How to Zip and Unzip on Your Windows 7 Computer (Part 1)

Q. My new SJU computer has the Windows 7 operating system and does not have WinZip. How do I open a “zipped” file?

A. Zip compression is now a built-in feature of the Windows 7 operating system, so the WinZip application is no longer required to zip or unzip.

To open or unzip a zip archive in Windows 7:

  1. Right-click the zip archive file.
  2. Select “Extract All…” from the pop-up menu.
  3. Specify the name and location of the folder for the extracted files.
  4. Click the “Extract” button or press the “Enter” key.
  5. If the “Show extracted files when complete” box is checked, as in the screenshot below, a new folder window will be opened to display the unzipped files.

Screenshot of extracting files from a zip archive in Windows 7


To zip a file or folder of files Windows 7:

  1. Right-click a file or folder of files.
  2. Select “Send to” from the pop-up menu.
  3. Then select “Compressed (zipped) folder” from the additional pop-up menu.
  4. The result is a new Zip archive file with the same name as the original file or folder, but with the “.zip” file extension appended to the name.

Screenshot of creating a new zip archive in Windows 7.


In Part 2 we’ll review the steps to zip and unzip on the Mac platform and talk a bit more about what exactly a “zipped” file is and its importance in computing more efficiently.