Share a video, even a large one, in an email

These days it’s quite simple to share a video or any large file via email, here’s how.

You’ll need a cloud storage service, Google, iCloud or OneDrive.  We’ll use OneDrive because it comes with Microsoft 365 and it’s well integrated with Outlook.

The same steps apply to any large file you want to share via email.

Prepare your video

Any video format will be OK but some are better than others.

Ideally, use MP4 (MPEG-4) format because it’ll play directly on many devices or browsers.  No need to download then play and you’re less likely to get questions about how to play your video.

There are many video conversion apps out there. For over a decade I’ve used paid versions of Any Video Converter (free version available) which has many options for converting to various formats as well as downloading Internet video and saving a copy to your computer.

Upload the video

If the video file is very small – under 30MB you could attach it to an email just like any other attachment.

Anything larger than that is too big for email and needs uploading to a cloud service.

OneDrive, and most cloud storage, has a Public folder.  Any files in that folder can be viewed by anyone with a link to the file.

Aside from the Public folder, files can be uploaded to any folder.  Then a link made to that file which can be used by anyone with that link.

There are options to make the sharing Read Only or Editable.  The latter is good for sharing documents.  For videos, all you need is Read Only.

  1. Go to your OneDrive account
  2. Select Public or some other folder.
  3. Upload the video (either drag and drop into the browser area or use the Upload button).
  4. Wait while the video uploads.
  5. Select the video and choose Share from the pull-down or top menu
  1. Open up the options under Anyone with the link.
  2. UNcheck the ‘Allow editing’ option.
  3. (optional) select specific people who can view the file.  They will have to login using the same email address that you use for them, which can be a cause of confusion.
  4. (optional) select an expiration date for the link.
  5. (optional) set a password necessary to view the video.
  6. Click Apply
  7. Choose Copy Link to copy the unique link to the video. 
    OneDrive can send share messages for you but more commonly people include the link in an email or other message (Signal, WhatsApp etc).

The link will be a long string like this!hE0f555566668888p9vg?e=jxxxx0 

Outlook 365 lets you do all that within Outlook itself see Quicker file attachment selection in Outlook 365

Send the email

Now you have a link to the shared video, write your email and include the link made in OneDrive. Either paste the link in or select some text then Ctrl + K to make a link.

What the receivers see

Anyone getting the email can click on the link.  It should open up in their browser ready to play (assuming it’s a compatible video format).

The person viewing has options to download the video, share with others or embed the video.

Quicker file attachment selection in Outlook 365

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