What is a ZIP File?


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I’m sure you’ve received a ZIP file in an email, or downloaded them from the Internet at some point. What exactly is a ZIP file, and what are they for? More importantly… why should you use them?

A Zip file is one that can hold many different files inside of it. You can take several documents, pictures, or any type of files and put them all into one Zip file. Not only will the Zip hold them all, it will also compress them. This makes it much easier to send and receive multiple files at once.

So how do you make a Zip file? Well, there are a couple of ways. You can use software such as WinZip or WinRar. Or… you can make compressed (zipped) folders yourself. Let me show you how:

  • Let’s say you want to zip together several pictures. Go to your pictures, and select the ones you want to zip by holding down the CTRLbutton while single clicking each picture.
  • Now, with all the pictures selected, right click on one of them. When the menu pops up, slide the mouse up to “Send To” and then click on Compressed (zipped) folder.
  • The folder is automatically created for you, in the same location as the files/pictures you selected.

Yes, it’s REALLY that easy. You can now attach this zipped folder to an email to send off the new pictures of your family member or pet to Grandma!

But wait. How do you UNzip a folder when you receive one? Again, you can use one of the tools I mentioned earlier. Or, you can unzip it yourself!

  • Right click on the folder, and choose Extract All.
  • The Extraction Wizard will now open. Click “Next”
  • Choose the location to unzip to, and click “Next” again.
  • As soon as it is done, it will tell you it’s finished, and ask you whether you want it to automatically open your files in a separate window. If you don’t, UNcheck the box next to “Show Extracted Files”
  • Click “Finish” … and you’re all finished!

So there you have it. Now you know what a ZIP file is, what they are used for, and how to Zip and Unzip yourself!

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29 thoughts on “What is a ZIP File?”

  1. What kind of comments are these? ZIP files rule, ZIP files for president, wtf. If you only knew how much better tr.gz files are, you wouldn’t be running XP, you’d be running Linux and that, fellow youtubers, is when you make the transition from computer user to a computer of the user.

  2. The only thing holding Linux back from taking Microsoft’s place as the top, is awareness. Linux is better than Windows in every way. They don’t crash, they dont get spyware/adware/viruses/trojans because 99.9% of those programs only run on Windows. Their faster because of the ingenuity of open source – Linux is better than windows in every way, the only argument against it is the one made by the 9th grade kids whose only interest with computers is to play games.

  3. Linux’s security separation is inherently better than Microsoft’s. The fact that it’s open source means that more people can work to isolate and mitigate any newfound bugs much more quickly than most hired development teams.

    If more people adopt Linux, the hardware manufacturers and software companies will have more incentive to develop for Linux.

  4. I think what Linux really needs is someone like Google to get behind it, and push it to manufacturers. They could have the “Google OS”. With a name everyone knows and trusts you’d see a lot more people adopting it. Linux; what’s that? Google OS… Google is easy to use and always works… I’ll try it. See what I mean?

  5. the only thing i find with linux is the gaming aspect but tbh these days most people have 2 hdd so u can have xp on 1 and linux on the other so why dont we do it( hmmm i got 2 hdd but cant be arsed lol )

  6. HELP i have to do a report for school i did it at a friends house and my friend sent it to me in a email but every time i press it it say zipped what does that mean? i need help i have 10 days to get it cuse my teacher is not feelling will plz help me plz….

  7. No. Zip files are compression files that use less RAM. They are also much safer. Hidden files are files were the attributes are set to “hide.” Zip/Compressed files can contain hidden files.

  8. Linux is where it is because isolatedly everyone is blowing their own trumpets (with their own versions). There is no collective effort. If linux gets popular, it will go towards Windows way. The loopholes you find in Windows would appear in Linux as trojan makers would shift their base towards Linux than Windows. Anything free would never develop and so would Linux.

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