How to zip a file in Windows 10

The zip file format is a convenient way of compressing large files and organizing your files with compressed archives. Whether you want to share a photo album, organize your hard drive, or bypass size restrictions for an email attachment, knowing how to zip a file will come in handy.

Here is everything you need to know about zipping a single file, creating a zip archive with multiple files, zipping an entire folder, and how to unzip compressed files.

ZIP a single file

How to zip a file in Windows 10

You’ll want to use this method if a single file is huge, such as a video shoot with a smartphone or digital camera. Zipping the file will reduce its overall size and make it easier to deal with. Here’s how you can get started.

Step 1: Locate File Explorer on the Windows 10 taskbar (the folder icon).

Step 2: Locate the file you want to compress.

Step 3: Right-click on the file.

Step 4: Select Send to on the menu.

Step 5: Select Compressed (zipped) folder in the next menu.

Step 6: Rename your new ZIP file, and press the Enter key.

ZIP multiple files

How to zip a file in Windows 10

This method is handy for cramming multiple files together, for both size and organizational reasons. This is a smart idea when you’re sending files, and also just to keep files together to free up disk space.

Step 1: Locate File Explorer on the Windows 10 taskbar (the folder icon).

Step 2: Locate the files you want to add to a single ZIP file.

Step 3: Select all files by holding down the mouse button and dragging the pointer across the screen. Your mouse will create a blue selection box. All files within this box are highlighted with a light blue color.

Step 4: Release the mouse button and right-click on the light blue highlighted files.

Step 5: Select Send to on the menu.

Step 6: Select Compressed (zipped) folder in the next menu.

Step 7: Rename your new ZIP file, and press the Enter key.

ZIP an entire folder

How to zip a file in Windows 10

If you want multiple files in a single folder, this is the method you choose. When unpacked, all files will unload in a folder created during the compression process.

Step 1: Locate File Explorer on the Windows 10 taskbar (the folder icon).

Step 2: Locate the folder you want to add to a single ZIP file.

Step 3: Right-click on the folder.

Step 4: Select Send to on the menu.

Step 5: Select Compressed (zipped) folder in the next menu.

Step 6: Rename your new ZIP file and press the Enter key.

Unpack a ZIP file

How to zip a file in Windows 10

Finally, let’s demonstrate how you can unpack a ZIP file in Windows 10. Windows 10 uses an algorithm to scan your file, temporarily remove all repetitive information, and create a new file with a smaller size and a new file extension: ZIP. Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Locate File Explorer on the Windows 10 taskbar (the folder icon).

Step 2: Locate the file you want to decompress.

Step 3: Right-click on the file.

Step 4: Select Extract all on the menu.

Step 5: On the next pop-up screen, select where you want Windows 10 to unload the files.

Step 5: Once you choose a location, click the Select Folder

Step 6: Finally, click the Extract button.

Under the hood, to revert the file to its former state, Windows 10 scans the file. It will then see what was removed and inserts the repetitive information back into the file. You’ll then have an unpacked ZIP file.

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