A ZIP file is a compressed (smaller) version of a bigger folder or file. They’re basically boxed up files which take up less space that makes them simpler to email back and forth or upload into cloud storage (iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.). Software makers will often host upgrades and additional downloads as ZIP files since they occupy less space on their servers and since they’re really easy to work together, as we will learn soon.
How to Open a ZIP File
Launching a ZIP file is rather simple and it is a little like opening a box from Sweetwater in this, once the package arrives, you still must open this up and then unpack the contents. When you download or receive a ZIP file, they are not immediately able to be utilized. If you are on a PC
- Select a single file or folder, or select several by holding ‘Ctrl’ down and clicking on several files or folders.
- Right-click, head down to ‘Send To’ and hover your mouse over it.
- Select ‘Compressed (zipped) folder’
- A zipped folder will appear within the directory that you’re currently in containing the files you have selected
How to unzip a file in Windows 10
Unzipping a folder in Windows 10 is thankfully nice and simple too, so follow the steps below to find out how.
- Right-click on the folder and select ‘Extract all’
- Windows will then ask you where you would like to extract the contents of your zipped file to.
- Once you have selected this, hit ‘Extract’ and Windows will pull your folders out of the zipped file ready for use.
It’s just as simple as that.
macOS Unzip and open ZIP file
A number of the documents you are inclined to start nowadays include a ZIP (.zip) document or a RAR (.rar) file. But unlike ZIP files, Apple’s macOS (or OSX) that will be the operating system on your Mac doesn’t have the tools required to start RAR files by itself. You’ll require a third party program to start an RAR file and extract its contents. Currently there’s heaps of programs on your Mac’s App Store which you may download to start RAR files however what many Mac users have Winrar.
Opening ZIP files on a Mac couldn’t be easier: Simply double click the ZIP file and the uncompressed contents in it will appear next to the ZIP file. If you do this in a Finder window and don’t immediately see the contents, try organizing by Name or Date Modified.
- Double click the ZIP folder.
- Locate the new contents in the same location as the ZIP folder.
Create a Zip from the Command Line
Not interested in using the standard Finder and file system approach? Zip archives can also be created from the command line by using the terminal command ‘zip’ with the following syntax:
zip archive.zip file.txt
Another simple way to create an archive from the command line is to use the Terminal’s drag & drop support, type out ‘zip’ as usual but then drop in the file(s) to compress into the Terminal window.
Unzipping from the command line is also very simple, with the easy ‘unzip’ command:
You can specify paths and other details if interested, but if all you’re looking to do is extract a file there isn’t much more to do than the simple unzip command.
WinRAR is not free, but it is certainly one of the best file archive utilities. To use this archiver on one computer, the license will cost you $29. WinRAR supports different compression formats, it’s perfect for multimedia files, and it is fast. If you want to try it out, you can do so with the free trial version. This is an excellent option, because if you do like all its features and options, then you can get your license and use it to zip and unzip files.
- WinRAR provides complete support for RAR and ZIP archives and is able to unpack CAB, ARJ, LZH, TAR, GZ, UUE, BZ2, JAR, ISO, 7Z, XZ, Z archives.