ZIP file icon

ZIP File Extension

Zipped Format

What is ZIP file?

ZIP extension is currently the most popular format used for archiving and compressing files and folders. Creating archives utilising the ZIP compression method is lossless, and it enables to reduce size of chosen files and folders.

ZIP format enables compression utilising a compression method. Depending on version of the file, we may list (among other) such algorithms:

  • Deflate (most common),
  • BZIP2,
  • LZMA,
  • DCL,
  • Implode,
  • WavPack.

Advantages of ZIP compression

All files compressed with ZIP method are stored separately, due to which, it is possible to extract separate packages, with no need for decompressing the whole set. Files within an archive are not only stored separately, but also compressed individually, which enables to substantially reduce the final size of a given file.

ZIP archiving and compression is used by many people and programs for purpose of merging extensive structure into a single file, which facilitates sending and transferring of files.

Differences between ZIP, RAR, 7Z and ACE

ZIP format was developed in the year 1989, before other currently popular archive formats. It usually utilises a light and fast compression algorithm – Deflate. In the newer versions (RAR, 7Z or ACE), a series of improvements, such as better compression factor and high level encryption, were introduced. On the other hand, it has been reflected in higher memory requirements and slower processing, in comparison with ZIP.

Programs which support ZIP file extension

The following list contains programs grouped by 3 operating systems that support ZIP files. ZIP files can be encountered on all system platforms, including mobile, yet there is no guarantee each will properly support such files.

Updated: 11/03/2019

How to open file with ZIP extension?

Being unable to open files with ZIP extension can be have various origins. Fortunately, most common problems with ZIP files can be solved without in-depth IT knowledge, and most importantly, in a matter of minutes. We have prepared a listing of which will help you resolve your problems with ZIP files.

Step 1. Install WinZip software

Install software to open ZIP file The main and most frequent cause precluding users form opening ZIP files is that no program that can handle ZIP files is installed on user’s system. The most obvious solution is to download and install WinZip or one to the listed programs: PeaZip, WinRAR, PowerArchiver. Above you will find a complete listing of programs that support ZIP files, classified according to system platforms for which they are available. One of the most risk-free method of downloading software is using links provided by official distributors. Visit WinZip website and download the installer.

Step 2. Verify the you have the latest version of WinZip

Update software that support file extension ZIPIf the problems with opening ZIP files still occur even after installing WinZip, it is possible that you have an outdated version of the software. Check the developer’s website whether a newer version of WinZip is available. Sometimes software developers introduce new formats in place of that already supports along with newer versions of their applications. The reason that WinZip cannot handle files with ZIP may be that the software is outdated. The most recent version of WinZip is backward compatible and can handle file formats supported by older versions of the software.

Step 3. Assign WinZip to ZIP files

After installing WinZip (the most recent version) make sure that it is set as the default application to open ZIP files. The method is quite simple and varies little across operating systems.

Associate software with ZIP file on Windows

Selecting the first-choice application in Windows

  • Right-click the ZIP file and choose Open with option
  • Select Choose another app → More apps
  • To finalize the process, select Look for another app on this PC entry and using the file explorer select the WinZip installation folder. Confirm by checking Always use this app to open ZIP files box and clicking OK button.
Associate software with ZIP file on Mac

Selecting the first-choice application in Mac OS

  • By clicking right mouse button on the selected ZIP file open the file menu and choose Information
  • Proceed to the Open with section. If its closed, click the title to access available options
  • Select WinZip and click Change for all...
  • If you followed the previous steps a message should appear: This change will be applied to all files with ZIP extension. Next, click the Continue button to finalize the process.

Step 4. Ensure that the ZIP file is complete and free of errors

You closely followed the steps listed in points 1-3, but the problem is still present? You should check whether the file is a proper ZIP file. Problems with opening the file may arise due to various reasons.

Check ZIP file for viruses
1. Check the ZIP file for viruses or malware

Should it happed that the ZIP is infected with a virus, this may be that cause that prevents you from accessing it. Scan the ZIP file as well as your computer for malware or viruses. If the ZIP file is indeed infected follow the instructions below.

2. Ensure the file with ZIP extension is complete and error-free

If you obtained the problematic ZIP file from a third party, ask them to supply you with another copy. The file might have been copied erroneously and the data lost integrity, which precludes from accessing the file. If the ZIP file has been downloaded from the internet only partially, try to redownload it.

3. Check if the user that you are logged as has administrative privileges.

Sometimes in order to access files user need to have administrative privileges. Log out of your current account and log in to an account with sufficient access privileges. Then open the Zipped Format file.

4. Verify that your device fulfills the requirements to be able to open WinZip

If the system is under havy load, it may not be able to handle the program that you use to open files with ZIP extension. In this case close the other applications.

5. Check if you have the latest updates to the operating system and drivers

Up-to-date system and drivers not only makes your computer more secure, but also may solve problems with Zipped Format file. Outdated drivers or software may have caused the inability to use a peripheral device needed to handle ZIP files.

Do you want to help?

If you have additional information about the ZIP file, we will be grateful if you share it with our users. To do this, use the form here and send us your information on ZIP file.

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