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ZIP file format

File extension
.zip
File category
Description

ZIP is an archive format that allows you to compress one or more files or directories to save more space. The compression is lossless and you can unzip to regain the original size.

ZIP uses many compression algorithms including the popular DEFLATE compression and is used to reduce the total size when sending files over the internet. You can also zip files to save more disk space, which is ideal for portable device users. ZIP files also support encryption and split archives, offering a perfect way to organize and store your files.

Technical details

How to create and how to open an ZIP file

ZIP files are easy to create on Windows and Mac computers. Simply highlight all the files you want to zip, right click and select “Send to” then “Compressed ZIP Folder” on Windows. You can also zip files using a zipping software application, although you don’t need any additional software to compress your files into a zipped folder.

Opening a ZIP file is as effortless as double clicking the folder and opening the individual files or folders in the zip. However, some folders require an unzipping too to extract the files. To open the documents or files in a zipped folder, right click on the zipped file and select “Extract All” which will decompress the files to their original sizes.

Which other formats ZIP can be converted into and why

You can convert files with a ZIP extension to several other zipped and unzipped formats. The popular conversions include

  1. 1. RAR
  2. 2. TAR
  3. 3. 7Z
  4. 4. TAR.GZ and TAR.B72

Most people compress files into a zipped folder to save space without losing data. For instance, if you want to send many audio, video or image files over the internet, you can compress them into a ZIP folder to reduce the total size and bandwidth required. However, zipped folders have many other benefits including better encryptions and archiving.

You can convert a ZIP file into a RAR if you want a better compression rate. However, there’s little to distinguish between most zipping formats. Zipped folders are ideal when you want to create an archive or store files on a portable device. You can also zip files to create an executable as ZIPs are actually executable.

Programs
StuffIt
WinRAR
Winzip
Developer
PKWARE
MIME type
application/zip
application/x-zip
application/x-zip-compressed
application/octet-stream
application/x-compress
application/x-compressed
multipart/x-zip