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Sending documents via email as attachments, especially Word documents and Excel spreadsheets, is a simple process.

When attaching Word and Excel documents to an email, the recipient will be able to download and save the files to their local hard drive, or open them to view online directly on their email app.

Be cautious when sending private or sensitive documents – it may be prudent to consider alternative means depending on circumstances, for example; sending a link from a Cloud storage facility like Dropbox and asking them to download from there, or using a secure online service like WeTransfer, thus ensuring smooth communication and secure document sharing.

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Additional Information:

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to send Word and Excel documents via email:

How to send documents via email

Open your email client e.g., Microsoft Outlook.

  1. Click “New Mail” or “Compose” (depending on which email client you use) to create a blank email draft.
  2. Add the recipient or recipients and compose your email.
  3. Click “Attach” or the Paperclip icon and a file browser will open.
  4. Navigate to where you saved the document you want to send, select it, and click “Open.” If necessary, you can attach multiple documents to a single email.
  5. Click “Send.”

Note: Some email clients’ layouts and options may differ slightly for attaching and sending documents via email, but the process is generally the same for all of them.

When you send large files via email, they are usually restricted to under 10MB by most email applications. So please check the application for its limitations, as well as with your recipient, as large corporations may have file size limitations, thus causing large documents to not be delivered or received. In this case, consider compressing the file(s) or using an online file storage and sharing service, like Dropbox or WeTransfer.

How to send files too large for email

There are various 3rd Party applications on the Internet that all you to send large files to recipients. Here are step by step guides for sending large files via Dropbox and WeTransfer.

  1. Navigate to Dropbox.com
  2. Login to your account or create an account.
  3. Click on the grid icon in the top left corner of the screen.
  4. Select “Transfer” from the menu.
  5. Click “Create Transfer” on the right use one of the options below to select files/folders.
    1. Drag and drop files from your device or upload files. 
    1. Click Upload files and click the dropdown next to Upload files.
    1. To choose folders from your computer, select Upload folders.
    1. To choose files or folders from your Dropbox account, select Add from Dropbox.
  6. Use the pencil icon to enter a name for your transfer.
  7. Click the gear icon to apply an expiration date or password for the transfer.
  8. Click on “Create transfer.”
  9. Click on “Send email” or “Copy link” to send a download link to your recipient(s).
  1. Navigate to We Transfer
  2. Click on the “+” symbol to send a file/files or “select a folder.”
  3. Enter the email address of the recipient(s)
  4. Enter your own email.
  5. Add a message (optional)
  6. Click “Transfer”
  7. A link will be sent to the specified recipient(s) 

Additional security via password protection

Password protecting your documents prior to sending them over the internet, whether via email, or 3rd party applications, is another layer of security to ensure the safety of the information being sent.

Word & Excel documents

Open your Word or Excel file in and click on File, scroll down to Info and select the Protect Document (Word) or Protect Workbook (Excel) button, select Encrypt with Password.* You will have other options available as well; Always Open Read Only, etc.

To avoid any problems, we would strongly suggest that you save a second version of your original file and then add your password protection, and make certain to keep an accurate note of the password you have used.

* The above notes were done on Microsoft 365 (Windows Ver 11), so there may be slight variations on other version, however they should be relatively similar.


Prior to sending a document’s Dropbox link to a third-party, you can easily set a password, thus ensuring that only the recipient can have access to it. You have multiple levels of security on Dropbox to protect your data, and password protecting your links, i.e. setting shared link permissions on Dropbox’s Replay Password Protect and Dropbox’s Sharing Properties is a simple process.

We Transfer

If you upgrade from the free version of We Transfer, to the Pro version, it will allow you to password protect any sensitive data files that you may be sending

Will sending documents via email affect my bandwidth?

When sending and receiving emails, the data is uploaded to, and stored on, your email server, this data transfer uses bandwidth. Bandwidth is the amount of data that can be transmitted over a data stream for a specified period, usually a month.

When you purchase any hosting plan, you are typically allocated a certain amount of bandwidth per month. Therefore, the size of your emails, including Word and Excel document attachments, will be counted towards your monthly bandwidth usage.

Although sending and receiving content heavy emails and large attachments will consume a larger amount of your allotted bandwidth, these days the improvements of networks and devices accessing the Internet are more advanced, and bandwidth is rarely an issue.

However, should you be hosting with a provider who does have a bandwidth restriction and you exceed it, they may charge a fee for the additional usage. Alternatively, your email service may become unavailable, if this is a regular occurrence, we would suggest upgrading your hosting plan.

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