To create a compressed ZIP file in Windows

You can combine several files and folders into one archive, which Windows compresses into a ZIP file. This is ideal, for example, for sending as an e-mail or on a USB stick.

How to create a ZIP file in Windows Explorer

  1. To create an archive, first select the files and folders you want to pack.
  2. Click the marker with the right mouse button.
  3. Select Send to – ZIP compressed folder.Use the context menu to create a ZIP_file from files and folders.
  4. After that the compression process starts.
  5. When it is finished, the current folder will contain the desired ZIP file, which will have the name of the first file used as a workaround.
  6. Windows offers you to rename the file directly. So you only have to type.
  7. If you double-click the file you just created, you will see its contents. When selecting the view option Details you can also see the achieved compression rate. If the compression ratio mentioned there is 80%, for example, then the data has been shrunk to 20% of its original size.
  8. Windows 7 ZIP file
  9. If you drag other files or folders into an open ZIP file, Windows automatically adds them and applies the compression here as well.
  10. A Remove deletes files from the archive file.

With all operations the original files remain untouched.

By the way, Windows can also compress without you having to deal with ZIP files.

Advertising

To use other archive formats like RAR or BZIP2

Windows can pack and unpack ZIP files by default. But what about unpacking other archives?

Here a free program called 7-Zip will help you, which you can download at //www.7-zip.org/ download.

After installation, 7-Zip is available in the context menu, among other things: To compress a file or folder, right-click on it and choose from 7-Zip The desired compression command. By default, ZIP and 7z, which according to 7-Zip compresses better, are available to you here.

If you want to choose another format for compression, use Add to an archive. There you can influence exactly in which format the files are compressed and to what extent.

Here is an overview of the formats supported by 7-Zip:

Format compress decompress
7z X X
ZIP X X
GZIP X X
BZIP2 X X
TAR X X
LZMA X
RAR X
CAB X
ARJ X
Z X
CPIO X
RPM X
DEB X
LZH X
SPLIT X
CHM X
ISO X
UDF X
COMPOUND X
WIM X
DMG X
XAR X
HFS X
NSIS X

In addition to the context menu, 7-Zip is also available in a separate program window

The program window of 7-ZIP

Here you can choose files and folders you want to add to an archive. Or unzip single or all files from an already existing archive.

Book tip: The Windows 10 Breakdown Helper: Identify Problems, Find Solutions, Fix Bugs