Progress: Gmail users can attach Google Drive files, not links, in emails now

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 17, 2014
Email, Gmail

Email is without doubt not the best format when it comes to file transfers. While it works great for small files, mail server limitations prevent it from being useful for larger files.

Companies like Google or Mozilla added features to their clients to use file hosting services to overcome the issue.

This works by uploading the file attachments that you want to transfer to a file hosting service using the email client to include only a link to the files in the email itself.

Google Mail supports both options so that you can make that decision individually for all emails you write using the service.

You can either attach local files in emails or use Google Drive links instead.

The company announced a change to that two days ago that gives users more choice when selecting files on Google Drive.

Instead of having to include them as links, it is now possible under certain circumstances to include the files directly.

Some restrictions apply: it is not possible to yo beyond the 25 Megabyte attachment size limit and it only works for files that were not created on Google Drive.

Here is how it works:

1. Click on the compose button on Gmail to write a new email.

2. Locate and click on the drive icon to add files from Google Drive

insert files from drive

3. Select the files that you want to attach to the email and switch to Attachment in the lower right corner of the "insert files" window afterwards. Attachment is inactive if you select files that have been created on Google Drive.

insert files google drive

4. Click Insert to attach the files to the email, write the email and click on send in the end.

attach files gmail

The screenshot above highlights how links and direct file attachments are visualized in the email. The link is displayed without size information at the top while the attachment is listed with size information at the bottom instead.

The new feature can be useful in situations where you want the recipient to have the selected files available directly locally. This can be comfortable if the recipient requires the files locally for example.

If you attach the files as links, the recipient would have to download the files manually from Google Drive before they become available locally which is not the case if they are attached to the email directly.

If you wanted to do so previously, you had to download the file from Google Drive manually yourself to attach it to the email as there was no other option to do so before.

It is a small change but certainly one that some users of the service will welcome as it gives them more options in regards to attachments.

Now You: What is your preferred file transfer technology?

Progress: Gmail users can attach Google Drive files, not links, in emails now
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Progress: Gmail users can attach Google Drive files, not links, in emails now
Google added a feature to Gmail recently that enables users to attach Google Drive files directly to emails instead of as links.

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  1. Daniel said on June 13, 2019 at 3:57 pm

    Google Drive

  2. sarita said on May 3, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    Still i cant access my gmail account…pls troubleshoot my problm

  3. Daniel said on December 17, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    I think you were on a feature test branch because this feature isn’t available broadly. Looking forward to seeing it show up soon though!

  4. Sleeping said on December 17, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    It’s useful, but I don’t understand why the files created on Google drive cannot be attached directly. Seems counterintuitive to me…

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