If you’ve ever came across one of those irritating error messages on Gmail as a result of trying to send an attachment that’s just too damn big, you’re in for a treat. Google has just given its email service a huge boot up the ass, integrating Google Drive so that users can send much larger files than before.
Google made the announcement late on Tuesday that Drive is being merged into Gmail, revealing that users will now be able to attach and send files of up to 10GB at a time. To get an idea of just how big an attachment that is, it’s exactly 400 times the previous maximum limit for email attachments.
Google Drive is a cloud-based storage service born of the company’s original Google Docs office suite. It’s available for free to anyone with a Gmail account, providing up to 5GB of storage space. For those who want more, Google charges $2.49 for each additional block of 25GB in its cloud servers.
The new mega-attachment functionality doesn’t work in the traditional way however. Instead, users will have to insert whatever jumbo-size file it is they want to send from Google Drive, which can be done without needing to leave the Gmail interface.
Effectively, all you’ll be doing is inserting a link, rather than uploading a physical file to the server (the file is already there). To do so, simply click on the Drive icon located to the right of the small paperclip icon that appears when composing a new email, and select the file you wish to attach.
Another bonus is that – much like Google Docs’ sharing feature – because the attachments are always stored in Google Drive, whoever the file is sent to will always have access to the latest version should another user decide to update it.
Google says that the feature will be rolled out to all users other the next few days, so if you don’t see it yet, you can expect it to pop up soon. Note however, you’ll need to be using Google’s new compose format for it to work.
Another bonus is that, when you attach a file, the system will automatically check that all intended recipients can download the file. As such, whenever users attempt to attach a file that hasn’t been shared with each recipient already, Gmail will prompt users to change their settings and allow other users to access it, similar to the old “did you mean to attach a file” reminder used with traditional email attachments.