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How to Unzip (+Zip) Files on Windows 10

Izabelle Hundrev
Izabelle Hundrev  |  October 30, 2019

In computer-speak, a “zip file” refers to a file that’s been compressed.

When files are compressed, it’s much easier to download, transfer, and store them. Whenever you want to access a zip file, you have to unzip it. For Windows 10 users, this is fairly simple to do.

In this step-by-step tutorial, we’ll go over how to zip and unzip files on a Windows 10 computer.

How to zip and unzip files in Windows 10

Knowing how to zip and unzip files is useful for when you’re trying to store or transfer multiple large files at once. By zipping, or compressing, them you save storage space, reduce transmission time, and have the option to encrypt the files to keep them safe.

To start, let’s walk through how to zip files first.

To zip files:

Open file explorer and select all of the files you’d like to compress.

Step 1: Right-click the files to open a new menu

Hover your mouse over any open area while the files are selected. To open a new menu, simply right-click.

Step 2: Hover mouse over “Send to” and select “Compressed folder”

With the menu open, hover over the selection that reads “Send to.” This will auto-populate a new menu where you must then select “Compressed (zipped) folder”.

click compressed folder in Windows 10 to zip files
This will automatically create a new zipped folder with your files inside. We will use this folder to move on to the next example for how to unzip the files.

Related: Looking to expand your skills? Check out our guides on how to hide the taskbar and how to turn on Bluetooth on the latest version of Windows.

To unzip files:

Now that you have a zipped folder to work with, let’s go over how to unzip the files inside.

Step 1: Select the .zip file, right-click and select “Extract All...”

When you right-click the file, a new menu will pop up. Next, click “Extract All...

select extract all to unzip files for Windows 10

Step 2: Select the location where you want the file to be extracted

On this screen, you can either manually enter where you want the file to go, or click on “Browse…” to open up file explorer and find it.

select which location for unzipped files

Step 3: Check the box that reads “Show extracted files when complete” and click “Extract”

By checking the box at the bottom, you ensure that the next screen will bring you directly to your newly extracted file.

click extract to finalize unzip

Once you click “Extract”, you’re done!

All set

Having the ability to quickly zip and unzip files is one of many useful features available to users on Windows 10. With this guide in your back pocket, you now can compress or extract files with a few simple keystrokes.

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Izabelle Hundrev
Author

Izabelle Hundrev

Izabelle is a Content Marketing Associate who joined G2 in April 2018. After earning a degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri, Izabelle moved back to her hometown of Chicago in pursuit of a career and deep dish pizza. Outside of work, she is passionate about all things pop culture, food, and travel. (she/her/hers)