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Question: How should I share and transfer large files?

Answer: Use the Lab's free, Unlimited Google Drive service

These are the documents, spreadsheets, and presentation sizes you can store in Google Drive:

  • Documents: Up to 1.02 million characters. If you convert a text document to Google Docs format, it can be up to 50 MB.
  • Spreadsheets: Up to 2 million cells for spreadsheets that are created in or converted to Google Sheets.
  • Presentations: Up to 100 MB for presentations converted to Google Slides.
  • All other files: Up to 5 TB.

Background information about email message size limits

The Lab's email system accepts email messages up to 25MB. If the message you send through our system is larger than what is accepted on the recipient's system (many email systems have limits smaller than 25MB), the message will be returned to you as undeliverable.


  • If you already have file sharing with the recipient here at LBL (CIFS/Windows, Unix), just put the file in a shared folder.

Non-LBL Alternatives

There are a number of free services which aren't supported by the Lab, but also work to transfer large files. Here are some examples:

All of these are free; however, note that some of your colleagues at more security sensitive institutions may not be able to access these services.

For help, contact see the Help Desk, 486-HELP (x4357).

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