Gmail users can now receive attachments up to 50MB, but please don't send them

Google doubles the limit of the size of emails it will accept from 25MB to 50MB, but keeps the sending cap fixed at 25MB.

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Credit: Ben Patterson

It might not be a problem that affects us all that often, but we’ve all experienced it. Someone emails you a message asking if you got that PDF or picture they sent over. You search through your inbox, trash, and spam folders only to discover it’s not there. The reason? It never went through because the attachment was too big.

Starting now, those situations will happen a lot less frequently. Google has announced it is doubling the size of attachments Gmail users can receive from 25MB to 50MB, which should be more than enough for giant pictures and PDFs. Granted, there are plenty of better ways to send huge attachments than just dropping them into the body of an email, but if someone you know insists on doing it, at least you’ll receive them now.

As Google notes, however, you still can’t send files larger than 25MB. For that, you can use the usual Google Drive method, which is far more reliable and secure anyway. And it’s pretty easy to do. When in the compose window, tap the paper clip icon at the top, then Insert from Drive, find the files you want, and choose the way you want to send them (if they’re bigger than 25MB).

Bigger isn’t always better: There’s a reason why Google won’t let you send attachments larger than 25MB—you shouldn’t be doing it. Not only is email insecure, files that large can choke servers and cause delivery backups, so it’s best to use Google Drive or some other cloud service to do your sending. But if someone in your life insists on sending you gigantic pictures embedded in the body of email messages, you can now rest easy knowing you’ll most likely receive them now.

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