How to make and open a zip file

This tutorial will show you step by step how to make and open a zip file in Windows 7, 8 and 10.

Contents

Make and open a zip file with:

  • Windows (without an extra program)
  • 7-Zip (free program with more options)

What is a zip file?

A zip file is a compressed file that contains one or more computer files or folders.

The file size of a zip file is smaller than all individual computer files or folders together.

An advantage of a zip file is that you can merge multiple files into one file and this is useful if you want to send multiple photos at the same time by email.

Zip files have the .zip file extension.

To make and open a zip file you can use a free program, such as 7-Zip but you can also do this in Microsoft Windows without using an extra program because the function to compress and decompress files is already integrated into Windows from Windows XP.

But if you want more options, such as protecting a zip file with a password, then you will have to use a program, such as 7-Zip.

I always use the program 7-Zip for zipping and unzipping files.

How to make and open a zip file with Windows

Make a zip file

Tip! If you want to add multiple files or folders to your zip file, put all files and folders in one folder and make from this folder a zip file.

1. Open Windows Explorer.

2. Go to the files or folders you want to zip.

3. Select the files or folders.

4. Right-click on one of the selected files or folders, move your mouse cursor to Send to, and then click on Compressed (zipped) folder.

Make a zip file in Microsoft Windows

Windows now creates a zip file.

5. Type the desired name of the zip file and press the [Enter] key.

Zip file

Open a zip file

1. Open Windows Explorer.

2. Go to the zip file you want to open.

3. Right-click on the zip file.

4. Click on Extract All.

Open a zip file in Microsoft Windows

A “Extract Compressed (Zipped) Folders” window will appear.

5. Click on the Extract button.

A folder will now open in Windows Explorer with the extracted files or folders.

How to make and open a zip file with 7-Zip

You can download 7-Zip here.

Make a zip file

Tip! If you want to add multiple files or folders to your zip file, put all files and folders in one folder and make from this folder a zip file.

1. Open Windows Explorer.

2. Go to the files or folders you want to zip.

3. Select the files or folders.

4. Right-click on one of the selected files or folders, move your mouse cursor to 7-Zip, and then click on Add to ....zip.

Make a zip file with 7-Zip

7-Zip now creates a zip file.

5. Type the desired name of the zip file and press the [Enter] key.

Zip file

Open a zip file

1. Open Windows Explorer.

2. Go to the zip file you want to open.

3. Right-click on the zip file, move your mouse cursor to 7-Zip, and then click on Extract Here or Extract to "[File Name]\" if you want to extract everything to a folder.

Open a zip file with 7-Zip

7-Zip now opens the zip file.


References:

EasyTechGuides - How to compress (zip) files and folders

EasyTechGuides - How to unzip (open) zip, rar, 7z, tar, and gz files

Microsoft - Zip and unzip files

Wikipedia - Zip (file format)