Zip file guidance

A Zip file (also known as a Compressed or Archive file) is a means of reducing the size of an existing file, and can be used to collect files together into one single file for easy storage and distribution.

To compress (or zip) a file or folder

  • Locate the file or folder that you want to compress.
  • Right-click the file or folder, point to Send to, and then click Compressed (zipped) folder.

A new compressed folder is created in the same location. To rename it, right-click the folder, click Rename, and then type the new name.

Your new compressed folder will appear as a folder icon with a zipper.

To extract (or unzip) files or folders from a compressed folder

1. Locate the compressed folder that you want to extract files or folders from.

2. Do one of the following:

  • To extract a single file or folder, double-click the compressed folder to open it. Then, drag the file or folder from the compressed folder to a new location.
  • To extract the entire contents of the compressed folder, right-click the folder, click Extract All, and then follow the instructions.

If you add encrypted files to a compressed folder, the files will be unencrypted when extracted, which might result in unintentional disclosure of personal or sensitive information. For that reason, you should avoid compressing encrypted files.

Some types of files, like JPEG pictures, are already highly compressed. If you compress several JPEG pictures into a folder, the total size of the folder will be about the same as the original collection of pictures.

If you've already created a compressed folder and you want to add a new file or folder to it, drag the files that you want to add to the compressed folder.

Moving files and folders

Moving files and folders to or from compressed folders works the same as with normal folders. For example, you can drag files or folders to the compressed folder. When you place a file in a compressed folder, that item is automatically compressed. A file that is moved from a compressed folder is automatically uncompressed.

Extracting files

When you open a compressed folder, the Extract all files command appears in the Folder Tasks list. When you select Extract all files, the Extraction Wizard starts and you will be prompted to choose a location to place the extracted files. The original compressed files will remain in the compressed folder.

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