Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Information Systems
Compressing Email Attachments with the Windows Built-in Compression Feature

The Windows XP Compression Feature

Windows XP comes with a built-in compression feature which creates standard ZIP compressed archives of files and folders. It is found on the shortcut menu accessed by right-clicking the icon of the file or folder you wish to compress.

If you have other compression software (like WinZip) installed, it may hide or disable the built-in compression feature.

Creating a Compressed Archive

Right-click on the file or folder's icon to select the shortcut menu. Go to the Send To submenu. There will be a menu entry labelled Compressed (zipped) Folder. Click on that item and Windows will automatically create a ZIP file in the same directory with the same name as the original file or folder with a ZIP extension (e.g. You can then add this as an attachment to an outgoing email message.

If you have questions about using the Windows XP compression feature, please consult Windows XP Help or documentation, or contact your computer support resource.

Last updated: Feb. 05, 2009