How to send a folder via email: Your colleague just asked you to email him a folder containing some very important office documents. You immediately placed yourself in front of the computer to perform the operation in question but … in trying to do this you realized that it is not possible: you can select single files or nothing!
In reality, although it may seem the opposite, sending a folder via email is feasible and, if you want, I can explain how. How do you say? Would you like to deepen the discussion immediately? Great. So let’s do this: make yourself comfortable, take a few minutes of free time all to yourself and immediately start concentrating on reading what is written below.
In the following lines, in fact, we will find out how to succeed in the enterprise from Windows, macOS, Android and iOS / iPadOS as well as using alternative solutions, such as cloud storage services. I sincerely hope that in the end you can feel very happy and satisfied with what you have learned. I just have to wish you a good reading!
Before getting to the heart of the matter and explaining to you, in detail, how to send a folder via email , it seems only right to make some clarifications on what to do. Let’s start from a fundamental assumption: trying to add an entire folder as an attachment to an e-mail message, regardless of its content (photos, music, text documents, etc.), the operation is not feasible as it will be possible to select only and exclusively the single files contained within it and not the entire directory.
To remedy this, it is therefore necessary to proceed with the compression of the folder in advance. Therefore, you must first transform the folder into a compressed archive (eg ZIP or RAR ) which can then be attached to the email without problems. The recipient of the e-mail will be able to download the attached compressed archive and unzip it . What you will later find will be a folder containing all the various files of your interest.
Both the compression and decompression operations can be performed using the tools already included in the system or by resorting to the use of third-party tools. Taking this into account, if you were to look for alternatives to the resources I told you about in the following lines, I suggest you read my guides on how to zip a folder and how to zip with Mac.
However, keep in mind that each e-mail service applies limitations as regards the maximum weight allowed for each attachment. For example, Gmail allows you to send attachments with a maximum size of 25 MB, while with Outlook.com you can send files with a maximum weight of 33 MB. Consequently, if the compressed folder you intend to send by e-mail exceeds this limit, the message cannot be sent.
How to send a folder via email from a computer
Having made the necessary clarifications above, let’s now come to the real core of the matter and let’s find out what are the various operations that must be carried out to be able to send a folder via e-mail acting from a computer, therefore from Windows and macOS . You will find everything explained in detail below.
Are you using a Windows PC and would like to understand how to send a folder by e-mail? So, as I told you in the previous lines, you must first worry about compressing the folder in question. To do this, just use the special utility included “standard” in all editions of the operating system from Microsoft.
So, to begin with, locate the reference folder, then right-click on it, select the Send to item from the context menu that opens and choose the Compressed folder option . If you have a PC with Windows 11 , after clicking with the right button on the folder to send, in the menu that is shown to you select the item Compress in the ZIP file , in order to generate a compressed archive. A ZIP archive will be generated with the “original” folder inside and having the same name as the latter. The file will be saved in the same location as the original directory.
At this point. you can therefore proceed with sending the email. So, open the client you usually use on your computer (eg Outlook ) or the Webmail service you use (eg Gmail ), start composing a new message by clicking on the appropriate button (usually it is the one with the pencil ), type in the appropriate fields the e-mail address of the recipient , the subject and the body of the message and press the button to add the attachments (usually it is the one with the paper clip ).
Finally, select the compressed archive generated previously and click on the button to send the message (usually it is the one with the word Send or with the envelope for the letters ).
Are you using macOS ? Even in this case, in order to send a folder via email you must first compress it. How you do it? It’s child’s play!
First, locate the folder you want to send by e-mail, then right-click on it and select, from the menu that opens, the item Compress “folder name” (instead of “folder name” you will find the name of the folder) and it’s done. A ZIP archive will be generated in the same location as the source folder and with the same name as the latter.
Once this is done, open the e-mail management program that you generally use on your Mac (eg Mail ) or the Webmail service you use (eg iCloud Mail ), start composing a new message by clicking on the appropriate button (usually it is the one with the pencil ), type in the dedicated fields the e-mail address of the recipient , the subject and the body of the message and press the button to add the attachments (it should be the one with the paper clip ) .
Finally, select the previously generated compressed archive and click on the button to send the message (usually it is the one with the word Send or with the envelope for the letters ).
How to send a folder via email from smartphones and tablets
And to send a folder via email from smartphones and tablets? How you do it? Let’s find out right away. Find out how to proceed on Android and iOS / iPadOS right below. However, I anticipate that to do this you will not necessarily have to resort to the use of third-party apps used, in fact, to compress files, as both Android and iOS / iPadOS include a special function.
If you have an Android smartphone or tablet , you can use the File Manager app pre-installed on your device to compress the folder and then proceed to send it by email.
To do this, start the file manager you use on your device (eg Google files ) and navigate to the location on the device memory where the folder to be sent is located. At this point, keep your finger pressed on it, so as to select it. Once this is done, press the More icon and, in the menu that is shown to you, press the Compress item .
A new screen will ask you to configure the creation of the archive: if necessary, type a new name to assign to the file, choose the format ( ZIP and 7Z ) and if it should be saved in the same location where the folder is or in another. Then press the OK button to complete the procedure and generate the compressed folder to be sent via email.
If, on the other hand, your Android smartphone or tablet does not have a default file manager app and perhaps the latter does not have any functionality for compressing files and folders in archives, you can use a third-party solution among those I have listed in this tutorial.
Now that you have created your compressed folder, open the e-mail management app you use on your Android device (eg. Gmail ) or connect to the Webmail service that you usually use from mobile (eg. Outlook.com ) and start composing a new mail message by tapping the appropriate button (it should be the one with the pencil ). Then enter the recipient ‘s e – mail address , subject and body of the message in the appropriate fields.
Then press the button to attach the files (it should be the one with the paper clip ) or press and continue to hold down in a point of the message body and select, from the menu that opens, the option to insert attachments .
Finally, reach the position on the device relating to the previously created compressed folder, select the latter and tap on the button to send the email (generally it is the one with the word Send or with the envelope for letters ).
Do you own an iOS / iPadOS device ? Even in this case, you must first worry about compressing the folder you want to send by e-mail. To do this, you can use the default Files app on your Apple device. As an alternative to the iOS / iPadOS Files app, you can also use some third-party apps, such as Readdle’s Documents , but let’s focus on Apple’s default app.
To perform this operation of compressing a folder, launch the Files app , whose icon is available on the home screen or in the App Library. Once this is done, through the Browse tab , go to the position where the folder you want to compress is present and keep your finger pressed on it.
At this point, in the box that is shown to you, select the Compress item and wait for the ZIP archive to be created. Unlike what happens on Android, the file will be saved in the same location where the folder is and will have the same name as the latter, without the possibility of customizing these parameters.
Now, open the e-mail management app you use on your iPhone or iPad (eg. Mail ) or connect to the Webmail service that you usually use from mobile (eg. Gmail ) and start composing a new message by doing tap on the dedicated button (usually it is the one with the pencil ). Then enter the recipient ‘s e – mail address , subject and body of the message in the appropriate fields.
At this point, tap the button to attach the files (it should be the one with the paper clip ). Alternatively, press and continue to hold down in a point of the message body and select, from the menu that opens, the option to add attachments .
Then reach the position relative to the compressed folder from the File app, select the latter and press the button to send the email (usually it is the one with the word Send or with the envelope for letters ).
How to send a heavy folder via email
Does the size of the compressed folder exceed the sending limit of your mailbox? Then you can opt for other solutions, such as cloud folder sharing or temporary file and folder transfer through special online services. Find all the details below.
Google Drive is Google’s service for sending large files (and even folders). This is a free 15 GB cloud space in your Google account, which you can expand by paying for a subscription to Google One.
To upload a folder to this cloud, go to this service’s website and log in with your Google account. Once this is done, on the main screen, press the New button and select the Upload folder item , in the box that is shown to you. Then use the explorer screen of the operating system and locate the folder on your PC and press the Load button .
On smartphones and tablets, the operation is very similar, but you will need to download the Google Drive app ( Android / iOS / iPadOS ). In this case, by pressing on the File tab and then on the + button , you must first create a folder using the appropriate item and then select the one called Upload to locate the files contained in the folder and upload them.
In short, the procedure from a PC is more immediate, as you can directly import the folder, unlike what you can do on smartphones and tablets, for which an extra step is required. You should also know that through the Drive desktop client , you can synchronize folders for easy upload to Google Drive. For more information on how to use this Google service, I recommend reading this tutorial,
After uploading the folder to Google Drive, from PC click on it with the right button and, in the menu that is shown to you, select the item Get link and then Copy link , to copy the link to the folder in the clipboard of the operating system . Using the Drive app , on the other hand, press the icon (…) next to the folder name and select the Copy link item .
At this point, compose your email via the Webmail panel or the email client you use and paste the link previously copied in the body of the message, also adding all the other information required for sending the message (recipient, subject, body of the message). More info here.
OneDrive is Microsoft’s cloud storage, also free for the first 15GB, while to get additional space it is necessary to upgrade to a Microsoft 365 plan. Obviously, a Microsoft account is required for its use and, therefore, if you don’t own one, you can refer to this tutorial of mine to create one.
To upload a folder via OneDrive , go to the official website of this service and sign in with your Microsoft account. Once this is done, press the Upload button at the top and then select the Folder item . Using the operating system file explorer, locate the folder to upload to the cloud and then press the Upload button .
After the upload is complete, right-click on the folder on OneDrive and, in the menu that is shown to you, select the Share item . In the screen you see, press the Copy link button to copy the link to the operating system clipboard. If you work from a smartphone and tablet, you need to get the Microsoft OneDrive app from the Play Store (or alternative stores) or from the App Store , but the procedure is identical to the OneDrive web panel.
Now, through the Webmail panel or the e-mail client, compose the e-mail message, pasting the link of the link you copied earlier in the body of the message. Then add the other information, such as recipient and subject, and proceed to send the email. More info here.
In addition to cloud storage, you can also use WeTransfer , one of the many online services for sending large files. This is a free service to send files and folders up to a total of 2GB. By subscribing to a Pro subscription, you can send up to 200GB of data, at a cost of 12 euros / month.
To use this service, go to the official web page and click on Select a folder . Using the file exploration screen of the operating system, locate the folder to upload and press the Upload button . Now, by pressing the Get link button , you can copy the link to the clipboard to be pasted into the body of the message of your e-mail.
Alternatively, click on the icon (…) , select the item Send the email for the transfer and use the fields that are shown to you ( recipient email , sender email and message ) to compose the email directly from WeTransfer. Finally, press the Transfer button to send an email to the recipient indicated by you.
Other solutions to send a heavy folder via email
In addition to the solutions that I have indicated to you in the previous chapters, you have the possibility of using other services for sending heavy folders. In the next paragraphs I will list some solutions that might be right for you.
- Dropbox – Dropbox is a famous cloud storage service that allows you to store files and folders, with the ability to share them externally, in a similar way to what was seen in the previous chapters dedicated to Google Drive and OneDrive . This service is free but with 2GB storage space, expandable with a subscription plan. More info here.
- Mail Drop – is Apple’s service for temporarily (30 days) sending of large files (up to 5GB) when sending an email with attachments that exceed the limit of 20MB. More info here.
- SwissTransfer – is a service for the temporary sending of files with a maximum size of 50GB. After uploading the files, you can send them via the built-in email system or you can copy the share link and manually forward via email or other messaging service. More info here.