How to unzip files, using Windows 10 or Mac built-in tools… PLUS how to zip files.

Zipping is one of the oldest, most commonly used methods for compressing files. It’s used to save space and transmit them more quickly. 

In fact, it’s so common that zip compression and decompression is built into Windows. Here is two methods for unzipping files, plus how to zip them. 

  • Zipping is a popular method for compressing files, and you can zip and unzip files on Windows 10 in several ways without installing any additional software. 
  • You can unzip quickly by double-clicking the zip file and dragging the individual files out to the desktop.
  • You can zip files by using Windows’ right-click menu to “send” them to a zipped folder. 

Method One: Unzip files with drag-and-drop method

1. Double-click the zip file you want to unzip. You can identify a zip file visually because the icon has a zipper on it. 

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You can identify a zip file by its signature zipper. 

2. The zip file will open a folder, showing you the individual files inside. 

3. Select all the files, or just the ones you want to use, and drag them out of the folder to another location on your computer. You can drag them into a folder or place them on the desktop. 

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To unzip files, drag them out of the zip folder. 

The files have now been unzipped and can be used normally. You can now delete the zip file, if there’s nothing left in there that you want.

Method Two: How to unzip files in Windows 10 with the zip wizard

1. Right-click the zip file. In the drop-down menu, click “Extract All…” The zip wizard will appear. 

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Right click the zip file to open the zip wizard. 

2. If you want to unzip the files to a different folder, click “Browse…” and choose a location. 

3. Click “Extract” and the files will be unzipped and copied to the folder indicated. 

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You can unzip files with one click after launching the wizard. 

Creating zip files in Windows 10

1. Put all the files you want to zip in the same folder.

2. Select the folder.

3. Right-click the folder.

4. In the drop-down menu, choose “Send to” and then click “Compressed (zipped) folder.” 

5. A new zip file will appear with the same name as the folder, which can be changed if you want by right clicking the icon. You can identify a zip file visually because the icon has a zipper on it.

How to Unzip files on a Mac with WinZip

Unzip an email attachment

If you receive a .zip file as an email attachment, simply double-click to open it.

Unzip from the Finder

If you have saved a .zip file in the Finder, double-click it to open. After opening it, you can view some or all of the contents by highlighting the files and pressing Command+Y.

Winzip Zip extractor

Follow these steps to open zip files on Mac:

  1. Click the Unzip button.
  2. From the drop down menu, choose to unzip your files to this Mac, iCloud Drive, Dropbox or Google Drive.
  3. A “Finder style” window will open. You can browse to the folder where you want the files saved.
  4. Choose to unzip the Entire Zip file or Selected Items. You may also choose to Show unzipped items in the Finder.
  5. Another option is to click the New Folder button. Then type the file name and click Create. And now you know how to unzip files on Mac.

Unzip from the Context menu

With WinZip for Mac 2.0 or later, you can right-click (or press CTRL and click) your saved Zip files and use the Context Menu to unzip them. Click on Services at the bottom of the Context menu, then choose Unzip, Email as Zip File and Add to Zip.

Creating Zip Files on Mac

Create zip files
  1. Open WinZip.
  2. You will see an empty file in the WinZip window.
  3. Drag your files into the WinZip window.
  4. Click Add and choose the location of your files form the drop down (from your Mac, iCloud Drive or cloud services).
  5. In the Finder drop down window, choose folders, files or both. If you wish to encrypt, choose encrypt and enter a password.
  6. Click Zip. Add or delete files to your zip if you wish, then Save your zip. You now know how to make a zip file on mac.
  7. Use the Email and Share buttons to distribute your Zip via email, cloud services and social sites.

Create Zip files from the Context menu

Create zip files
  1. Right-click (or press CTRL and click) the files and folders you want to Zip.
  2. In the Context menu, choose Services, then select choose Email as a Zip file or Add to Zip file.
  3. If you click Add to Zip, a dialog will open, allowing you to choose where your Zip file will be saved, change the file format if desired, encrypt and change the name if you wish. Click Zip to finish.