How to Zip a File:
The Ultimate Guide

If you often download files from the internet, you probably have come across Zip files. These files are composed of large files that have been compressed into something more manageable. Typically, data compression enables us to save storage space and share our files efficiently.

So if you have ever wondered, "what does it mean to zip a file" or "how can I zip a file on my Windows or MacOS," then you are in the right place. The following articles cover the basics of zip files and how you can zip a file on Mac and Windows 10 operating systems.

What does it mean to zip a file?

Zipping a file means combining or adding files of different sizes into one folder and then compressing the folder using file compression algorithms. The zipped file is usually small compared to the original folder but carries similar data to the original folder.

The file format or file extension of a zip file depends on the compression algorithm used. Laptops and MacBooks have a built-in system utility that helps to zip a file or folder. There are also multiple third-party utility software that you can use to archive a file. The files created by these programs are a bit different from zip files as the software uses a higher compression ratio for fewer megabytes. The most popular zipped file extensions from the external tools include .Gzip, .RAR, .TAR, .TAR,. GZ, .ISO, .IMG, CAB, and .Uuencoded.

How to zip a file

There are several ways of zipping a file depending on your device's operating system. Below are steps to follow when compressing a file on your MacBook or laptop.

How to zip a file on macOS

Below are the steps to follow when compressing a file using macOS.

  1. Move all the files that you want to zip into one folder
  2. Right-click on the folder
  3. Select the Compressed folder to create a zip file. Your compressed file will appear in the same folder as your original file.

How to zip a file on Windows 10

Below are the steps to follow when zipping a file on Windows 10.

  1. Select the files that you want to zip and move them into one folder
  2. Right-click on the folder containing the files you want to zip
  3. Select Send to on the context menu
  4. Lastly, select Compress (zipped folder) to complete the process
  5. The archived file appears on the original file. You can move or share it to other locations.

How to zip a file using Parallels Toolbox

Parallels Toolbox is a compilation of lightweight applications or tools that help you execute your typical computer tasks efficiently, quickly, and securely. With the Toolbox, you can create secure zip files, take screenshots, convert high-quality videos, download high-quality videos, lock screens, record high-quality audio, prevent your mark from going to sleep and hide your desktop. The software is compatible with both Windows and Mac OS, and you can purchase or download the free trial version at Parallels' official website.

The file archiver tool has more features than a built-in system program. You can easily access the archiver from the Toolbox, or you can launch it through the Finder. The tool enables you to create password-protected archives, which helps you protect your sensitive or personal documents. To zip a file using Parallels Toolbox file archiver is quick and straightforward; you can create compressed files by moving files to the Archiver icon.


So that sums up the basics of zip files and how to create them on Windows and MacBook. Although it is simple and fast to zip files using the device's in-built program, it is essential to have external software to experience more file zipping features. Install Parallels Toolbox to create secure archives quickly.