How to Open a Zip File

Zip files are handy for sending large amounts of data by compressing them into a single smaller file. They are useful when you need someone to email or upload data to you but the files are too big to send or store on a USB drive. But how do you open a zip file once you have it so that you can use it? This article will explain how to open any zip files you need to use.

How to Open a Zip File

Opening a Zip File on a Windows Computer

A zip file in Windows looks like a regular file folder with a zipper on it. To open a zip file on a Windows PC, you can use Windows’ built-in utility. Follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on the zip file.
  2. Select “Extract files…” to unzip the file.
  3. Click the “Show extracted files when complete box”or the plus “+” sign to open the folder automatically.
  4. Browse to the location for the unzipped files to be stored.
  5. Click “Ok.”

If you don’t choose a location for your files, they will default to extract to the same location where the zip file is stored.

Opening a Zip File on a Mac Computer

Macs also have a built-in application to handle zip files. Since Apple computers do not use the right-click function, the steps to open a zip file are slightly different:

  1. Right-click on the zipped file and choose “Open.”
  2. By default, Mac OS will create a folder for the unzipped files in the current location with the same name as the zip file.

On a Mac, zip files will always extract to their current folder. If you would like them to extract somewhere else instead, follow these steps:

  1. Select the zipped file by clicking it.
  2. Click the “Edit” menu at the top of the screen.
  3. Select “Copy” in the drop-down menu.
  4. Navigate to the folder where you want the unzipped files to reside.
  5. Select the “Edit” menu again.
  6. Click “Paste.”

With either of these sets of steps, you can open a zip file on your Apple PC.

Opening a Zip File on an Android Mobile Device

If you are working with zip files on your Android mobile device, download the zip file to your device and follow these steps to open it:

  1. Open the “Files by Google” app. All Android devices should have this app pre-installed.
  2. Tap “Browse.”
  3. Navigate to your zip file. If you can’t find it, check your “Downloads” folder.
  4. Tap on the zip file you want to open.
  5. Tap “Extract” to begin.
  6. Preview the files on the screen.
  7. Tap “Done” when you are ready to extract the files.

The extracted files will be placed in a folder in your current location. Tap on the new folder to see and use the extracted files.

Opening a Zip File on an Apple Mobile Device

Apple mobile devices have a built-in function to handle zip files as well. Here are the steps to open a zip file on an Apple mobile device.

  1. Open the “Files” app, which is a default app installed on every Apple mobile device.
  2. In the Files app, navigate to the zip file you want to open.
  3. Tap the zipped file. As with Apple PCs, this will create a folder with the unzipped contents in the same file location as the zipped folder.
  4. Rename the folder if you wish by tapping and holding the folder and then selecting “Rename.”

Tap the folder to see the files that were extracted from the zip file, and you are done opening the zip file.

Opening Zip Files with WinZip in Windows

There are a few applications that can help with zip files if you don’t want to use the system’s built-in utility. WinZip is one of these application options. Follow these steps to use WinZip with your Windows PC.

First, download and install WinZip:

  1. Download WinZip.
  2. Double-click the WinZip .exe file to run it.
  3. Click “Next.”
  4. Click “I agree” to accept the terms and conditions.
  5. Select “Finish” once the installation is complete.

To open a zip file in the WinZip app:

  1. Open the WinZip app.
  2. Click on the “File” menu.
  3. Hover over the “Open” on the drop-down menu.
  4. Click “WinZip File.”
  5. Use File Explorer to browse to the location of the zip file.
  6. Select the zip file to open.
  7. Click “Open.”

To open a zip file from File Explorer:

  1. Right-click the zipped file folder you want to open.
  2. Scroll to “Open with.”
  3. Select “WinZip.”

Opening Zip Files with WinZip on a Mac

Apple computers can also use WinZip and in fact, many Mac users prefer it to Apple’s built-in function. Follow these steps to use WinZip with Apple devices.

First, download and install WinZip on your Mac:

  1. Download WinZip free from the website.
  2. Drag the application to install it.
  3. Follow the prompts to complete the installation.

Then open the zip file:

  1. Right-click the file you want to unzip.
  2. Click the “Unzip” button.
  3. Browse to the folder where you want to save the files.
  4. Choose to either unzip the entire file or only selected items from the file.

Your unzipped files will be ready to use. If you choose to only open some of the files from the zip folder, you can always open the rest later using the same steps.

Creating Zip Files with WinZip

In case you want to create a zip file yourself, follow these steps to use WinZip to do it.

  1. Open WinZip.
  2. Browse to the files you want to add to the new zipped folder.
  3. Select all files you want included in the zip file.
  4. Click the “Add to Zip” button.
  5. In the “Actions” window, click the “Save as…” button.
  6. Give the zip file a name.

Alternatively, you can follow these steps to create a zip file:

  1. Navigate to the files you want to compress. They should all be together in one location.
  2. Select the files to be added to the zipped file.
  3. Right-click on the selection of files and choose “Show more options.”
  4. Hover over “WinZip.”
  5. Select “Add/Move to Zip file.”
  6. Give your zip file a name. If you want the zip file created in this location, skip to step No. 10.
  7. Click the “Change Destination” button and select folder where you want to store the zip file.
  8. Click the “Add” button.

Now your files are compressed into a zip file.

Why Use Zip Files

The main purpose of using zipped files is to preserve storage space. If you have files you want to archive, it’s a great way to keep the files but use up less memory. Another reason to use zip files is to compress data into smaller memory packages. This way, more files can be emailed or transferred at a time, because they are smaller when zipped. It is also possible to password-protect a zipped file for extra security, which can be a helpful tool.

Opening Zip File Errors

Sometimes a zip file can become corrupt. In this case, you may see one of the following errors:

  1. Unexpected End of Archive
  2. Bad Disk or File Transfer
  3. Zip File Corrupt
  4. Cyclic Redundancy Error (CRC)
  5. Compressed Zip folders error – Compressed ZIP folder is invalid or corrupted

If you encounter corrupted zip files, you may need an app like WinRAR to try to recover them.

Zip Files

Zipping files can be a great way to save storage space or send more information to others. Now that you know how to open a zip file, let us know your favorite ways to use zip files. Tell us in the comments below how you use zip files, and your go-to ways to open them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.

Todays Highlights
How to See Google Search History
how to download photos from google photos