ZIP File Information
The following provides basic information on the ZIP file format, and what to do with a ZIP file to access its contents.
The ZIP File Format
A ZIP file is a format used for compressing data (reducing the file size) or for archiving files. Multiple files can be stored within a single ZIP file, each individually compressed for easier retrieval and quicker download.
Download and Install a ZIP Utility
A ZIP file is created and its contents are extracted using a compression utility.
The Info-ZIP compression utility is a free, high-quality utility available for download.
Many other compression utilities also exist. Please note that both Windows XP Professional and Home editions have a basic built-in ZIP compression utility, so downloading and installing another utility is not necessary.
Unzipping a ZIP File
ZIP files carry the .zip suffix. In general, the basic operation of extracting the contents of a ZIP file (or "unzipping") using a compression utility involves the following steps:
Specify which ZIP file you want to unzip
Specify which of the individual files within the ZIP file you want to extract (usually the default is to extract all files and this may be necessary for some programs to run if they depend on other files stored with it in the ZIP file)
Specify a location to store the extracted files
Complete the process by confirming the extraction
Please read the Help file of your chosen utility for specific instructions.
In Windows XP, the ZIP file can be treated like any other ordinary folder where the contents can be opened, copied or moved as usual. You may also extract all the files into another location first. The "Extract All…" option can be found by right-clicking on the ZIP file in Windows Explorer or File Manager. Follow the simple instructions of the "Compressed (zipped) Folders Extraction Wizard" to complete extraction.