WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging platforms, allowing users to easily communicate with friends, family, and colleagues. However, one limitation of WhatsApp is file size restrictions on media attachments and documents. By default, WhatsApp only allows you to send videos up to 16MB and other files up to 100MB in size.
If you try sending larger files, you’ll get an error message stating that the file could not be sent. Fortunately, there is a simple workaround using Google Drive that allows you to seamlessly send large files up to 2GB in size on WhatsApp.
Challenge of Send Large Files on WhatsApp
To reiterate, WhatsApp restricts video files to just 16MB and other file types, such as documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and PDFs to 100. When you attempt to send a file over either one of these limits, WhatsApp will prevent the upload and display an error message that reads something like “Sorry, the file size exceeds the limit. Please select a smaller file.”
Users may conclude that large file transfers simply aren’t possible on WhatsApp, leading them to abandon the platform in favor of more complex solutions.
How to Send Large Files Through WhatsApp
Thankfully, there is a simple workaround that gives you the ability to share files up to 2GB in size on WhatsApp by leveraging Google Drive. Here’s how it works in three easy steps.
Step 1: Upload the file to Google Drive
Google Drive is a free cloud storage service with up to 15GB of space available just by signing up with your Google account. To get started, open the Google Drive mobile app or navigate to drive.google.com in your web browser. Once Google Drive is open, look for the “New” button in the upper left corner and click it.
Navigate to the large file you want to share over WhatsApp and select it. Google Drive will upload a copy of it into your available cloud storage. Depending on your internet connection speed and the file size, this upload could take just seconds or a few minutes for GB sized files. Once it finishes, the file will now be accessible via the internet for sharing on WhatsApp.
Step 2: Get the file link
After Google Drive finishes uploading your file, the next step is to get a shareable link to it and copy that link to your device’s clipboard. Open the Google Drive app or navigate to the Google Drive website, depending on what you used to upload your file. Locate the file you just uploaded and long-press your finger on it to bring up a menu.
In this menu look for the option labeled “Share” or “Get shareable link” and tap it. You’ll then see a copy link option – select it to copy the file’s shareable URL to your clipboard for easy pasting in the next step.
Step 3: Share the file link on WhatsApp
Now that you’ve successfully uploaded your large file to Google Drive and copied its unique shareable link, it’s time to leverage WhatsApp to conveniently deliver it to your recipients. Open WhatsApp and navigate to the chat window for the contact(s) you want to share the file with.
Rather than attempt to send the file directly like you normally would, simply paste the Google Drive file link you’ve copied into the WhatsApp text field. Then hit send. That unique URL will be delivered to your recipients just like any text message. When they tap the link, it will open the shared file directly in Google Drive.
Your recipients don’t need a Google account or Google Drive account to access the file. They’ll be able to view it, download it, share it further and everything else just as if you had sent it to them directly – only now there are no file size restrictions!
By uploading large files up to 2GB in size to Google Drive and sharing the link with your WhatsApp contacts, you unlock several major benefits over traditional file transfers.
You can share files hundreds of times larger than WhatsApp’s default limits while maintaining the convenience of sending them directly in WhatsApp chat windows. There’s no need to switch to less user-friendly platforms. Your recipients also don’t need to download any additional software or sign up for anything.
Plus, Google Drive links allow access on all devices – desktop, mobile, iOS, Android, and WhatsApp Web. There are no platform restrictions for your recipients. With the file in the cloud rather than sent as a local attachment, they can also access it indefinitely from anywhere rather than just when first received.
On top of that, the process is lightning-fast. Google Drive uploads large files rapidly thanks to Google’s optimized infrastructure. Generating and sharing the link takes seconds. For your recipients, access is equally as fast – no progress bars or waiting for downloads before interacting with the content.