Zip and unzip files

You can zip (compress) a file so that it takes up less space. This makes it easier to email or move the file. You can also zip multiple files into a single compressed folder. This makes it easier to share a group of files. To open a file that has been zipped, you need to unzip (extract) it first.

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To zip (compress) a file or folder

Some types of files, like JPEG images, are already highly compressed, so there's no need to compress them further.

  1. Open File Explorer by swiping in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Search (or if you're using a mouse, pointing to the upper-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer down, and then clicking Search), entering File Explorer in the search box, and then tapping or clicking File Explorer.

  2. Select the file or folder, tap or click Share, and then tap or click Zip.

    A new compressed folder gets created in the same location with the same name as the file. You can rename the compressed folder like you can any other folder. Just select the folder, tap or click Home, and then tap or click Rename.

    To add new files or folders to your compressed folder, you can drag them to it.

Notes

  • If you add encrypted files to a compressed folder, they won't be encrypted after they’re extracted.

  • If you’d like to have password protection or adjustable compression features for compressed folders, you can search online for file compression apps. Just be careful when you install file compression apps from the Internet because they might change your settings so that files don't open in the apps you want them to.

  • To compress files or folders from the Command Prompt window, you can use the compact command. For info about using this command, type compact /help at a command prompt.

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

  1. Open File Explorer by swiping in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Search (or if you're using a mouse, pointing to the upper-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer down, and then clicking Search), entering File Explorer in the search box, and then tapping or clicking File Explorer.

  2. To extract individual files or folders, open the compressed folder and then drag the files or folders you want to extract to a new location.

    -or-

    To extract everything in the compressed folder, tap or click the Compressed Folder Tools tab, and then tap or click Extract all.

    Extracting all files from a compressed folder
    Extracting all files from a compressed folder

Note

  • If you’re trying to extract everything in a compressed folder and don’t see the Extract all command, select the compressed folder, tap or click the Home tab, and tap or click Properties. On the General tab, next to Opens with, make sure it says File Explorer. If it doesn't, tap or click Change and select File Explorer. If you still don’t see the Extract all command, the .zip file association in the registry might be damaged. Search the Windows support forum for info about applying a registry fix.