notice the limit. Having send a few emails here are there are basically what I do and not all of them have attachments to say the least.

  7. Reply

    I find email attachment sizes way to small. Being a graphic designer, I need a lot of space thanks to clouds I’m able to upload and share without being limited.

    • Reply

      It seems like everyone is turning to cloud services more than email for sending large files. I still prefer the email route though.

  8. Reply

    I’ve always found sendbigfiles.com helpful in cases where I need send large files or better yet, online drives like dropbox work like a charm.

  9. Reply

    Attachment sizes vary among different mail providers but overall are quite small. It is especially true when it comes to sending digital pictures which are getting bigger by the day and honestly sometimes I have to send two pictures at a time, especially when converted to .tiff format.

    • Reply

      Sometimes when I send a lot of images I never know if they will all go through or at what point I should split them into another email message. I know my sister can only receive 10 mb’s, which is a little on the small side in today’s world.

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