How to Email Multiple Files Using a ZIP File

Sending lots of files over email is much easier with a ZIP file

What to Know

  • Select the files you want to send, right-click one of them, and Send to > Compressed (zipped) folder.
  • Name the file, as prompted.
  • Email the ZIP file as you would any other file.

This article describes how to make and send ZIP files in Windows.

How to Create and Send ZIP files

  1. Select the files and/or folders you want to compress. They'll become highlighted to show that they've been selected. Right-click one of the selected items and go to Send to > Compressed (zipped) folder.

    To include files in different locations in the same ZIP file, include just one to start with. Then, drag and drop the rest of the files into the ZIP file. You can drop them in one at a time or several at once.

  2. Name the file something descriptive so that the recipient understands at a glance what the folder contains. For example, if the ZIP file holds vacation images, name it something like Vacation Pics 2021, not something obscure such as the files you wanted or photos.

    Screenshot showing how to rename a ZIP file in Windows 10
    Renaming a ZIP File in Windows 10.

    To rename the file, right-click the ZIP file and choose Rename.

  3. Attach and send the file in your email client just as you would any other file.

    For example, in Outlook.com:

    1. Click New message or Reply, whichever's appropriate.
    2. Click the paperclip (attachment) button at the bottom of the message.
    3. Select Browse this computer.
    4. Click the ZIP file you created.
    5. Click Open > Attach as a copy.

You also can use third-party programs such as 7-Zip, PeaZip, and Keka to make and send ZIP files.

If the ZIP file is too large to send over email, upload it to OneDrive first and then send the recipient a link to download it.

About ZIP Files

ZIP files are much like folders, except they act like files. You can put all the files you want to send into this special file, and your email client will treat it as any other file. In this way, only one file (the ZIP file) is sent. When the recipient receives your email, they can open the ZIP file to see all the files and folders you sent within it.

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