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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 on this website.


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.


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.


If you receive a Zip file, to uncompress or unzip the file, follow these steps:

  • Right-click on the Zip file and choose Extract All
  • Choose a location for the folder to be extracted into
  • If you checked "Show extracted files when complete", the files or folders within the Zip folder appear. If you unchecked the box, a folder or file with the same name (without the Zip) should appear
  • This folder will be your working copy of the data from the Zip file
  • You may keep the Zip file or delete it.
Last updated 8 December 2014