Sending files across the office, across the country or across the world has never been as easy as it is now in the current digital age. So why does it sometimes prove such a hassle? You try sending multiple files at once, and your email provider says you’ve attached too many and you have to send them separately. You try attaching a large file, and there’s no way your email provider is going to send that—it needs to be smaller!
What are your options? Zip files from the start, and both sending and receiving large files or multiple files will be as easy as it ought to be.
Works with Most Any Email
The most obvious advantage of zipping your files before you send them, particularly if you’re struggling with having too many files or files too large for your email provider, is that you can send almost any number of files of any size via most email providers if you zip them first. This is possible because the ZIP format changes all of your files into one, so it requires only one attachment slot on an email. It also shrinks the files substantially, so it’s small enough to qualify under the typical email attachment size limits.
Faster, Easier Upload and Download
When there’s only one file to upload or download, and that file is considerably smaller than the original file(s), it takes less time for an upload or download to complete. And consider how much easier it is to select one file for upload or download instead of individually selecting all of the files at once. For some email providers, if you opt to download all attachments at once, they save as a ZIP file anyway. Save your email recipient the trouble and zip the files from the start.
Frees Up Storage Space
You can ZIP files without needing to send them to someone, too; but why would you do such a thing? To save space on your hard drive. Whenever you’re in danger of filling your hard drive, but you don’t think many or any of your files are ready for deletion, zip files to make them smaller. You can also zip together files that are related to one another so you have a one-stop location for all of a single project’s files that takes up a fraction of the space.
Zipping frees up storage space for those who download a zip file, too. If you do send a ZIP file to someone and it turns out their computer is nearly full, they can still download the file immediately and worry about clearing space for the larger files later.
Working with ZIP
Any computer has the capability to zip and unzip files. Some ZIP programs are built-in, so if you were to click on a file with the ZIP extension, the process of unzipping starts automatically. But if that isn’t the case, there are online programs that will do the job for you.
What if the people with whom you exchange emails don’t know how to open the ZIP files, you wonder? Point your mail recipients to any number of easy-to-use free unzip programs online. Using these programs is often as simple as installing the program and clicking on the file, or uploading the zip file to a server. Once you get used to the ease with which you can zip and unzip, you and your mail recipients both will be relying on one of these programs to zip and unzip everything you need to send digitally.
Easy Windows Zip Process
Windows has a simple zip process already built-in. To zip a file, do the following:
1. Select the file(s) you want to zip.
2. Right-click your mouse.
3. Choose “Send to” and “Compressed (zipped) folder.”
In the Mac OSX system, it’s just as simple:
1. Select the file(s) you want to compress.
2. Right-click the mouse.
3. Select “Compress.” This will bring up the Archive Utility and zip your file.
That’s all it takes! Of course, ZIP isn’t the only compressed file extension you might be interested in working with. RAR is a popular option, too, and one that you might receive from other people. To compress and decompress files in RAR, you’ll need to use another zip and unzip program which can easily be found online.