How to Zip and Unzip files

Zip files are compressed files used to save disk space, speed up file transfers, and reduce the risk of file corruption during transfers. You can zip one or more files or folders into one zip file.


Compress files and/or folders into a zip file

  1. Open File Explorer (Windows 10) or Windows Explorer (Windows 7 and earlier):
    • Windows 7 and earlier: Right-click on the start button and select Windows Explorer or Explore.
    • Windows 10: Click the folder icon in the Taskbar.
  2. Locate the files and/or folders that you want to compress.
  3. Next, select those files and/or folders using Shift-click and/or Ctrl-click.
  4. Right-click on any of the selected files/folders.
  5. Select: Send to > Compressed (zipped) folder
  6. A zip file is created and automatically named based on the name of the first file or folder in the selection.
  7. Change the zip file name to be appropriate to what it contains but be sure to keep the .zip file extension at the end.

Extract files from a zip file in Windows

  1. The files and/or folders inside the zip must be extracted in order to be useful.
  2. To extract the files, right-click on the zip file and select Extract All.
  3. Do NOT double-click on the zip file in an attempt to use the files inside of it.
    1. That will display the names of the files that are contained in the zip file as if they were viable flies, which they are not.
    2. It is very regrettable that Windows ( 7 ) does not provide a clear visual distinction between the files and folders inside a zip file and normal files and folders.
    3. One cannot see a difference.
    4. Many people try to use the "files" only to be disappointed and confused when they don't behave normally.
    5. Also note that the zip file uses a folder icon which is also deceptive because it is in fact a file, not a folder.

Mac OS X

Compress files and/or folders into a zip file

Extract files from a zip file in Macs


If you discover that you need an app to compress or decompress zip files, try 7zip.