How to Send Large Video Files on iPhone

Share large video files on iPhone

Get that video footage off your iPhone and share it with the world no matter how long it is.


1. Smash

2. AirDrop

3. iCloud

4. Google Drive

If there’s one thing that Apple loves to remind its fans in every WWDC keynote it’s that iPhones are amazing for capturing video footage. Whether filming your toddler taking their first steps for grandma or producing an entire feature-length film (yes, it’s been done!), the iPhone is perfect for capturing high-quality video. But with high-quality digital video comes large file sizes, and with those large files the challenge of how to share a large video file from your iPhone. You would probably want to reduce your video file size: zipping it is a good option, but compressing a large video file on iPhone is not so easy.

With a desktop advice you have a more powerful device and some options to send high-quality video footage, whether it’s a 4K video for a client, a recording of a Zoom meeting, or an 8K extravaganza that will light up a cinema screen. On your iPhone, though, your options are a little more limited – but you do still have options.

In this article we’ll outline four ways you can send a long video file right from your phone and walk you through the process tap-by-tap.

Four Ways to Transfer a Large Video File on iPhone

There are four great options to transfer a big video file from an iPhone:

  • A file transfer service like Smash

  • Apple’s built in file transfer service AirDrop

  • Apple’s integrated cloud storage service iCloud

  • A file storage service like Google Drive

Of course, there are other options for sending video files if they are small enough. A few seconds of footage, for example, might be easy to attach to an email or drop into iMessage (sending large video files on iMessage isn't that complicated though) and sent on its way. But in this article, we’ll focus on large video files, digital files that are too big to attach to an email or send as a message to another iPhone user or in a WhatsApp message to an Android user.

A file transfer service is purpose built to send large files from one device to another at top speed, in total security, and without making things difficult for either the sender or the recipient. Among the top-ranked file transfer services is Smash and it’s dedicated iOS app is just the thing for sending a big video from your iPhone where it needs to go. Here’s how easy it is to send a large video file with the Smash iOS app:

  • Open the Smash app and tap the icon in the middle of the screen

  • Select Photos or Videos, tap your video file to select it, and then tap Add

  • As soon as the file is uploaded, tap Share

You can share the link to your file the same way you share anything on an iPhone: in a text on iMessage, in WhatsApp, copied into an email, a Slack message or any other sharing option on your menu.

Plus: Free, easy, fast, secure, and no file size limits – if you can upload it from your phone, you can send it

Minus: Downloads are lightning-fast, but uploads are limited to the speed of your data connection

Share large video files on iPhone with AirDrop

File transfer services and file storage services rely on servers that might be close by (like Smash) or distant (like major cloud services from Google or Microsoft). But what if the person you want to share the video file with is in the same room: if you’re sharing a conference room in Paris, do you really need to send your file to Seattle and back to share it? Enter: AirDrop. AirDrop is Apple’s proprietary means for sharing files on a local network – here’s how it works:

  • Make sure that both you and your recipient have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned on

  • Make sure that both you and your recipient have Personal Hotspot turned off

  • Make sure that your recipient’s AirDrop settings are set to Contacts (if you are a Contact) or Everyone

  • Find your large video file in Photos or Files and tap Share

  • Tap the AirDrop Button, then Tap the AirDrop User

Your video file is transferred fast and in complete security from one device to another with just a little Apple magic.

Plus: Free, fast, secure, and there are no file-size limits

Minus: There’s some setting up work to do on both phones to make it work, and they have to be (a) using an Apple device, and (b) in the same physical space as you to receive the video file.

Share large video files on iPhone with iCloud

Every iPhone comes with some cloud storage space on Apple’s servers known as iCloud. When initially setting up iCloud on your iPhone you’ll have access to 5GB of storage for free, but this can be expanded into terabytes of storage with an iCloud+ plan or one of Apple’s service subscriptions. Once you’re set up you can use iCloud as a file syncing service (like Dropbox) or a file storage service (like Google Drive) or as a background backup for your photos and videos to save on your limited on-device storage. Here’s how to share video from iCloud:

  • Open Photos or Files and tap the video you wish to share

  • Tap the Share icon, then tap Copy iCloud Link

  • Paste the iCloud link into an iMessage, an email, or any other messaging option, and send

Like other Apple software solutions, iCloud is deeply integrated into the operating system of the iPhone making it an easy and always-available sharing option for long video files.

Plus: Fast, secure, no file-size limits if you have space in your iCloud storage

Minus: You can run out of no-cost space fast if you are taking and sharing high-quality footage, you have to wait for the file to upload to iCloud before you can share the link which might slow things down

Share large video files on iPhone with Google Drive

If iCloud is the built in file storage service for iPhone, Google Drive, and others like it are the non-Apple competitors. Whether Google’s ubiquitous cloud offering or one of the alternatives from Microsoft (One Drive) or, file storage services offer a final way to share a large video file from your phone that might suit your needs. Each of the competitors in this space are somewhat similar, but Google Drive is popular and has a fairly standard workflow – here’s how it works:

  • Go to the Google Drive app on your phone and make sure you logged in with your Google Account 

  • Select Upload and then tap the file on your device, and click OK 

  • When the file has completed uploading, tap the three dots next to the filename and select Share

  • Enter the email address of the person you are sharing the file with

You can personalize the message you are sending before it leaves so that the person receiving the link to the file knows what is headed their way.

Plus: Straightforward sharing, fast, secure, and no file-size limits as long as you don’t run out of pace in your Google Drive

Minus: Non-iCloud drives are not as deeply integrated into the operating system, it’s an extra step compared to sending with iCloud, and you have to pay for the space on the Google Drive

Conclusion: The Best Way to Send a Large Video File on iPhone

Compare your options and there’s a clear winner: Smash.

Oh, sure: AirDrop is great if the person you are sharing with is in the same room and has an iPhone or another Apple Device. But a lot of the time the person you want to share with is not sitting on the couch next to you and may be using a device that isn’t designed in Cupertino.

By the same token, iCloud and Google Drive are great options for storing files permanently but use a phone for video for any long length of time and you’ll fill up your free allotment of server space and be forced to pay for more. It’s also important not to forget that there’s a carbon cost to storing files permanently or semi-permanently on a cloud server – something that a file transfer service can save.

Smash, though, covers all the bases. It’s a dedicated iOS app that helps you share whatever large video file you might have. There are no file size limits, and sharing a file is the work of just a couple of taps. It’s free, it’s entirely secure, and your file doesn’t sit in the cloud forever: once it’s shared, it’s deleted, and this is great for the planet.

What’s more, you can use Smash on your iPhone, iPad, your Mac – there’s a dedicated Mac app, too! – and on the web when you are browsing. No matter where you are working or what you are sharing, Smash is available 24/7 for free. So why wait? Get sharing with Smash today!

Need To Send Large Video Files
From iPhone?

Use Smash, it’s no file size limits, simple, fast, secure and free.

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