How to Send Documents as a Single Zip File with Windows

Woman using laptop computer in hotel lobby
PhotoAlto/Thierry Foulon/PhotoAlto Agency RF Collections/Getty Images

Using Windows, you can easily turn multiple documents into one, often significantly smaller, file that is so much faster and easier to send as an email attachment.

You Write Poetry and Emails?

You like to write poems, and as a good Windows citizen you keep them in neatly organized folders inside My Documents. Now you want to share them, and what better way is there to share poems than via email?

Why Compressing Documents Makes Sense

You could simply attach all the documents to an email you are writing in Windows Live Mail, Windows MailOutlook Express or just about any email program—even on the web.

In particular if the files are stored in the wasteful .doc format, that might create a big email, though, with big attachments.

The messages are typically much bigger than necessary. Not only does that make the message slower to send and receive, your email might even surpass the recipient's maximum message size so that they cannot download it even.

Fortunately, many documents can be compressed to as little as 10% of their original size. As an additional bonus, compressing the files you want to send to a zip file packs all of them neatly in a single attachment.

Send Documents as a Single Zip File Attachment with Windows

To send a couple of documents packed into a single zip file with any email program using Windows:

  1. Open the folder containing the files you want to send in File Explorer (Windows Explorer).
  2. Click with the right mouse button on the folder background (not a file in the folder).
  1. Select New | Compressed (zipped) Folder from the context menu that has appeared.
  2. Type the name you want the attachment to carry.
  3. Hit Enter.
  4. Highlight the documents you want to send.
    • To select multiple documents, keep the Ctrl key pressed while you click them.
  5. Drag-and-drop the highlighted files on the newly created zip file.
  1. Open the email program you wish to use to send the document.
  2. Create a new message in the email program.
  3. Attach the zip file you created.
    • Often, you can do this by dragging the zip file onto the message and dropping int there by releasing the mouse button.
    • The email program or web-based email service may also include an attachment button; these frequently sport paperclip icons (📎).
  4. Address, compose and send the message as usual.

(Updated July 2016, tested with Windows 10)