Zipped Files

Zipped Files can be used for a lot different things. File compression, encryption, split archives. Zipping is popular and zip folders are randomly used for compression files.

What Are Zipped Files?

Think of the way a folder works in Windows. You drop contents into a folder to organize your files. After this you can transport that folder to any location on your computer, and the files inside of it go with it. Zip files work in a similar way, except the contents inside the “folder” (zip file) are compressed to reduce storage use.

What if you have a folder that contains 20 files, and need to email it to someone? Well, you can’t email a folder to someone, so you’d have to email the 20 individual files. That’s where zip files become really useful. You can “zip up” those 20 files into a single zip archive, and then email it. Along with the convenience of having all those files in a single zip archive, they’ll also be compressed to reduce storage and make transmitting them across the internet that much easier.

This is where the definition of a zip file ends for most people.  What you may not realize is that you can do much more than just compress and combine files with zip archives. But in this blog, we will discuss the basics of the zipped files, the part of the information that anyone should know about. The compression function of zipped files and illustration of the zipping and the unzipping commands.




How to Create Zipped Files and Unzip 

Let’s go back to our example and show how we would zip those 20 files that we need to email. Then show how the receiving user would unzip them.  Windows has the ability to zip and unzip files without any extra software, so don’t download any programs just to create basic archives or to unzip them. We have made some screenshots to make it simpler to understand the zip and unzip commands.


To create a zip file, right-click in a blank area on your desktop or in explorer. Go to new, and select Compressed (zipped) Folder.

As you can see in the screenshot, the files are copied into the zip folder, and not moved or deleted from their original location.  Now, you can transfer, backup, or do whatever else you want with your zipped contents.

Another way to quickly zip some files is to highlight them. Right-click and hit Send to > Compressed (zipped) folder.

The easiest way to unzip a file is to right-click on it and press Extract All. A new window will open up and you can select where you want the files to be extracted.  By default, it will extract the contents to the same directory in which your zip file resides.  Just hit extract and a folder will be created that has all of the zipped files in it.

The Advanced Features 

Windows can easily zip and unzip files, and you don’t need to install another application to zip and unzip. However, you’ll need a third party application to do anything more than that.  There are a bunch of programs out there that offer additional functions for zip files. Two of the most lightweight, feature-packed, , efficient and popular are 7-Zip and winRAR. For these advanced features we will discuss another time.