How to Send an Entire Folder of Files as an Attachment in Outlook

Sending an entire folder of files as an attachment in Outlook can be a bit of a challenge, especially if you’re not familiar with the steps. But fear not, it’s actually quite simple once you know what to do. In essence, you’ll need to compress the folder into a single file and then attach that file to your email. Easy peasy, right? Let’s break it down step-by-step so you can get your folder sent off without a hitch.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Send an Entire Folder of Files as an Attachment in Outlook

Before we dive into the steps, let’s understand what we’re about to do. Essentially, we’re going to take a folder full of files, compress it into a .zip file, and then attach that .zip file to an email in Outlook. This allows you to send multiple files at once without having to attach each one individually. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Compress the folder into a .zip file

Right-click on the folder you wish to send, then select ‘Send to’ followed by ‘Compressed (zipped) folder’.

When you compress a folder, all the files within that folder are bundled together into a single file with a .zip extension. This not only makes it easier to send multiple files, but it also reduces the overall file size, which can be crucial if you’re dealing with large files or a slow internet connection.

Step 2: Open Outlook and create a new email

Click on ‘New Email’ to start composing your message.

Once you’re in Outlook and have clicked ‘New Email’, a new window will pop up where you can enter the recipient’s email address, subject line, and the body of the message. This is where you’ll also attach your newly created .zip file.

Step 3: Attach the .zip file to your email

Click on ‘Attach File’, navigate to the location of your .zip file, select it, and then click ‘Insert’.

After you’ve located your .zip file and selected it, it’ll be attached to your email. You should see the file name appear either in the body of the email or in a dedicated attachments section, depending on your version of Outlook.

Step 4: Send the email

Once your .zip file is attached and you’ve written your email, hit ‘Send’.

And that’s it! After hitting ‘Send’, your email, along with the attached folder of files compressed into a .zip file, will be whisked away to the recipient.

After completing these steps, the recipient of your email will receive a message with your attached .zip file. They will then need to download the attachment and extract the files to access the contents of the original folder you sent. Keep in mind that they will need a program that can open .zip files, but most modern computers come with this functionality built-in.

Tips for Sending an Entire Folder of Files as an Attachment in Outlook

  • Make sure the total file size does not exceed Outlook’s attachment size limit.
  • Use a clear and descriptive name for the .zip file to make it easily identifiable for the recipient.
  • If the folder contains sensitive information, consider adding a password to the .zip file for extra security.
  • Always scan the files for viruses before sending to avoid spreading malware.
  • If the compressed file is still too large to send via email, consider using a cloud storage service and sharing a link instead.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the maximum file size limit for attachments in Outlook?

Outlook allows for attachments up to 20MB in size for internet accounts and up to 10MB for Exchange accounts by default.

Can I send a folder without compressing it into a .zip file?

No, Outlook does not support attaching folders directly. You must first compress it into a .zip file.

How can I password protect my .zip file?

You can use third-party software like WinRAR or 7-Zip to create a password-protected .zip file.

Will the recipient need special software to open the .zip file?

Most modern operating systems can open .zip files without needing additional software.

What should I do if my .zip file exceeds the attachment size limit?

Consider using a cloud storage service like OneDrive or Dropbox to upload the file, then share a download link via email.


  1. Compress the folder into a .zip file.
  2. Open Outlook and create a new email.
  3. Attach the .zip file to your email.
  4. Send the email.


Sending an entire folder of files as an attachment in Outlook is not as daunting as it might seem at first. With this simple guide, you can now confidently compress your files, attach them to an email, and send them off without breaking a sweat. Remember, organization and security are key when sharing files. Make sure your .zip file is neatly labeled and consider password protection for sensitive information. With these tips in mind, go ahead and share away! Whether it’s for work collaboration or sharing family photos, you now have the know-how to do it efficiently and securely.

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