Apple has cemented itself as the go-to brand for producers, designers, editors, and other creatives over the years. Its fans enjoy a plethora of smart ways to share media. (Think: AirDrop, iCloud, and iMessage, for starters.)
But even these proprietary tools come with limitations, such as compression of large files, or being unable to share with non-Apple devices.
So, what happens when you want to share a large video file—while retaining its full and original quality—from an iPhone? Let’s find out.
In a hurry? Jump to the solutions
- How to share a large video using Dropbox
- Send it with a file transfer tool
- AirDrop your video or file to someone nearby
- Share a file or video up to 5 GB using iCloud
Why is it sometimes difficult to send large files from an iPhone?
iPhones have a number of built-in tools and apps for sharing media, all of which have their own restrictions on file-sharing. If you’re having issues trying to send a video on an iPhone, it will likely come down to one of the following factors:
- File size: Your file is too big for the sharing medium you’re trying to use.
- File format: Your video is using a file type that your device doesn’t support.
- Sharing context: Some sharing methods will only work between Apple devices that are in close range to one another.
To dig into this a little deeper: How do these limitations differ among the standard file-sharing systems available on iPhones?
As of this writing in 2023, Apple’s default messaging system is a hybrid of a traditional SMS app and an internet-based messaging app. Depending on how it’s being used, iMessage has different rules for file sharing.
For starters, one can send a maximum file size of 3.5 MB when sharing media with non-Apple devices. (That’s on top of the other limitations of Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) messages.)
Sharing using iMessage with another iPhone nets you up to 2 GB of file size. Of course, even then, videos will be compressed and lose some quality, so it’s not ideal if you need to retain a video’s full resolution or frame rate.
AirDrop is essentially Apple’s answer to Bluetooth. Using a combo of Bluetooth and WiFi technology, you can share files with any device within range of your physical location.
Of course, that does mean you’ll need to be physically close to the intended recipient. (Not so helpful if you’re trying to share something with a person in another city!)
Remember, too, that you can only Airdrop to Apple devices—never an Android, for example.
iCloud is the cloud storage solution Apple provides for users of its devices.
While it makes for handy extra storage, one can’t share files larger than 5 GB, making iCloud a bit limiting for anyone working with large video exports.
4 ways to share large videos on iPhone
So, what are your options for sharing video from an iPhone? And which of them is best suited to your current needs? We’ve got a few ideas:
The best way to share your video from an iPhone while retaining its full quality is to use a cloud-based link-sharing solution. Use a secure link to send files from your Dropbox cloud storage.
That way, you can send a copy of your video (or share access to it) without needing to compress it and sacrifice resolution, frame rate, or color depth. We make it easy to send long videos without needing to upload or attach anything. Simply copy a link to the file in your cloud storage, paste it into your messaging or email app of choice, and tap send. Done!
FYI: When you share a link to a video in your cloud storage, you’re allowing the recipient to view and access the instance of the file that exists in your storage. This means any changes you make will be visible to the recipient—even changes made after you’ve shared the link.
Of course, sometimes you don’t want someone to see your copy of a video; you want to send a separate copy they can download. This is where large file transfer tools such as Dropbox Transfer come into play.
Simply select up to 100 GB of files from your iPhone using the upload window in Dropbox Transfer, choose your options, and copy the link into a message or email. The recipient can then download a copy of the files from the link they receive.
Need to share more than 100 GB? No problem. Simply split it into two uploads and share both links. You can transfer as many files as you like, providing it’s 100 GB or less per link.
Dropbox Transfer ensures complete control of your files. You can password-protect copies, control access, set link expiration to encourage downloads, and confirm delivery. You can also snag a stylish, customized download page for your video, including the background image and logo of your choice.
Got two iOS fans in the same place? Great; AirDrop away.
Already using iCloud and your video is smaller than 5 GB? Then this is a handy option.
How to send large video files from an iPhone to an iPhone, PC, Mac, or email address
There are lots of options for sharing from an iPhone to another device. Here are some additional platform-specific guidelines for sharing video from your iPhone.
Send large files from iPhone to Android
While iPhones have their own built-in media-sharing apps such as iMessage, these are only available for sharing between iPhones. When sharing to an Android device from iMessage, you’re limited to a paltry 3.5 MB—hardly enough for a high-resolution video!
To share larger video files from an iPhone to an Android, simply copy a link to the file on Dropbox cloud storage and share it via the messaging app of your choice. Alternatively, use a file transfer tool such as Dropbox Transfer to create a download link.
Send large files from iPhone to PC or Mac
If you need to transfer a file to your own PC or Mac, you can usually do this using a compatible USB cable that fits the ports on your phone and computer. Or you could use AirDrop.
If you’d like something more seamless, cloud storage like iCloud or Dropbox cloud storage allows you to access your files whenever you need them. As you create each file, you can automatically upload it to the cloud—safe to share whenever you want.
Send large files from iPhone to an email address
To share from an iPhone to an email address, copy a link to the file on Dropbox cloud storage and send the link via email.
Alternatively, use a file transfer tool such as Dropbox Transfer to create a download link or email the file directly.
Effortlessly send large videos from an iPhone using Dropbox
Whether you’re sending a copy of a finished edit or sharing a work in progress for collaboration, Dropbox has you covered when sending long videos from an iPhone. To get started, either share a link from your Dropbox cloud storage or head over to Dropbox Transfer and start adding files.