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Windows: Extract ZIP Archive without additional Software

Tip by Computer Expert | 27/04/2014 at 17:04

For opening ZIP-Archives and for extracting the containing files, many applications are available. For example 7-Zip.

However, when using the Windows operating system, it is not necessary to install such software because at least with ZIP files Windows can deal without any additional programs.

Open ZIP Folder on Winwdows

You only have to follow the following steps to open and extract ZIPs on Windows:

  1. Go to the directory containing the ZIP-File.
  2. Double click on the ZIP-File
  3. Click on "Extract all files" (depending on your Windows version, this function can be found on the bar at the top or at the left side)
  4. Optionally, you can determine a folder in which the extracted files should be stored
  5. Click on "Extract"

After that, the files will be extracted and can be viewed and opened in the folder they were saved.

By the way, you should open files directly from unextracted ZIP archives only in exceptions because in this case, your computer does not have any writing access to the files.

Windows Explorer does not show ZIP Archives

If you have already installed other programs handling ZIP files, it could be that the method described above is not working because the external application has overwritten this file shortcut with its own one.

In this question, it is described how to recover the behavior that ZIP folders are opened in the Windows Explorer.

Alternatively, you can also right click on the file and use the option "Open with" from the context menu to use another program for opening.

Creating ZIP Files

In this tip, I have only described how to open ZIP archives. In my other tip, you can learn about how to add some files to one ZIP folder on Windows. Again, you do not need any additional software for this.

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