Many people may think of the Mail Drop feature as iCloud-only, but Mac users can enable the convenient Mail Drop feature for other non-iCloud email accounts that are setup in Mail for Mac OS. This allows you to use the excellent Mail Drop feature for sending and receiving large files with just about any email account that you add to Mail app on the Mac.
For the unfamiliar; Mail Drop is a feature in Mail for Mac, iPhone, and iPad, that allows you to send and receive large files that would typically not be allowed over email due to strict file size limits of most email servers. Instead, when using Mail Drop on Mac, the large file is uploaded temporarily to iCloud, and the recipient of the email gets a temporary download link to access that large file. It works quite well, and you can initiate Mail Drop sending from a Mac or an iOS device, and virtually any recipient can download the file via the link whether they have an Apple device or not.
Mail Drop allows you to send files up to 5GB in size by using the feature, but remember it requires uploading the entire Mail Drop file to iCloud, which then presents itself as a temporarily available download link to the recipient so that they can download and access the Mail Drop file.
Note this is not the only way you can use Mail Drop from the Mac, you can also just create an iCloud.com email address and set that up in Mail for Mac, which by default uses Mail Drop for large file transfers. If for whatever reason Mail Drop is not enabled on that too, then you can follow the same instructions below to enable Mail Drop on any email account setup in Mail for Mac.
How to Enable Mail Drop on Other non-iCloud Email Accounts for Mac
Have an email account that you’d like to use Mail Drop with? Here’s how to enable that feature in Mail for MacOS:
- Open the “Mail” app in Mac OS if you have not done so already
- Pull down the “Mail” menu and choose “Preferences”
- Go to the “Accounts” tab in Mail preferences
- Select the non-iCloud email account from the left side panel that you wish to enable Mail Drop for large attachments
- Under ‘Account Information’, check the box for “Send large attachments with Mail Drop”
- Repeat with other email accounts in Mail for Mac if desired, then close out of preferences as usual
Now you can use Mail Drop when emailing large files from the Mac like you would with any iCloud account, simply by attaching a large file to the email and choosing to use Mail Drop as detailed here.
In the example screenshots here, Mail Drop was enabled for an Outlook email account that is configured for Mail on the Mac. Once that checkbox is enabled, Mail Drop works the same as it would on an iCloud email account.
Of course if you want an icloud.com email address, you can make an @iCloud.com email account at any time and configure it on your iOS and macOS devices. You can setup and use multiple email accounts on Macs and iOS devices without incident.
Remember, Mail Drop is not just a Mac Mail feature, you can also use Mail Drop on Mail for iPhone and iPad for sending large files too. And again, the recipient of the email does not need a Mac, iPhone, or iPad to be able to download and access the Mail Drop file, as it arrives as a download link that is accessible from any email client in any operating system.