Super easy way to share large files


If you’ve ever tried to email a very large  file you may have noticed there’s a limit of about 10MB on email attachments. Here’s a super easy way to send a large file to someone else using OSX Mountain Lion or later.

The email attachment limit varies with your email provider. Gmail now has a maximum of 25MB. Most other providers allow up to 10MB.  Note that even if you can send a 25MB attachment, the person at the other end might not be able to receive a file that large!

There are various ways to share larger files:

Airdrop is good, but it only works over a local wifi network so it’s very limited, not much better than a thumb drive.

Google drive lets you  share files over the internet – up to 15GB for free.

Dropbox is one of the most popular services – it gives you up to 2GB for free. (I wrote about dropbox here.)

Google Drive and Dropbox both require a few steps.  Firstly you need to upload the file to Google drive or  copy it into dropbox.  Then you need to get its address which you  email to the person so that they can access it.

Thankfully there is a super easy one step way to share a file using Message. It’s easier than any of the above methods, so long as you and the person you are sending the  file to have Apple Message accounts.

How to share a file with Message

You simply right-click on the file that you want to share, go to ‘share’ and select ‘Messages.’

share with iMessage


You’ll then get a window where you can type the name of the person you want to send the file to. It will pick up the contacts from your address book.

Blue name - valid message account

The person receiving the message must have an iMessage account with Apple. If they have an iMessage account their name will go blue when you enter it like the picture above. 

If person receiving the message doesn’t have a message account their name will turn red like this. It will turn red before you send the message.

red name - no message account
Red name – no message account


If they don’t have Message you’ll need to use a different method!

Enabling your Message Account

Message uses your normal Apple ID so you don’t need to sign up for anything again. In order to enable the message functionality  you do need to go into the OSX ‘Messages’ Application and enter your Apple account details. (You can find it in your Applications folder.)

This is counter-intuitive because Apple have been moving all their account details into  ‘System preferences’ under the ‘Internet Accounts’ tab. But it seems the Message account details are not there yet. As of Mavericks 10.9 they are still entered in the Messages application itself.

In the Messages Application, you’ll need to go to ‘Preferences’ then to ‘Accounts’ and add your Apple ID.

Click ‘iMessage’ in the Accounts tab and enter your Apple ID and password.










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