We explain how to send a large file of up to 50MB over email, using a free service
It is possible to send a file to someone you know via Hightail without the need to sign up for an account.
Pay a visit to the website and to the left of the page, in the ‘Send a File’ section, start by typing your own email address into the From field. Now type the address of the recipient in the To box below.
Click the Select File button and then browse the contents of your computer’s hard disk to find a large file that you would like to send.
Click to select it and then click the Open button. If you have more than one file to send, simply repeat this process. If you make a mistake and wish to remove a file from the list, click the red ‘X’ icon to the right of the file.
It is a good idea to add a subject and a message, otherwise the recipient might be left wondering what the email is about.
Click the small arrow icon to the left of the ‘Subject: (Optional)’ heading and type the subject line and repeat for the ‘Message: (Optional)’ field. Click the Preview link to check how the email will look when it is received and, if you are happy with the result, click the Close button followed by Send It.
The chosen file or files will now be uploaded and sent
Obviously, this could take a while for larger files – perhaps a few minutes. During this period, it is important not to close or navigate away from the Hightail web page, as this will cancel the process.
Click No Thanks when asked if you would like to receive a notification when the recipient downloads the file, as this is a paid-for feature (though obviously if you’re willing to pay for this, you are free to do so).
When the upload has finished, a ‘Files Sent Successfully’ box will appear, replete with the download link that has been sent to the recipient (so you can check or make a copy of it). This download link will expire after one week.
To get more from the Hightail service, you will need to sign up for a free account.
Return to the Hightail home page and click the Plans & Sign Up link at the top of the page. Now click the Sign Up button that’s at the foot of the column labelled ‘Lite Single User FREE always’.
On the ‘Sign Up for a Free Lite Account’ page that appears, type in your name, email address and choose a password before clicking the Submit button.
There is the option of signing up using existing Facebook or Yahoo credentials if you prefer – just click the relevant button.
A confirmation email will be sent out to the email address supplied in the previous step: this should happen immediately, although you may have to wait a short time.
Click the link contained within the email to confirm your contact details and return to the Hightail website.
At the login screen, tap in the password chosen for the account and click Login.
Having signed up for a free account, there are some additional options available on the Hightail website. Click the Send link at the top of the page to see a modified Send Files page.
This is similar to the one already explained but this time, there is no need to specify your email address. Instead, just type the recipients’ email addresses into the To field and fill in the Subject and Message fields as before.
Hightail account-holders also have the option of sharing files via online folders.
This method has several benefits but the key one is that shared download links never expire – the files remain available to download as long as they’re in the shared folder.
After adding a file (using the Select File button, as before), choose the ‘Share in a folder. Your file(s) will never expire.’ radio button.
Another interesting members-only option is recipient verification, though this cannot be used in conjunction with files shared in folders (because such files can be downloaded repeatedly, and at any time).
In the ‘Free option’ section, tick the box labelled ‘Verify recipient identity’. With this security option enabled, the recipient of your email will need to confirm their email address before they can download the file, so the link cannot be used by anyone else.
Once you’ve done this, click the Send It button.
If you opted in Step 8 to share the files in a folder, you will now be asked to provide a name for the folder. By default, the folder will be given the same name as the message’s Subject line, but this can be changed – click in the field and type a new name.
Use the radio buttons below to decide whether recipients will be able to view and download or make modifications to files stored in shared folders. Select View or Modify and click Continue.
The Folders page will now be displayed. This is the same one that others will see when they click the link in the email informing them of the shared folder.
Opting to share files using folders means it is possible to share more than one file at a time – click the Add Files button to upload more. New folders can be created by clicking the Create Folder button and typing in a name.
This process can be repeated for as many folders as you require (though holders of free Hightail accounts have a storage limit of 2GB).
To share files that have already been uploaded to a folder, click Home link on the Folders page and click the Share button in the Actions column next to the relevant folder.
Type in the recipients’ email addresses and a message and choose the sharing options. To change these settings at a later date, click the More button to the right of a folder and click Delete to remove it or Manage to change the access rights.
While the Hightail website is easy to use, there is an application available that makes it even quicker and easier to share files and folders: Hightail Express.
Click the Hightail Express link about halfway down the page and click the Download App button.
If the File Download Security Warning dialogue box appears, click Save and then choose a location for the downloaded file.
Firefox users should select Save File to save the download to Firefox’s default download folder
Now find the downloaded file and double-click the downloaded file and run through the installation wizard – click Next followed by Next, ensure that ‘Launch Hightail Express’ is ticked and then click Finish.
Click the I Accept button, type in your email address and Hightail password and click Sign In. In the Hightail Express application window, click the Send link to the left of the screen and use the fields in the centre of the window to choose a file to share with others.
Type in the recipients’ email addresses and a message and then click the Send It button to the bottom right.
Use the Inbox and Outbox links to the left to keep track of files other people have shared with you, as well as those that you have shared with others.