How to Zip Files in Windows

How to Zip a File in Windows
(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The zip file format has been a mainstay of computing since 1989. Developed by PKWare Inc, zip archives are a convenient way to transport large files, and groups of files. Originally distributed via PKZip, zip functionality was added to Microsoft Windows via Windows ME (you could install it via Windows 98’s Windows Plus! addon).

Zip archives are convenient for long term storage of files, and for saving bandwidth when transferring files to a remote location. In this how to we will learn how to use Windows 10’s (and Windows 11’s) built-in zip tools to create, manage and extract zip archives.

How to Create a Zip File in Windows

Creating a zip in Windows is an easy task. We no longer need a copy of WinZip (did anyone activate the trial?) as Windows has built-in support for Zip archives.

To create a zip archive in Windows.

1. Highlight the files to be zipped.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

2. Right click and select Send to Compress (zipped) folder.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

3. A new zip archive is created, rename the file to reflect the contents.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Adding and Removing Files from a Zip File

A zip archive can be updated with additional files, or we can even remove files from the archive.

1. Double click on the zip archive file. This will open the archive as if it were a folder.

2. To remove a file from the archive, right click and select Delete. This will delete the file from the archive, but the original uncompressed file will not be deleted.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

3. To add a file, select a file using Windows Explorer and drop it into the open archive.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Extracting Zip Files

Extracting files from a zip archive can be done for single, multiple or all files.

To Extract A Single File From A Zip Archive

1. Double click on the zip archive.

2. Left click and drag the file(s) from the zip archive to a folder on your computer.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

To Extract All Files From A Zip Archive

1.  Right click on the archive and select Extract All…

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2. Select the destination folder and click Extract.

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3. The destination folder will open with the extracted images.

How to Zip a File in Windows

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Les Pounder is an associate editor at Tom's Hardware. He is a creative technologist and for seven years has created projects to educate and inspire minds both young and old. He has worked with the Raspberry Pi Foundation to write and deliver their teacher training program "Picademy".

  • ex_bubblehead
    Since when are tutorials considered "News Comments"?

    This doesn't belong in this section.
    Reply
  • Amdlova
    Tutorial for zip files? We are in 1980?
    Reply
  • Alvar "Miles" Udell
    Honestly I'm surprised this isn't an article for 7zip or some paid zip program. Still a fluff article that isn't news. Should have been denied publishing.
    Reply