What are .zip files?: Zipping and Unzipping .zip files with Windows PC and Smartphones

A .zip file is a file that has been archived without losing any of its original components.

A zipped file can contain one or more compressed files and folders and can be useful in file compression, splitting and archiving, and file encryption.

The zipped file format was developed by PKWARE, inc and was initially released on the 14th of February, 1989, its latest release as at the time of writing this report is on the 15th of July, 2020 (version 6.3.9).

The .zip file format is the Data compression format and uses the .zip or .zipx filename extension. It is an open file format and has the following extension: Office open XML (Developed by Microsoft), Open Packaging Convention, XPI (Mozilla), JAR (EAR, WAR, RAR (by Java)), and OpenDocument (ODF)

Various applications use the Zip file under different filename extensions, but a zipped file or folder is usually represented as a graphical Zip.

Zip files

Uses of .zip files

.zip files are useful in file compression, thereby, reducing the amount of storage occupied by such file.

Similarly, .zip files can be useful in sending a folder containing different files to someone, ordinarily, you can’t send a folder via mail to a recipient, but once the folder is archived, this is possible.

It saves the time used to send different files to a recipient by sending them at once, I.e in case you had 7 file types, meant to be received by 9 recipients, instead of sending each file individually to each recipient, you can simply compress the files into a single folder and send it to the recipient via mail, saving you a good amount of time.

How to create a .zip file

Using the inbuilt Windows file compressor:

Step 1: right-click your mouse on a blank area of your windows or in the file explorer.

Step 2: Scroll down to select New>Compressed (zipped) folder. This is a similar process to creating a new folder in windows, you can rename your folder, copy, and move it.

Step 3: To create your .zip files, simply drag and drop your desired files into the newly created folder. The files aren’t deleted from their original folder, and the newly compressed files can be treated as a regular file type.

You can also compress (zip) a file by right-clicking on it, then scroll to send to>compressed (zipped) folder.

You can also use a file archiver tool such as 7-zip to work with .zip files, such as zipping, unzipping, and compressing the file.

Using your mobile phone:

You can easily create a .zip file using your mobile phone, this can be done by using an archive tool such as Easy Unrar, Unzip, and Zip that can be downloaded from the Play Store, or iZip from the App Store.

Step 1: Open your app and select create zip file, this process can be a bit different depending on the platform used (iOS or android) and the app used. Here I used Easy Unrar, Unzip, and Zip for Android devices.

Step 2: Select your desired folder and/or files on click on the addition button

Step 3: Name your folder and click on ok, once this is done, a processing window will pop-up and once it get to 100%, you have successfully compress your file by convert it to a .zip file.

The newly created .zip file can be located from your file explorer and you can work with it like any other file type.

How to Unzip a .zip file

To use a .zip file, you need to unzip it, doing this is quite simple.

From your Windows PC:

Step 1: right-click on the .zip file and hit Extract All.

Step 2: From the new popped-up window, select the desired location for the extracted files. If you do not create a new folder, the whole will be extracted to the same directory as the zipped files’.

Step 3: Click on Extract to extract all the zipped files to your selected folder.

From your mobile phone:

Step 1: Open your archive app and select extract.

Step 2: Select the .zip files to be extracted and click on the mark icon (it can also be an ok, depending on the app used).

Step 3: you can either search for a file from the folder to extract by clicking on icon A, as shown in the picture below (this is possible only if you have selected only one folder) or extract the entire folder by simply clicking on icon B.

Step 4: Mark the box and name the folder for your unzipped file, by default, the files will be extracted to the default folder. Click ok, and once the progress bar reaches 100%, you have successfully unzipped your files.

Now, you can locate your extracted .zip file and work with it.

I hope you find this post useful if you had any comment, kindly leave it in the comment section.

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