How to Open a Zip File

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How to Open a Zip File

Multiple files can be stored in a single zipped file. It also reduces the total combined size of the files. If you want to learn how to open a zip file, then the following article can prove to be helpful.

For learning how to open a zip file, you don’t have to do a lot of hard work. Do you know that for opening zip files while using any of the Windows operating systems, like Windows ME or its subsequent editions, (Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7) you won’t even require a third-party software? The process is very simple and can be done in a few steps.

About the Zip File Format

The zip file format is a data compression and archive format. More than one file can be stored using this format by compressing their size. It was first created by Phil Katz for PKZIP in 1986. In versions of Windows after 1998, they have started including support for this file format. Apple has included the built-in functionality for opening these files in the Mac OS X 10.3 and higher.

Some of the common usages of this file format are in Java JAR files, Winamp and Windows Media Player skins, addons for Mozilla Firefox, etc. Besides, the most common application is when you want to email a series of related documents, you simply zip them into this file format, and mail them.

Ways to Open Zip Files

This type of file can be accessed using various ways depending upon the type of operating system and its version. Latest systems have made it easier to access zip files.

Using Third Party Software

You simply need to install a third party software that allows you to carry out the process. WinZip and WinRar are the two most popular software programs that are used. Once you install any of these software programs in your system, you can simply right click on a zipped folder and then click on extract files. You will also be provided with options like ‘extract to’ some particular folder or ‘extract here’. When using WinRar, you also have the option of not only opening the zip files, but also rar files.


To open such files in Windows, you can right click on the folder and click on ‘explore’ from the menu that comes up. Then press Ctrl+A (select all the files), and copy them to another folder. This is probably the simplest way to open zip files in Windows, without using any third party software. In earlier versions of this operating system, undoubtedly you had to use a third party software to get your task done. But as already mentioned, in the latest versions of Windows after Windows ME, Microsoft has included the in-built functionality to extract these files.


To open a zip file in Linux, you can use the unzip command. It is generally available in your Linux distribution package. However, if somehow you have not installed this utility, you can use the tar command. The application of this command is simple. You simply have to browse the folder where the file is located and type the command tar -xvf

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