How to Compress a Video for Email

Edited by Ben Jacklin

September 1, 2021

If you are wondering how to send videos through email or how to make a video smaller for email, there are a number of software that will compress your video to reduce its file size.

  • Video compressors: Video compressing tools can be downloaded and installed on your computer or be available solely online. They encode the video in a way that shrinks the data, meaning it takes up less space and it is how to send large video through email.
  • Zip files (Windows/Mac): Zip file is an archive file format that offers lossless data compression. Zipping a file reduces its size and it makes it easier to send a video via email. Zip file is an archive file format that offers lossless data compression. Zipping a file reduces its size and it makes it easier to send a video via email.
  • iMovie: iMovie is the built-in video editing tool for Macs. It also offers video compressing functionality and is a way to compress videos for email on your Mac or iOS devices.
  • Cloud service: Including options such as Dropbox and Google Drive, cloud services offer easy video file compression and storage without impacting quality. You can then easily email videos with an optimized file size.
  • iPhone/Android apps: Smartphone applications can directly access your photo/image library, compress and save your video so you can send a video via email from your phone. Choose from options compatible with iPhone and Android devices.

Below is an in-depth overview of ways to compress a video for an email. You are sure to find a user-friendly option that suits your project needs, as well as your software and device requirements.

How to compress videos for emails using a video compressor

Sending large video files is no longer an issue when you have a video compressor that is as user-friendly as the following options. You can quickly and easily compress a video for an email attachment without losing any of the quality of your original video file. Check the programs below to learn how to send a video through an email.

OS: macOS, Windows

Best for: Fast and easy tool to compress videos for email

G2 rating: 4.5 out of 5

Movavi Video Converter is a fast, reliable video file compressor software available for Mac or Windows. Videos are compressed in a few clicks, with no negative impact on the quality of the original file. With its intuitive interface, this is a user-friendly software that is easy to learn and navigate. If you are looking at emailing videos and you need to reduce your file size to respect the maximum limits of your email program, this is an excellent option.

How to compress a video for an email with Movavi Video Converter

  1. Download and install Movavi Video Converter.
  2. Click Add Media, then Add Video. Select the desired file and click Open.
  3. Click on the Video tab and choose the desired output format.
  4. To choose the output file size, click on the output file to access the Size and quality dialog box. Use the File size slider to set the file size for your video.
  5. Hit the Convert button to start the compression process.

Pros

You can convert, resize, edit, and compress your video files in no time at all. This tool also allows you to export your compressed video to any platform or device. There are no file size limits and there is great online user support.

Cons

The free trial has some limitations. The minor issues include being unable to download videos from YouTube and you can’t burn converted videos.

OS: Linux, macOS, Windows, Unix, iOS, Android

Best for: Free good-quality cross-platform video compression

CNET rating: 4.6 out of 5, 37 reviews

VLC is a free open-source cross-platform media player. Besides video playback, it also has a lot of different video editing features, including compression. VLC also offers a lot of customization options.

How to email videos and compress them with VLC

  1. Download, install and open VLC.
  2. Select Media from the dropdown menu. Click Convert/Save.
  3. Click Add to select your file.
  4. Click Convert/Save to see and select your file conversion options.
  5. Select your file destination.
  6. Click Start.

Pros

This is a free, open-source video compression tool that offers good quality results to compress video files for email attachment. It is cross-platform and allows a good level of customization of parameters, including codec, frame rate, bitrate, and resolution to reduce file size.

Cons

The interface isn’t very user-friendly, which means the initial learning curve takes time. It can be slow to compress large video files.

OS: Web-based

Best for: Free and secure online video compression

Trustpilot rating: 2.9 out of 5, 4 reviews

FreeConvert is a free and secure online video file compressor. You can use it from your web browser with no need to download any software.

How to use FreeConvert to compress a video

  1. Go to the converter website.
  2. Choose files from your device, Dropbox, Google Drive, an URL or drag and drop your files.
  3. Use the default settings for Video Codec, Compression Method, and Select Target Size.
  4. Click Compress Video.
  5. When status changes to Done, click Download.

Pros

It's a free, secure, simple-to-use video compressor that supports 350 video conversions. The results are delivered quickly and the compressed video retains its original quality.

Cons

It is worth noting that file size is limited to 1GB.

How to ZIP video files

Best for: Free, quick way to create ZIP video files to share via email

Another option to send videos through an email is to create a ZIP file. Below you’ll find two guides on how to send a long video through email using ZIP files on a Mac and Windows.

How to create a ZIP file in Windows 10

  1. Locate the video file to zip.
  2. Right-click the file, select Send to and select Compressed (zipped) folder.
  3. A zipped folder will be created in the same location as the original file.

How to make a ZIP file on your Mac

  1. Locate the video file you want to zip.
  2. Right-click on the file and select Compress.
  3. A zipped folder will be created in the same location as the original file.

Pros

Zipping videos is free and takes up less storage space on your computer. It is so simple to do, with no need to download or master additional software.

Cons

There is a limit to the level of compression. Anti-virus programs can’t always scan zipped files, making your computer vulnerable to malware, spyware, and viruses if you open zipped files received by email.

How to compress a video on iMovie

Best for: Free, quick, and easy video file compression for Mac users

iMovie is the free built-in video editing and compression tool found on iOS devices. While compressing the video file, you can also modify the resolution and quality of the video to further reduce file size. It can be easily used across iOS devices to compress video for Mac, iPhone, iPad, and iPod.

How to compress a video on iMovie

  1. Open iMovie to compress a video. In the File menu, select Import Media to add the video file. Then return to the File menu, select Share and File.
  2. Select file resolution and quality. Click Next and designate the name and desired location to save the compressed file.
  3. Click Save to compress your file.

Pros

This video compression tool is freely available on all iOS devices, offers good quality results and is simple to understand and use.

Cons

It’s only compatible with iOS devices.

How to compress video files using a cloud service

Best for: Fast, online video file compression that doesn’t affect the quality

The next option is to use a cloud service, like Dropbox or Google Drive. Read the guides below to learn how to send large videos using cloud services.

Dropbox

  1. Go to the Dropbox website and create an account or login.
  2. Visit Dropbox
  3. Move your video file to your Dropbox folder.
  4. Click Share, which will automatically compress your file.

Google Drive

  1. Open Google Drive and create a new account or login.
  2. Visit Google Drive
  3. In Google Drive, select the video file(s) you would like to compress.
  4. Right-click and select Download.
  5. A .zip file for each selected file will be downloaded to your computer.

Pros

A cloud service offers easy access and storage of your video files. Google Drive offers 15GB of free storage. Dropbox automatically compresses files for viewing on different devices, with the option to download the full version. In both Google Drive and Dropbox, you can share your video files by email or link for real-time sharing.

Cons

You need Internet access to access your video files stored in the cloud.

How to compress a video for emailing on iPhone

Best for: Free, easy tool to compress an iPhone video for an email

App Store rating: 4.7 out of 5, 1.3K reviews

This iPhone and iPad application compresses your videos to save storage space and facilitate sharing, while maintaining the video quality of the original file. You can further reduce the file size by customizing the compression ratio and then preview to check the image quality before finalizing the compression. Follow the steps below to learn how to send large video files from your iPhone.

How to compress a video on an iPhone

  • Download the application for the App Store and install it.
  • Select Compress Video.
  • Select your video file from your photo library.
  • Tap Done.
  • Select the Compression ratio, then tap Compress.
  • Tap Save.

Pros

This video compressor offers good quality, is fast and easy to use, and can help you send long videos on iPhone by reducing their size. A free version is available.

Cons

It is not entirely free. There are in-app purchases, and you can upgrade to the pro version, which offers advanced features, such as capacity to customize the resolution and bitrate.

How to compress a video for emailing on Android

Best for: An easy way to compress video files for email on Android devices

Google Play rating: 3.9 out of 5, 45k reviews

A good option if you are wondering how to send a video that is too large on Android. This app will compress your video right from your photo library, allowing you to send a video via email or even to social networks from your Android device.

How to compress a video on an Android device

  1. Download and install the Video Compress app from Google Play.
  2. Upload your video and select Compress Video.
  3. Adjust video quality if required.
  4. Tap Save or Share.

Pros

This Android video compressor reduces data usage and makes videos easier to share. It is easy to use, with good quality results. It allows you to send large video files from Android. You can also adjust the quality of the video within the app.

Cons

There have been reports of frequent bugs in the system due to recent updates. It offers in-app purchases.

Additional tips to reduce video file size

Trim and reduce video size

Best for: To resize video for email if the video is too long to send or the file size is too large.

Before you send a large video file through email, you will need to compress it. If the file is still too large, you can edit or trim your video until you reach the optimal file size. Reassess your video and maybe edit it down to the essentials or take just a clip of the video to share via email. Another option is to delete the audio to further reduce file size.

Make a GIF

Best for: To change things up a bit and reduce your video to just a few frames on a loop, thus reducing file size.

Use an online GIF generator, or an iPhone or Android app to make an animated GIF. Such GIF tools allow you to select the parts of the video you want to use by designating the start and end times of the frames to include or it can automatically select the first 5 seconds of the video to use on a loop.

Download videos in a lower quality

Best for: To reduce the video file size without shortening the content of the video.

Also consider reducing the resolution and image quality of the video. Avoid too many effects and transitions and maintain low frame rates. To optimize the quality of your video while keeping file size down, choose to compress MP4 for email sharing.

What affects video file size

To successfully send large video files via email, be sure to keep the file size to a minimum by monitoring a few different factors. If you are having trouble bringing your file size down to the maximum limits imposed by your email service provider, you can play around with some of the following aspects of your video file:

File resolution

  • By lowering the video resolution, you reduce the sharpness of your images. However, more importantly, you are also bringing down your file size
  • HD quality is generally 1920 x 1080 pixels, but to reduce the file size you can go down to 640 x 360 pixels and still maintain viewing quality

File quality

  • Download or export your video file in lower quality
  • MP4 is recommended to maintain quality and reduce file size

File compression

  • Zipping your file is an easy, foolproof way of reducing your file size
  • Other video compressing tools and applications will compress your file and allow you to adjust the resolution, quality

File trimming/editing

  • Many video compressor tools also offer video editing tools
  • Trim, crop, or cut your video to reduce file size
  • Minimize graphics, visual effects, and audio to optimize your video file

Sharing via a link instead of email

  • Instead of adding the video file as an attachment, send a link instead
  • Google Drive and Dropbox allow you to send your video files by email or via a link, where you can enable permissions for the contacts you are sharing with

Video size limit for email services

To share videos via email, you first need to know how to compress a video for emailing and which size limits apply to the email service you are using. Below is a quick look at the most popular email service providers and their maximum email attachment size limits.

Email service

Attachment size limit

Outlook20 MB
Gmail25 MB
Yahoo25 MB
AOL25 MB

Summary

As more of us look at expanding our technical skills for personal and professional reasons, software options are becoming more intuitive and user-friendly in their approach. If you are trying to work out how to compress a video for emailing or how to send large video files, you can be sure that a software solution exists to fit your level of experience and understanding. Choosing the right tools to compress videos files for email will depend on a variety of factors. If your video is too long to send in its original file format, you will need to use a video compressor for email attachment optimization. If you are wondering how to email a video and think you may need to compress it, first check your operating system requirements. Or you may prefer to work online or with a cloud service. Regardless, if you are sending large video files, you will need to compress the video and potentially reduce the file size by adjusting its resolution and/or image quality. While many video compressing tools offer an intuitive interface and are relatively easy to navigate, you may find it necessary to pass through a trial-and-error phase before you truly master them.

Ben Jacklin

Ben is a writer from the UK with qualifications in Media and Music Technology, he specialises in software reviews and tutorials. Ben has been blogging about media and tech subjects since he was a teenager from his base in the East of England.

Frequently asked auestions

Why can’t I email my video?

This can happen because of different email service restrictions. Your service might have a size limit that exceeds the size limit of your addressee’s service. You can mail a video from your service, but the addressee can’t receive the file because it is too large for their mail. Consider uploading the video to the cloud so that you can mail a link to the file.

If you can’t guess what device your addressee will use to open your video, probably the best format for a video is the most widely used one. Consider using MP4: almost all devices can open these files. Additionally, the MP4 format supports up-to-date codecs like H.264, so you can reduce the size of your files while maintaining good video quality. If your video is in a different format, you can transform it into an MP4 with Movavi Video Converter. Here’s how to do this:

How to convert a video to MP4

A compressed video format is the format that helps store video files in a reduced size. But perhaps you are wondering, what does compressing a file do? The video compressor tool codes the video in such a way that it shrinks the data. This means it takes up less space and is less ‘heavy’. The best compressed video format is one that will maintain video quality after compression. The most widely supported one is MP4. The smallest video file format which retains high quality is AVI.

The question of how to attach a video to an email is easily answered. Once you have used a video compressor software tool to compress your video, or you have zipped your file, check the file size corresponds with the maximum size limit allowed by your email provider. Then you can proceed to attach your video to your email in a few easy clicks.

  1. Open your email account
  2. Compose your email message
  3. Then click on the Attach Files icon (often a paperclip) to browse, then select the correct video file to send

How to compress files in Windows 10 is the same as how to zip a file in Windows 10:

  1. Locate the video file to zip.
  2. Right-click the file, select Send to and select Compressed (zipped) folder.
  3. A zipped folder will be created.

Or you can use a video compressor tool such as Movavi Video Converter for Windows to compress your video files.

Yes, Google Drive and Dropbox both compress videos. These cloud-based services automatically compress videos and store them online. You can send them via email or by sharing a link and access them from any device or platform. The option of downloading the full version is always available.

There are two ways to email a large video file. First, you can upload it to a cloud service and send a link to your addressees. They will be able to download the file on any device, and the video won’t take up space in the mailbox. Another approach is to compress the video with a good editing app like Movavi Video Converter.

Download Movavi Video Converter for Windows

Download Movavi Video Converter for Mac

No, zipping files doesn’t reduce quality. However, the quality of compressed video files can depend on the file format chosen during compression. A compressed file can be categorized as ZIP lossy or lossless. ZIP lossy file formats include JPEG, PNG, MPEG, MP3, and often result in lower quality or details in images and colors. The ZIP format however is lossless, which means that the quality of the video file is not changed or reduced in any way.

If you are wondering how to send a large video file through Gmail, you can be reassured that it is super simple to do.

  1. Open your Gmail account.
  2. Click Compose and write your message.
  3. Next to the Attach Files paperclip, you will see the Google Drive triangle icon. Click on the icon, select your video file from your Google Drive.
  4. Click Send.

If you are emailing video from an iPhone, use an app to compress the video file. To send long videos on iPhone or ones with large file sizes, consider reducing the resolution or length of your video to facilitate sharing it via email.

To send large video files from Android devices, download a video compressor that’s free for Android such as Video Compress from Google Play. In the app you will have the option to reduce video size on your Android device before saving and sharing via email or on social networks.

Yes, of course. You can email a GIF if it doesn’t exceed the file size limit, and some services allow even a GIF to be inserted into email text. For example, if you use Gmail, you can just add your animated picture with the Insert photo button.