Email Attachments

Our servers have the following limits for emailing file attachments (although, keep in mind the recipient's server may have different limits on what they will accept):

Maximum Size: Approx. 35 MB

Technically, our shared servers have a 50 MB limit on the size of outgoing e-mails (which includes the email body and attachments) sent via SMTP and webmail, but that being said, in reality there are a number of factors that determine how large of a file attachment you may successfully send. These factors include:

  • The fact that your attachment is MIME encoded, which causes the size to swell up to 40%.  So a 35 MB file on your hard drive will take up approx. 50 MB of space when MIME encoded for sending as an attachment. A 23 MB file on your hard drive will take up approx. 30 MB when MIME encoded.
  • Any limits your email client has on attachments, which vary from email client to email client (for example, Hostyan Webmail's limit is 50 MB, while Outlook 2010's limit is 20 MB).
  • Any limits the recipient's server has on attachment size, which also vary from email service provider to email service provider (for example, Gmail, Yahoo! & Hotmail all have a 25 MB limit).
  • Any limits the recipient's email client may have on attachment size.
  • How much free space is in the recipient's e-mail account, if their mailbox has a size limit. (If their mailbox is full, your message will be rejected.)
  • How reliable your internal service provider (ISP) is at sending large files without corrupting them or aborting.

As you can see, there are many variables (factors) that can effect how large an attachment can be.  You may even encounter situations where you send an identical attachment to two people, and one receives it, and the other does not.  That is usually caused by one recipient's server rejecting the attachment for being too large, and the other one accepting it.

Recipient's Email Service Provider (Receiving)

Many email service providers such as Gmail, Yahoo! and Hotmail have limits on the size of attachments their email servers will accept.  If you send an attachment that is too large for their system, they typically will reject it.  So even if the email is successfully sent on our end, does not mean the recipient's server will accept it.

Here are some popular email service provider limits for incoming attachments:

  • Gmail / Google Mail - 25 MB
  • Yahoo! Mail - 25 MB
  • Windows Live / Hotmail / MSN - 25 MB
  • Lycos Mail - unlimited
  • Excite Mail - 25 MB
  • AOL Mail - 25 MB

So if your recipient is using any of these services, you are limited to the size attachment that service accepts.

(These limits are subject to change and are listed here for your convenience.  Mail service providers may change their policies without notice.)

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