Email size does matter

Email size when sending and receiving may have a limit, it all depends upon who you send your email through. We hit this issue from time to time, customers asking for assistance when their email seem to stop. It will often present itself as "I can receive email but I don't think my emails are going out."

Why is there a maximum email size limit

Mainly for security reasons, all email server providers limit the maximum email size that an email account can receive. Otherwise, if there would be no maximum email size limit, the email server would risk to be bombarded with very large emails, causing it to cease working properly.

Some free email address providers also enforce commercial limitations on the email size: the free account gets a low maximum email size limit, but you can increase the maximum limit by upgrading to a paid account.

What happens when you hit the maximum email size limit?

Obviously, if you send an email that exceeds the maximum email size limit of the recipient's email provider, your email will bounce off and you will receive an email error back in your mailbox. Usually, you will receive one of the following error messages:

  • "Attachment size exceeds the allowable limit";
  • "552: Message size exceeds maximum permitted";
  • "System Undeliverable, message size exceeds outgoing message size limit";
  • "The size of the message you are trying to send exceeds the global size limit of the server. The message was not sent; reduce the message size and try again".

Common provider limits

So to help we thought we would summarize the popular email services email limits. This is the stuff you would find in the terms and conditions when you sign up for a service from an Internet Provider, and we all read those - yeah right.

Yahoo/Xtra
Send and Receive limit: 20MB (per message).

Vodafone/Clearnet/Paradise
Send and Receive limit: 10MB (per message).

Orcon
Orcon do not specifically talk about email limits but instead have a "fair use" policy.

GMail
Send and Receive Limit: 25MB (per message).

Outlook.com/Hotmail
Send and Receive Limit: 10MB (per message).

Can you bypass these maximum email size limits?

A simple answer would be: no, you can't bypass these maximum size limits. However, there are workarounds:

  • you can try compressing the attachments, just be warned some file formats compress better than others;
  • some email clients have the ability to break up large attachments into smaller chunks and then send it as multiple emails and reassemble them at the receivers end;
  • the most useful workaround is to upload the attachments to a cloud storage service (like DropBox, Google Drive or SkyDrive) and include the download link in your email.

References:

Outlook productivity blog
Gmail attachments
Yahoo Xtra Mail Support
Vodafone Terms and Conditions

So if you're in need of some help with planning some upgrades, or even just some free friendly advice, get in touch with us, 6-370 8093.

To discuss how Tech Solutions can help call us on 0800 878 878 or email office@techs.co.nz.