Home How to How to Zip and Unzip Files on Windows 10

How to Zip and Unzip Files on Windows 10

What Are Zip Files and why do we use them

Consider how a folder in Windows works. You arrange your files by dropping contents into a folder, and then you can transfer that folder to any place on your computer, taking the files with it. Zip files work similarly to folders, except that the contents of the “folder” (zip file) are compressed to save storage.

What if you have a folder with 20 files in it that you need to email to someone? Since you can’t email a folder, you’d have to email each of the 20 files separately. That’s where zip files come in handy: you can “zip up” those 20 files into a single zip folder, which you can then email. Along with the ease of storing all of those files in one zip folder, they’ll be compressed to save storage and make transmitting them across the internet easier.

How to Create a Zip File (Compressed Folder)

To begin, open File Explorer and search for the files or folders you want to compress and combine into a Zip file. In this case, the words are synonymous since Windows refers to a Zip file as a “compressed folder.”

As an example, we’ll be using a group of image files, but you can zip any type of file.

files to zip

If you want to compress a single file or folder, right-click it and a menu will appear. Then, from the “Send to” menu, select “Compressed (Zipped) Folder.”

You can also pick several files or directories in Explorer and compress them all at once using the same steps as above.

compress single file

The files or directories are compressed by Windows, and a new ZIP file is created in the same place as the files you’re working with. The ZIP file icon resembles a standard Windows folder with a zipper.

After that, Windows gives you the option of naming the ZIP file whatever you want. Press Enter after typing a name.

zaming zipfile

How to Extract All Files from a Compressed Folder (Zip File)

When a compressed archive (ZIP file) contains a large number of files, it’s usually best to extract them all at once into a new folder. To do so, open Explorer and look for the Zip file you want to unzip/extract. Select “Extract All” from the pop-up menu after right-clicking the file.

A dialogue box appears, asking where you want to save the extracted data. If you want to change the location, select a path by clicking “Browse.” Click “Extract” when you’re done.

The files will automatically extract to the location you specified, and you will see them in a new window.

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