How to Unzip Files on Windows 10

What is a ZIP file?

A zip file is a single file that has multiple archived files. Zip files are easy to share and also help back up groups of files or large files. A zipped file still contains the same data as the original file and, the only difference between the two files is the size.

You can compress large files or multiple into Zip files using compression algorithms. The most popular compression and decompression tools include WinZip, WinRAR, DEFLATE, LZSS, LZMA, and LZR. These software compress files into different and unique formats, such as Gzip, XZ, TAR, XXencoded, BZ2, LHA, LHZ, BinHex, and Zip. However, you do not require a compression program to zip a file while using the recent versions of Windows. Read on to learn more about Zip files and how to unzip them using Windows 10.

Are Zip files dangerous?

Zip files are not dangerous. However, it is essential to take caution when opening files you have imported from unknown sources or the files you have downloaded from the internet. Some may contain a virus, zip bombs, Trojans, or other malware. The main way to protect your device from harmful zip files is by scanning zipped files with malware protection or antivirus before extracting them.

Another vital precaution to take is disabling the "Hide extensions from known file types" option in your Windows. Typically, this option hides the file extensions of known file types, which include .EXE, and .DOC. The disadvantage of enabling this setting is that it can mislead you about the primary file format.

For instance, you can receive an infected file named "cars.jpg.exe." Usually, zipped files containing jpg images should end with ".jpg" and not ".exe." When the "hide the extension from known file types" option is enabled, the file will appear as "cars.jpg." Therefore, it would be hard for you to detect that your file is harmful, and opening it might infect your device.

How to zip a file

Below are the simple steps to follow while decompressing a file using Windows 10.

  1. Open file explorer
  2. Create a new folder
  3. Select and move the files that you want to archive to the folder that you have created
  4. Right-click on the folder
  5. Select Send to on the main menu
  6. Choose Compressed (Zipped file) folder to complete the process
  7. The new zipped folder is made in the exact location as the original file
  8. You can rename the file by right-clicking on the file and selecting Rename
  9. Save or share the compressed file to your desired location

Note you can add more files to your zipped file simply by dragging them to the zipped folder.

How to unzip a file

You must unzip a compressed file to view its content. Unzipping or decompressing a file using the Windows 10 command line is also easy and fast. Below are the steps to follow:

  1. Locate the compressed file that you want to decompress
  2. Right-click the archived folder
  3. Select destination and extract files
  4. Choose Extract All to complete the process
  5. The new decompressed files will appear in the exact location as the zipped folder. You can move the files to your desired location.

Alternatively, you can unzip files on Windows 10 by:

  1. Open the zipped folder
  2. Select the files that you want to unzip
  3. Move the files you have chosen to a new folder to complete unzipping

Note that if you have an encrypted file in your zipped folder, the file will be encrypted after the folder is unzipped.

What does it mean to extract files?

You extract a file after decompressing a zipped folder. Extraction involves moving some or all the files in a decompressed folder to a new or alternate location.