Technology KnowledgeBase

How do I send files to myself or have others send me files from a phone, home or non-district computer?


As the pictures taken on smartphones have gotten larger and larger, it has become almost impossible to send them through email (which was never designed to transfer files). The District has several better solutions, though, to issues you may be having with sending pictures and other large files from a computer or handheld device OR receiving files from students and parents.


Be Careful With Personal Files

It is never a good idea to place files that have personal information such as tax documents, financial documents, legal records, or scans of legal documents such as birth certificates, social security cards, or driver's license on a district computing device. All files on district computers are part of the District's Public Record and could be subject to release as part of a Public Records Request. They could also be seen by other district staff as part of troubleshooting issues with the computing device or permanently erased during support activities.

Sending Files from your phone to work

It seems easy to share pictures from your phone by sending them in email, but most email software doesn't know how to resize the photos small enough to work that way - and if they do, you then get a lower quality picture. The best solution is to install Google Drive on your smartphone or tablet, or install Google File Stream on your computer and set it up with your District Google account ( It is free and will show up in your "Share" menu on your phone or tablet along with email so it is just as easy to use.

Once the files are transferred to your Google space, you can easily access them from your work computer and share them with other staff.

This is also the best way to send files from work to your personal computing devices - put in your Google Drive at work then access it from home. All computing devices allow you to have both personal and work Google accounts enabled and will ask you which account you want to use each time.

Getting Pictures and other Files from Parents

You may want to ask parents to send pictures for an end-of-year slideshow, a yearbook, or just want them to be able to send pictures of class fieldtrips and interesting things your students are doing through the year. The best solution for this is to have them use your MailFile filedrop page, since it is already set up and works even on small screens.

Every District employee has a MailFile filedrop web page that is based on their email address like:    (replace the email address with your own)

Tell parents to open that URL in a web browser and it will give them an email-like form that allows them to send you any size and number of pictures. It will also send them an email receipt when you download the pictures to they know they have been received. More details on how to use MailFile are available in the Tech KnowledgeBase at .

NOTE: Some parents have made a mistake and tried to use the MailFile URL as an email address (probably because it has an "@" in it). That won't work and the mail server will reject the message.

Getting Pictures and other Large Files from Students

Whether students are sending pictures of a project, recordings of them playing or singing, or some other large files, the best solution for them is to log in with their District Google account and put the file(s) into your class folder in Hapara. This should work from any device they are using and class folders are already set up for every teacher. If you have not used Hapara before or have questions about how to tell students to use it, please ask your STS or Tech Coordinator for some assistance.

You could also share a folder to them from your Google Drive, which they would be able to access from any device where they have logged in with their District Google account.


Just FYI - Why Email is a Bad Way to Send Files
There are many reasons why email is an unreliable way to send files to your district account:

  • Most people do not include a subject line and message when sending files, or make them very short or meaningless, which makes the messages look just like spam. The mail filter will reject most messages in those situations or hold them until a staff person can review and approve them. This is a very common problem for students.
  • The mail server cannot handle messages with attachments over about 2 MB in size, so it is very limiting in the number of files that can be attached to one message.
  • The mail server also rejects messages with certain types of files attached because those types of files can be used to attack computers - this includes many audio and video file types - and it delays other types that are commonly used in spam such as .zip and .txt.



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