Volume 9 Issue 3
|I Attached My Files to an Email and Hit Send, but It Won't Go!|
Has this ever happened to you? You want to share some files or photos with a friend or colleague, so you do the obvious thing:
That stuck message might cause a bigger problem
When a given message has a problem being sent, some email programs will "time out" and move on to the next message you've queued up to be sent, and then eventually return to the problematic one to try again, so while that problem message may slow down the process, other messages can still go out.
However, other email programs may just keep trying to send that problem message over and over without moving on. In this case, that message has become a "cork in the bottle," preventing all other messages from being sent.
How to get your email program "unstuck"
If you've got a message in your Outbox that seems stuck, I suggest either moving that message to your Drafts folder or (if it's not very important) just deleting it.
However, if that problem message is currently in the process of being sent, some email programs (like Microsoft Outlook) won't let you do anything with it. In that case you'll need to "stop" or "cancel" the sending process first. Then you should be able to move or delete the message.
There are a number of possible reasons for the inability to send a message, including:
This is one of those odd little computer secrets with big implications. For a number of reasons, including issues regarding security and storage, email servers limit the size of any single message. While there is no single maximum size that all servers use, in my experience you'll probably start to experience problems when the message you're trying to send is larger than about 8 to 10 megabytes (mb) in size. Some email systems like Gmail let you send messages up to 25 mb in size, but they only guarantee that that will work if your recipient is also on Gmail.
Why doesn't my email program notice this and warn me?
Your email software can't know in advance the maximum size to which any given email system limits its messages, and there is no protocol for email software to ask the destination server before sending a message. Wouldn't that be a great idea?
So what if you need to send something larger than that?
Well, here's where you need to get creative, and the solution will depend on a number of things, including how many files you want to send, how big they each are, and the people to whom you're sending them and what their needs (and computer skills) are. No single solution will fit every situation, so you may need to develop a variety of techniques.
Here's one expedient technique: If you're sending multiple files and each individual file is 8 mb or smaller, instead of attaching them to a single email (which probably won't work), break them up into groups totaling 8 mb or less, and then send each of those groups in separate emails. For a small number of files, this is a quick and simple solution, but for a large collection of files this is a lot of work.
Additional techniques that don't change what you're sending
The modern, sophisticated approach boils down to this: Don't send the files directly. Instead:
Or, you could go "old school":
Consider these approaches, where you do some work on your end to change the data to a smaller size:
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I love helping people learn how to use their computers better! Like a "computer driving instructor," I work 1-on-1 with small business owners and individuals to help them find a more productive and successful relationship with their computers and other high-tech gadgets.