How to Attach A Folder and Email It.

Attach folder and email
Photo by Stephen Phillips - on Unsplash

One of common problem many people face when sending files through email is to attach a folder containing the needed files as a single file. There are several ways to do it but here is a much more simple way  which anyone with limited ICT technical skills  can use to do it.

Preparing the Folder  Attach In the Email

The first step of the process is to prepare the documents that needs to be send or emailed. Make copies of these documents/files and put them all together in a  single folder. It’s like you getting a new physical manila folder and slotting all the necessary documents into it  before you send them away or  give it to it someone. Create a new folder, give a decent name to it and paste the copies of all documents to it. Go through the files again to make sure no other unnecessary files are copied. Remember, once an email is send, you cannot recall it back if you mistaken included files that are not needed or forget to include an important one.

If you are applying for job application, loans, membership of organizations and etc, it’s good to print out the checklist required for the application. This will assist you compile the list of documents needed. If someone has asked for specific files/information, then go through the request document or instruction as a checklist.

Converting the Folder into a Single Zip File.

In the past, a separate ZIP Utility application (Software) is need to zip files for sending and also to unzip files. Without the zip application it was difficult to open file zipped files. Now, it’s much easier with Windows 10 PCs. Microsoft has integrated the zip application into the Windows Explorer application. This means, folders/files can be easily zipped and unzipped without have to require a separate file zipping software.

  1. Locate the folder using the Windows Explorer Window. (My Documents window)
  2. Select the Folder that that needs to be attached and email.
  3. From the Windows Explorer Window, click Share Tab and select Zip (see image below) at the top menu. Windows (your computer) will zip or compress the file and create a zipped copy of the folder inside the same director/folder. Zip folder will inherit the same name of the folder. You can rename the folder if need be.

Note: Individual files can be zipped by selecting the files (press Ctrl key and select each file). Once files selected files are highlighted, click the Zip command and all these files will be zipped in one zip file. In this case, the zipped folder will inherit the name of the first file. So rename of the folder is needed.

Attach a Folder and Email it.

Now, use any email  application (Gmail, Outlook etc) and attach that zipped folder and email it as a single file.

Things to mindful of before attaching a folder and emailing it.

Attachment File Size requirements.

Emails services like Gmail for personal use has file size limitations. So,  if you zip many files and exceeds the required attached file size, it will not upload to send. For example, Gmail might suggest you to upload the folder onto your Google Drive folder and share it via shared file  link than email.

Also, for applications for jobs and etc, the file size requirements are normally stated of the instructions on the online upload site or advertisements. So rule of thumb is remain within allowed file size limit. For small number of basic types like pd, word, excel etc, zipped folder will do just fine.

To check the file size of the zipped folder, simply select it, right-mouse click and click Properties.

Attachment File Format

By using the zip method in Windows Explorer window, it does compress the files. However, video, audio, and graphics files normally big sizes. So bear that in mind

Benefits of attaching folders and emailing them.

Below most common benefits of attaching and emailing a folder, instead of several file attachments.

  1. Assists the receiver to receive all files and process them easily. Particularly, applications. Imagine how the receiver will receive files and process them. By emailing files in a zipped folder file, it is much easier for the recipient to get all files as one single file. Then it can be extracted to a single folder to see the individual files.
  2. Avoid making the common mistake of forgetting to attach a file if several files are just attached as individual files. Also, from the receiving hand it reduces that chance of missing any file from the set of files.

That’s how simple it is. So next time, organize your folder to attach, zip it using Windows Explore window zip function and email as one single folder attachment and email.

For more information on preparing electronic applications, read separate article How To Prepare Electronic Jobs/Scholarship Applications. and How to Sign off Electronically on a Word Document and Send Via Email.