For all its flaws, one positive aspect of traditional mail service is that it rarely prevents an individual from sending a file because of its type or size, unlike email providers. If and until cloud data transfer becomes the preferred method of exchanging digital information, computer users must rely on USB disk drives and email as the primary means of file transfer.

Unfortunately, some email providers do not allow users to send certain file types. For example, Gmail will not permit the exchange of .exe files for security reasons – those files may contain coding that executes a virus. To avoid needing to use a virus removal program to block malware, avoid sending these files via email. In addition, there are ways to modify a file type to fool the email service, but only do so if the file can be changed back once it is received.

The most common reason emails fail to send or be delivered is because they contain attachments, usually photographs or videos, that are too large. File size limits vary based on the email service provider, but most cap acceptable files at anywhere between 10 and 25 megabytes.

If possible, try to send the files in multiple emails. The recipient may be annoyed that his or her mailbox is being drowned in files, so at least make sure the recipient knows that multiple emails will be sent.

If the file cannot be broken up or if even the individual components are too large, consider using a web-based file transfer provider, such as or Dropbox. These services and others like it usually offer a free trial period that limits the number of file transfers or total file size sent. These services also have file size limits, but they are much larger than email services allow and should be sufficient for most individuals.

A Virginia virus removal expert can provide advice on safe file transfer and suggest alternatives to the options discussed previously.