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How to email a folder in Gmail

Here's how to send a big folder full of files in a Gmail email

Published onJune 16, 2022

If you need to send a big folder full of files to someone, and sending a cloud storage link is out of the question, what then? Can that folder be sent by regular email without hitting any kinds of limits? Here’s how to email a folder in Gmail.

Read more: How to insert a GIF image in Gmail


The best way to email a folder in Gmail is to convert it into a zip file first and then send the zip file. The recipient can then easily download the zip file and extract the folder. It's much easier and faster to do this on a desktop device than on a mobile device. But zipping and emailing a folder on Gmail mobile is possible — just a few more taps are required.


How to zip and email a folder in Gmail (Android and iOS)

I will illustrate how to do this in Android, but the process is virtually identical in iOS. The interface is slightly different, but not so much that you wouldn’t be able to follow along.

To email a folder in the Android Gmail app, you first need a zipping app. There are lots to choose from in the Google Play store, so I chose my favorite, WinZip. You may have your personal preference. If you do, the following screenshots are going to vary slightly.

Open your zipping tool and locate the folder you want to send in Gmail. It could be in your phone storage, SD card, Google Drive, wherever.

android winzip storage

Once you’ve located the folder you want to send, look for the option to zip it. In WinZip, it’s the three vertical dots to the right. This opens up a menu, and one option is to zip the folder.

android storage documents folder

WinZip will ask you to name your zip file and whether or not you want to encrypt it. Then tap OK to begin the zipping process.

android folder zip setup

Once the zip folder appears, select it and tap the three vertical dots again. Select the option to send the file by email.

android zip folder email to

You should then get mailing options, depending on what email programs you have installed on your phone. Being Android, the most obvious choice is Gmail, so tap that.

android zip folder send to gmail

The zip file will now be placed into a new email window, ready to be sent. You can, of course, remove all the pre-inserted marketing fluff that WinZip has seen fit to put into your email.

gmail zip file send

The recipient can now download your zip file and extract your folder full of files.

More: How to forward emails from Outlook to Gmail

How to zip and email a folder in Gmail (desktop)

OK, that was the somewhat convoluted mobile version. Now for the fast and easy way to zip and email a folder in Gmail on the desktop.

First, zip your folder using your preferred zipping program. It may be WinZip again, 7Zip, WinRAR, whatever.

zipped folder desktop

Now drag your zipped email folder into a new Gmail email window, or use Gmail’s attachment link to upload it to the email window.

gmail desktop drag zip file

How to attach a Google Drive folder in Gmail

The third option is to put your files into a Google Drive folder and attach the Drive link to your Gmail email.

First, put all of the files into its own separate Drive folder and right-click on the file. Click Share.

google drive sharing link
google drive file sharing privileges

Now write your email and at the bottom, tap the Google Drive icon.

gmail desktop drive icon

You will be taken to your Drive files. Select the folder you want to attach and a link will be generated. All the recipient has to do now is click the link to be taken directly to your files.

google drive link gmail

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