How to send a video through email: 5 best methods

Emailing large videos is anything but easy. Learn how send a video through email with five different approaches to find the one that works for you.
January 25, 2024
Ashley Hamer
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It’s tricky to send a video through email. Not all email service providers or devices may support certain video formats. And then there are problems with file sizes and loading times, particularly if you’re sending large video files by email. 

Fortunately, there are many solutions to email videos these days. This step-by-step guide explains five different ways to send a video by email.

Can you send videos through email?

Yes. It's a convenient way to share videos with friends, coworkers, and customers for things like professional campaigns.

As videos can be large files, both senders and receivers should be aware of attachment size limits. Some email systems may restrict the size of attachments you can send. In those cases, you might need to use another file sharing method.

📹 Read more: How to enhance video quality using these expert tips

How to send a video through email: 5 methods

When you’ve spent hours making your videos more accessible by removing background noise and adding subtitles, you want to make sure that your email marketing recipients can successfully open and watch them. 

Whether you want to attach the video directly to the email or share it through a link, we've got you covered with five easy tutorials.

1. How to send a video through email using a video link

A video link is a unique reference that allows people to view your video. Think of it as a special web address that leads directly to your video.

Step 1: Generate a shareable link

Sharing a link depends on the platform hosting the video and the settings chosen by your video software. Some platforms, like Descript or Wetransfer, give an option to generate a shareable link for easy sharing, while others may have more restrictive privacy settings that limit sharing options.

With Descript, you can create a shareable link by clicking the Copy link icon in your Publish tab. 

Creating a video URL from Descript

From here, insert the link into your email.

Step 2: Compose an email

Once you have copied the shareable link, open your email and write a new message. 

Step 3: Paste the link

In the body of your email, paste the link where you want it to be. To paste, right-click in the email and choose 'Paste' or use the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + V for Windows or Command + V for Mac).

Step 4: Send the email

After you've added the link and written your message, click the send button. When the person opens your email and clicks the link, it will take them to the video stored in the cloud where they can watch it whenever they want. 

2. How to send a video through email as an attachment (Gmail and Outlook)

Email clients like Gmail and Outlook have size limits for attached files. For example, Gmail accounts are allowed to send attachments up to 25 MB, and Outlook allows up to 20 MB. If your video file is within this limit, include it directly in your email. But if it's too big, you may need to use a cloud storage service or video compression tool (more on these later) to share the video through email.  

But make sure the recipient's email provider can receive attachments of the size you’re sending.

Step 1: Compose a new email

Login to your Google account, then head to Gmail and click on Compose to start a new email. For Microsoft Outlook users, open the Outlook app and choose New Email to create a new message.

Step 2: Attach the video

Click on the paperclip icon at the bottom of the email to attach a file. Locate and select your video file. Remember, Gmail has a size limit of 25 MB for attachments. Outlook users can click "Attach File" or the paperclip icon, then select your video file. Note that Outlook has a file size limit of 20 MB for attachments.

Step 3: Complete the email

Once you’ve attached your video, you’ll notice the video file name and size at the bottom. Finish writing your email, adding a subject and message.

Step 4: Send the email

Click Send to share the video with your recipients.

3. How to send a video through email with a YouTube URL

Since emails containing videos are often flagged as spam, one way to overcome this is to compose emails with a YouTube thumbnail and a play button that takes you to YouTube. A thumbnail is an image that gives a preview of the video. Adding a thumbnail makes the video more prominent than a simple link, which reduces the chances of the recipient missing it.

Step 1. Capture the YouTube thumbnail

YouTube automatically generates thumbnail images in different resolutions. After uploading your video to YouTube, click edit and hover your mouse over the thumbnail, and you’ll see some text that says Download image

Next, click the text that says Download image. Save the thumbnail image to your computer. 

Alternatively, you can just take a screenshot of the video itself. First, set the video to fullscreen, then take a screenshot (Windows key + PrtScn on Windows; Cmd+Shift+3 on Mac). Find the screenshot in your default screenshots folder.

Step 2: Upload the thumbnail

If you have a website or image hosting service, upload the thumbnail. Alternatively, you can use Google Drive or Dropbox to host the image.

Step 3: Compose your email

Once you’ve got the video URL, open your email and write your message. Insert the thumbnail by clicking the image icon in your email composer and choose the uploaded thumbnail. Use an image editing tool to find a play button icon online.

Select the thumbnail in your email and add a hyperlink. Paste the YouTube video URL as the destination link. When someone clicks the thumbnail or play button, they are directed to your YouTube video.

Step 4: Test the email

Before sending the email, test it by sending it to yourself or a colleague. Check that clicking the thumbnail or play button correctly opens the YouTube video.

If you prefer not to send your YouTube video via email using a thumbnail, simply find your video and click share.

A pop-up will appear prompting you to choose which platform to share your video with. Choose the email icon. This will take you to your deferred email provider to write your email, add a recipient, and send it.

Image of a YouTube share link

4. How to send a video through email by compressing it

Compressing a video makes the file size smaller, allowing for easier sharing and faster uploads. It reduces the amount of space the video takes up without  reducing its quality, making it more manageable for storage and online sharing.

Descript has an online video compressor with multiple ways to overcome the strictest file size requirements and send long videos, like Discord’s 8MB limit—even for large videos over 8GB.

Step 1: Import the video you want to share

Import the video you want to compress into a project in Descript. You can either drag the file into the project or click Add file in the composition window.

Step 2: Choose a compression method and file type

There are many ways to reduce the file size of your video with Descript. Try resizing your video by clicking the rectangle icon at the top left of the video window (pictured below), then clicking Advanced and choosing a smaller video size. You can also use this setting panel to choose a lower video resolution. 

Next, click Publish and choose the export option that fits your size, type, and quality needs. MP4 is an especially good file type for online videos. 

Image of a user resizing a video in Descript

Step 3: Share your compressed video with email

Finally, save the file and attach it to your email. In Descript, you can also generate a web link to share via email for watching or downloading quickly.

5. How to send a video using cloud storage services like Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive

Cloud storage platforms are great for sharing videos because they allow you to upload large files and generate shareable links, making it easy for others to access and view your videos without the limitations of email attachments. 

Also, cloud storage ensures that the videos are securely stored and recipients can easily access them.

Step 1: Upload the video

Sign in to your chosen cloud storage service (Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive, or OneDrive). Locate the option to upload files and select your video. This usually involves clicking an "Upload" button, or dragging the file into the cloud storage window.

Step 2: Adjust sharing settings

After uploading, adjust the sharing settings to ensure the video is accessible to the intended recipient. You may need to set the file or folder to "Public".

Step 3: Create a shareable link

Next, generate a shareable link to the video file. In Google, click Share then click Copy link to generate your link. 

Generating a Share link in Google for a video.

Step 4: Copy the link

Copy the generated link provided by the cloud storage service.

Step 5: Compose your email

Open your email platform and compose a new email. Paste the link in the body of the email. You can also add a brief message or description.

Step 6: Send the email

Click Send to dispatch the email with the link to the cloud-stored video.

If using Google Drive, set the sharing permissions to ensure the recipient can view the video. This can be done within the sharing settings of the file. And if your video is sensitive, consider using password protection or other security features provided by the cloud storage service.

Create and share videos in seconds with Descript

Descript is a multimedia tool that lets you edit audio and video by typing, with transcription, editing, publishing, and collaborating features. 

The best part: Descript allows you to embed video anywhere: in emails, blog posts, help docs, and more. Its version control features ensure your audience sees the latest version, reducing the potential for sharing outdated information. 

It even has a voice cloning feature that enables users to create realistic synthetic voices. Generate your own voice clone or choose from AI voices to fix audio mistakes, produce video voice overs, or create a podcast intro.

How to send a video through email FAQs

How do you email a video that is too large?

Either use a cloud storage service like Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneDrive and generate a shareable link or use a video compression tool to reduce the file size without sacrificing quality.

Why can't I send a video through email?

Most email services have restrictions on the size of email attachments or may not support specific video formats. If your video exceeds this limit or is incompatible, it cannot be sent directly through email. 

What is the best format to send a video by email?

The best format to send video by email depends on the size and quality of your video, as well as your recipient's device and software. Usually, the recommended choice is MP4, as it’s widely supported with a small file size.

Ashley Hamer
Managing Editor at Descript. Musician, podcaster, writer, science nerd.
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How to send a video through email: 5 best methods

pink computer with white and pink keyboard and pink background

It’s tricky to send a video through email. Not all email service providers or devices may support certain video formats. And then there are problems with file sizes and loading times, particularly if you’re sending large video files by email. 

Fortunately, there are many solutions to email videos these days. This step-by-step guide explains five different ways to send a video by email.

Our full-featured video editing tool is as powerful as it is easy to use.
Look for our all-in-one audio & video production that’s as easy as editing a doc.

Can you send videos through email?

Yes. It's a convenient way to share videos with friends, coworkers, and customers for things like professional campaigns.

As videos can be large files, both senders and receivers should be aware of attachment size limits. Some email systems may restrict the size of attachments you can send. In those cases, you might need to use another file sharing method.

📹 Read more: How to enhance video quality using these expert tips

How to send a video through email: 5 methods

When you’ve spent hours making your videos more accessible by removing background noise and adding subtitles, you want to make sure that your email marketing recipients can successfully open and watch them. 

Whether you want to attach the video directly to the email or share it through a link, we've got you covered with five easy tutorials.

1. How to send a video through email using a video link

A video link is a unique reference that allows people to view your video. Think of it as a special web address that leads directly to your video.

Step 1: Generate a shareable link

Sharing a link depends on the platform hosting the video and the settings chosen by your video software. Some platforms, like Descript or Wetransfer, give an option to generate a shareable link for easy sharing, while others may have more restrictive privacy settings that limit sharing options.

With Descript, you can create a shareable link by clicking the Copy link icon in your Publish tab. 

Creating a video URL from Descript

From here, insert the link into your email.

Step 2: Compose an email

Once you have copied the shareable link, open your email and write a new message. 

Step 3: Paste the link

In the body of your email, paste the link where you want it to be. To paste, right-click in the email and choose 'Paste' or use the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + V for Windows or Command + V for Mac).

Step 4: Send the email

After you've added the link and written your message, click the send button. When the person opens your email and clicks the link, it will take them to the video stored in the cloud where they can watch it whenever they want. 

2. How to send a video through email as an attachment (Gmail and Outlook)

Email clients like Gmail and Outlook have size limits for attached files. For example, Gmail accounts are allowed to send attachments up to 25 MB, and Outlook allows up to 20 MB. If your video file is within this limit, include it directly in your email. But if it's too big, you may need to use a cloud storage service or video compression tool (more on these later) to share the video through email.  

But make sure the recipient's email provider can receive attachments of the size you’re sending.

Step 1: Compose a new email

Login to your Google account, then head to Gmail and click on Compose to start a new email. For Microsoft Outlook users, open the Outlook app and choose New Email to create a new message.

Step 2: Attach the video

Click on the paperclip icon at the bottom of the email to attach a file. Locate and select your video file. Remember, Gmail has a size limit of 25 MB for attachments. Outlook users can click "Attach File" or the paperclip icon, then select your video file. Note that Outlook has a file size limit of 20 MB for attachments.

Step 3: Complete the email

Once you’ve attached your video, you’ll notice the video file name and size at the bottom. Finish writing your email, adding a subject and message.

Step 4: Send the email

Click Send to share the video with your recipients.

3. How to send a video through email with a YouTube URL

Since emails containing videos are often flagged as spam, one way to overcome this is to compose emails with a YouTube thumbnail and a play button that takes you to YouTube. A thumbnail is an image that gives a preview of the video. Adding a thumbnail makes the video more prominent than a simple link, which reduces the chances of the recipient missing it.

Step 1. Capture the YouTube thumbnail

YouTube automatically generates thumbnail images in different resolutions. After uploading your video to YouTube, click edit and hover your mouse over the thumbnail, and you’ll see some text that says Download image

Next, click the text that says Download image. Save the thumbnail image to your computer. 

Alternatively, you can just take a screenshot of the video itself. First, set the video to fullscreen, then take a screenshot (Windows key + PrtScn on Windows; Cmd+Shift+3 on Mac). Find the screenshot in your default screenshots folder.

Step 2: Upload the thumbnail

If you have a website or image hosting service, upload the thumbnail. Alternatively, you can use Google Drive or Dropbox to host the image.

Step 3: Compose your email

Once you’ve got the video URL, open your email and write your message. Insert the thumbnail by clicking the image icon in your email composer and choose the uploaded thumbnail. Use an image editing tool to find a play button icon online.

Select the thumbnail in your email and add a hyperlink. Paste the YouTube video URL as the destination link. When someone clicks the thumbnail or play button, they are directed to your YouTube video.

Step 4: Test the email

Before sending the email, test it by sending it to yourself or a colleague. Check that clicking the thumbnail or play button correctly opens the YouTube video.

If you prefer not to send your YouTube video via email using a thumbnail, simply find your video and click share.

A pop-up will appear prompting you to choose which platform to share your video with. Choose the email icon. This will take you to your deferred email provider to write your email, add a recipient, and send it.

Image of a YouTube share link

4. How to send a video through email by compressing it

Compressing a video makes the file size smaller, allowing for easier sharing and faster uploads. It reduces the amount of space the video takes up without  reducing its quality, making it more manageable for storage and online sharing.

Descript has an online video compressor with multiple ways to overcome the strictest file size requirements and send long videos, like Discord’s 8MB limit—even for large videos over 8GB.

Step 1: Import the video you want to share

Import the video you want to compress into a project in Descript. You can either drag the file into the project or click Add file in the composition window.

Step 2: Choose a compression method and file type

There are many ways to reduce the file size of your video with Descript. Try resizing your video by clicking the rectangle icon at the top left of the video window (pictured below), then clicking Advanced and choosing a smaller video size. You can also use this setting panel to choose a lower video resolution. 

Next, click Publish and choose the export option that fits your size, type, and quality needs. MP4 is an especially good file type for online videos. 

Image of a user resizing a video in Descript

Step 3: Share your compressed video with email

Finally, save the file and attach it to your email. In Descript, you can also generate a web link to share via email for watching or downloading quickly.

5. How to send a video using cloud storage services like Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive

Cloud storage platforms are great for sharing videos because they allow you to upload large files and generate shareable links, making it easy for others to access and view your videos without the limitations of email attachments. 

Also, cloud storage ensures that the videos are securely stored and recipients can easily access them.

Step 1: Upload the video

Sign in to your chosen cloud storage service (Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive, or OneDrive). Locate the option to upload files and select your video. This usually involves clicking an "Upload" button, or dragging the file into the cloud storage window.

Step 2: Adjust sharing settings

After uploading, adjust the sharing settings to ensure the video is accessible to the intended recipient. You may need to set the file or folder to "Public".

Step 3: Create a shareable link

Next, generate a shareable link to the video file. In Google, click Share then click Copy link to generate your link. 

Generating a Share link in Google for a video.

Step 4: Copy the link

Copy the generated link provided by the cloud storage service.

Step 5: Compose your email

Open your email platform and compose a new email. Paste the link in the body of the email. You can also add a brief message or description.

Step 6: Send the email

Click Send to dispatch the email with the link to the cloud-stored video.

If using Google Drive, set the sharing permissions to ensure the recipient can view the video. This can be done within the sharing settings of the file. And if your video is sensitive, consider using password protection or other security features provided by the cloud storage service.

Create and share videos in seconds with Descript

Descript is a multimedia tool that lets you edit audio and video by typing, with transcription, editing, publishing, and collaborating features. 

The best part: Descript allows you to embed video anywhere: in emails, blog posts, help docs, and more. Its version control features ensure your audience sees the latest version, reducing the potential for sharing outdated information. 

It even has a voice cloning feature that enables users to create realistic synthetic voices. Generate your own voice clone or choose from AI voices to fix audio mistakes, produce video voice overs, or create a podcast intro.

How to send a video through email FAQs

How do you email a video that is too large?

Either use a cloud storage service like Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneDrive and generate a shareable link or use a video compression tool to reduce the file size without sacrificing quality.

Why can't I send a video through email?

Most email services have restrictions on the size of email attachments or may not support specific video formats. If your video exceeds this limit or is incompatible, it cannot be sent directly through email. 

What is the best format to send a video by email?

The best format to send video by email depends on the size and quality of your video, as well as your recipient's device and software. Usually, the recommended choice is MP4, as it’s widely supported with a small file size.

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