Storing and managing data has become challenging with the thriving use of technology. It would be worthwhile if we could save up some space by compressing the files. So, file compression is an obligation when it comes to data storage management. And not to mention, ZIP compression is one of the most effective schemes for successfully managing data storage.
After you ZIP a file, you need to unzip it. Unzipping helps to decompress and extract the same content of the file before zipping. There is no data loss since it is a lossless compression method.
The ZIP/Unzip feature is available in many previous versions of Windows, and Windows 11 is no exception. You can use different methods to unzip the file, ranging from built-in Windows methods to third-party applications. This article will touch upon the various methods to unzip a file in Windows 11.
Why ZIP a File?
The main logic behind a ZIP file is that it removes redundant data and helps reduce the file size. If a file consumes less space, it is obvious that file transfer will take a lot less time than normal transmission.
File organization becomes more efficient using a ZIP file. You can place similar kinds of files in a folder and ZIP them. It provides systematic file storage and transmission.
ZIP technology is widely used while downloading files from the Internet. It is done to save the storage space on the web server and Internet bandwidth. Likewise, you can encrypt the files with a password so no authorized person can access them without proper authentication.
Consider a scenario where you need to send a folder with multiple files over email. Sending a folder is not possible over email. This is where a ZIP file becomes helpful. You can ZIP the folder and send multiple files at once. You don’t need to bother sending files individually.
How to Unzip Files on Windows 11?
Unzipping a zipped file is not a big deal. It is pretty straightforward and won’t consume much of your time. You can easily unzip it on your side with no hassle. Let’s discuss some of the unzipping methods in more detail.
Using File Explorer
Using file explorer is the easiest method to unzip the files in Windows 11. It provides an in-built feature to extract the zipped files. Follow these steps:
- Open File Explorer.
- Locate the ZIP file, right-click on it and click Extract All from the available options.
- You must provide the path to the destination folder in the next window.
- Check the Show extracted files when complete option; if you want to open the files after extraction is complete.
- Click the Extract button.
You are done. The extracted files will be shown in the folder you specified in step 3.
Using Windows Powershell
The next method to unzip the files in Windows 11 is using Windows Powershell. Follow these steps to unzip the files:
- Type “powershell” in the Windows search box. You will see the Windows Powershell application listed there. Right-click and Run as administrator.
- Paste this command in Powershell:
Expand-Archive -Path "path of ZIP file" -DestinationPath "F:\My Files"
- Now you need to copy the path of the ZIP file. For this, locate the ZIP file, right-click, and click on the Copy as path option.
- Paste the path of the ZIP file you just copied in place of “path of ZIP file.” Also, specify the path of the destination folder (In this case, I have specified F:\My Files)
Now you can see extracted files in the destination folder.
Using Command Prompt
You can also use the command prompt to extract the zipped files in Windows 11. It has a TAR tool that will quickly help you unzip the files. Follow these steps:
- Navigate to the ZIP file’s location in the folder.
- On the folder’s address bar, type cmd.
- Press Enter key.
- Run the command
tar -xf filename.ZIPand type the name of the ZIP file in place of the filename. Press Enter.
It will successfully extract the files in the same ZIP file’s location.
Using Third-party Software
There are many third-party applications available on the Internet to unzip the file. Some of them are WinZip, WinRAR, 7-Zip, and Zip Archiver. Here I am using 7-ZIP for demonstration purposes. It is a good choice if you want to avoid unnecessary advertisements and pop-ups. It is a free program with a proper algorithm for compression.
Follow these steps to extract ZIP files using 7-ZIP:
- First, you must download the 7-ZIP program from their official website and install it.
- Then, locate the ZIP file you want to extract, right-click on it and click 7-ZIP > Extract files.
- In the next window, specify the destination folder and click the OK button.
Additionally, you can also extract only specific files using 7-ZIP. For this follow the steps below:
- Right-click the ZIP file
- Click 7-ZIP > Open Archive.
- Choose the desired files and click on the Extract button.
- Then a window opens where you need to specify the destination folder. Specify it.
- Click the OK button.
How to ZIP a File in Windows 11?
Now that you have learned various methods to unzip a file let’s see how you can zip a file in Windows 11. It is not a tedious job to do. You don’t need any third-party applications. Just use the Windows built-in option to ZIP a file. Follow these steps:
- Navigate to the folder where you want to create a ZIP file.
- Right-click on the blank space > Click New > Compressed (zipped) Folder.
- Copy/Move the files you want to zip into the newly created folder. You can also copy files from other locations to the zipped folder.
That’s all! Your files are now zipped.
How to Fix Can’t Open a Zip File Error?
Sometimes, you may face an issue unzipping or extracting the zipped files. Unstable internet connection is the main reason behind it. The zip file may not be completely downloaded, and in such a case, you will need to re-download the file with a stable network connection. Similarly, you can try using other ZIP software if you still face the issue.
How Can I Encrypt My ZIP File?
To encrypt your ZIP file, you can password protect it. Encrypting it will require the receiver to enter the password whenever he wants to open it. You can use third-party applications like WinZip to password protect your zip file.
When Should I Not Use a Zip File?
There are certain cases when using or not using a ZIP file makes no difference. Some file formats like JPG and MP3 are already compressed, and compressing them further makes no sense. You can’t save considerable space even after zipping such files.