How to Zip/Unzip Files in Windows 11 – Guide

Unzip files in Windows 11 using the built-in utility or 7-Zip, a free third-party file archiver. Zip files are files that are compressed to reduce the space they consume on your hard drive. It can be a single file or a group of them. An important thing to note is that compressing a file does not result in data loss.

Why should you compress your files?

There are a few main reasons to compress files and folders. The purpose behind compressing the files into a Zip file is to make them quickly portable to other computers, cloud storage or email addresses.

ZIP and unzip files and folders in Windows 11

You can zip/unzip files and folders in Windows 11 using the built-in method or with any third-party tool like 7-Zip or WinZip. Without further ado, let’s show you How to quickly zip and unzip a file/folder in Windows 11.

Built-in Methods in Windows 11

There are two different methods for zipping or zipping a folder. The first option is to compress the file directly from the desktop. We created a dummy folder on the desktop to show this method. It’s quite simple; Right click on the folder you want to compress and in the context menu click on the option “Compress to Zip file”. You will get a zipper icon immediately after zipping the folder and if you hover over the zip icon it will show that the folder has been zipped successfully. The next method is also direct using File Explorer. Windows will create a zip file including all selected files. Once the zip file is created, the zip file name will automatically be highlighted so you can change the name. Press enter when you are done typing the name.

Unzip the file/folders in Windows 11

The good part is that you can unzip or unarchive the zip files using the utility built into Windows 11. All you have to do is right-click on the file you want to unzip and click on the “Extract All” option from the menu. contextual. Windows 11 File Explorer comes with another “Extract All” option that can be accessed from the top menu bar. Click on the zipped file you want to unzip and you will see the “Extract All” option. Clicking on this option will allow you to extract all files from that folder. You can choose the “Extract All” option from the context menu or the top menu of File Explorer to unzip a folder. After selecting the option “Extract Compressed (zipped) Folders” pop-upup will open. By default, Windows will show the same location as the zip file. You can click the “Browse” button button and select a different location where you want to extract the files.

Unzip just a few files from a zipped folder in Windows 11

Often, we just need a few selected files to extract from a zipped folder. The built-in method to unzip a folder also helps with this without much effort. First, double-click the zipped folder to view the files in it. Now, right-click on the file you want to unzip from the folder and select “Copy” from the context menu. Alternatively, select the file and press “Control + C” to copy the file. Go to the location where you want to paste the file and press “Control + V” to paste the file. Likewise, you can select multiple files and paste them in the desired location without fully extracting the zipped file.

Zip files using the 7-Zip application

7-zip is one of the most advanced file archiving apps for Windows 11. It is open source and you can download the app for free from the official website. 7-Zip software allows you to compress files using 4 different formats – 7z, tar, wim and zip. So even if you are blocked from sending .zip files, you can change the compressed file extension to .7z and send emails. Also, you can choose different compression levels, encryption to protect archived files and compression speed time. Let’s find out how to do this with a “New Folder” on the desktop. Click on the folder and right-click on it to see more options. Hover over the 7-Zip context menu to see options for archiving using 7-Zip. Now go with “Add to New” or “Add New folder. 7z” for fast compression. As the most popular file formats are 7z and ZIP formats, these two formats are included as default file formats in the main menu. However, there are four more formats that can be used to archive your files or folders using the 7-Zip application. If you like to experiment with some of these formats, select “Show more options…” from the right-click context menu. It will show the legacy right click menu, hover over the “7-Zip” menu and select the “Add to archive” option.

Unzip files using 7-Zip application on Windows 11

Now, let’s find out how to unzip an already zipped folder using the 7-Zip application. Click on the zipped file and by right clicking on it, an option will appear in the Menu with “Show more options”. Among the options provided, select “7-Zip” and click “Extract here” if you want to extract the files to the same location as the original file. The files will be automatically extracted to the same location. Given that, you can also extract the files to any other location. For that, you must go with the option “Extract files”. In the popup click on the three dot ellipsis button, select any location on your hard drive to extract the files and click “OK”. The files will be extracted to the desired location.

Unzip selected files using 7-Zip application

The 7-Zip application will be equally beneficial when extracting a single file or multiple files from a selected zipped folder. To extract a single file or group of files, right-click the zipped folder and select “Show more options…”. By hovering your cursor over 7-Zip, you will see more options and click on “Open file” from the list of options provided. After opening the zipped folder in the 7-Zip application, select the files to be extracted and click on the “Extract” option from the top menu. Now to change the location of the extracted files, click on the three dot ellipsis button and after selecting the location, click “OK” to continue.

Final note

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