Open ZIP files

  • Full name
    WinZIP Compressed ZIP Archive Format
  • Developer
  • Popularity
Have you encountered a problem with a ZIP file? Don’t you know which program opens a file with this extension? You will find all the information you need about working with a ZIP file here. In the further part of this page we have added a list of programs that should open your ZIP file. It is enough you choose a proper application for your operating system, download and install it.

What is ZIP file?

A ZIP file is a so-called archive file in which one or more files can be archived and packed.

More info

Since the ZIP format developed in container format in 1989 and the pack algorithms used are free of charge, it quickly became popular and is still one of the most popular pack formats today. The ZIP format has of course evolved since its introduction and also supports encryption (AES up to 256bit) and distribution to multiple files.

On all important systems there are several applications that can unzip and create ZIP archives. Since XP, Zip archives are supported directly and the content is displayed in the Explorer window. Windows users can easily create Zip archives by right-clicking on a file or folder selection and choosing Send To -> Zip Compressed Folder. Mac OSX users can accomplish this in the same way via the menu item "compress [file name]".

In addition, there are a number of free and commercial pack programs whose functionality goes far beyond just unpacking and creating Zip archives. However, be careful with the file extension, in addition to ZIP there

For example, it is still bzip or gzip. These are not compatible and can not be unpacked with the simple ZIP implementations of Windows or Mac OSX.

The Zip format captivates above all by its spreading, fast archiving and a neat packing rate.

However, competing formats such as Rar or 7zip, which are now also very popular, especially on the Internet, often have a much higher compression rate at similar processing speeds.

In addition to being used as a pure archival format, ZIP is also sometimes used by some games (e.g., Battlefield2, Empire Earth 2, Falcon 4) and application programs as a quasi-data format (e.g., Stardock ObjectBar). Here are the actual (game) data as a zip, but can be used directly by the application or the game.

Of course, these ZIP files are not to be considered compatible, as the data contained therein can only be used by the respective program. In some cases, the files are otherwise encrypted so that they can not be unzipped with a standard ZIP program

Programs which can open a ZIP file

How to open file with ZIP extension?

In order to open a file with ZIP extension one of the following programs must be installed on user’s system. If a problem with opening ZIP file occurred, it is highly possible that none of the listed programs is present on user’s system. Even if one or more said programs are installed, there may be issues related with given programs. In order to solve a problem with ZIP files, follow the instructions below.
Install WinZip or other program from the list

Most often resolving problems with opening ZIP files is very simple. Just install an appropriate program that supports such files. All of the listed programs support ZIP files, but may vary in offered function and purpose. Some programs may be capable only of viewing contents of ZIP files or offer file conversion options, but may not be capable of editing such files.

Set WinZip as the default program for opening ZIP files

It is possible that although a compatible program has been installed on user’s system, it is not used by the system to open it. This may happen because no default application was associated with this type of files. To associate ZIP files with given application, select "Open with" from drop-down menu (accessed by right-clicking on the file). Then select from the list the program or application you want to be used to open this type of file. If the WinZip applications is not on the list, select "Browse" option in order to manually locate the directory where WinZip has been installed.


Check the section that lists most common problems with ZIP files

Sometimes problems with opening ZIP files may not lie with the application itself, but can arise due to other causes, such as:

  • File data is corrupted
  • ZIP files has been not been completely download from the internet (only a part of the data has been downloaded)
  • Currently used user account hasn’t been granted necessary privileges to open ZIP files (should that be the case, please contact your system administrator or IT specialist)
  • ZIP file was being copied from a corrupted storage device and is incomplete or data is corrupted. (Copying files from unknown or untrusted sources should be conducted with great care as such files may contain malicious software, which can damage your system)

Possible conversions of ZIP file

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