What is a ZIP file?

A ZIP file is a compressed folder containing multiple files. It’s an easy way for a seller to transfer many files, or extra big files, to you. Here’s how to open a ZIP file.

What operating system do you have?

Mac OS X, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 all have a pre-installed unzip feature. Once you’ve downloaded the ZIP file, click on it to view its contents. You won’t have to do anything special to un-zip the folder.

If you have Windows XP, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on the ZIP folder.
  2. Click on “Extract all” from the panel that opens. The system will take you through a short extraction process via a step-by-step “wizard.”
  3. The wizard will ask you to choose a destination. This is the folder where you want to keep the unzipped files.
  4. Once the files are extracted from the ZIP folder, you can opt to see them all in their new destination.

Still didn’t work?

On a Mac, hold down the control key and click the ZIP file icon. Choose “open with” and then select “archive utility.” The utility will extract the ZIP files and you can find them in the same folder you downloaded them to.

If you’re using a PC and the original ZIP file was created by a Mac user, then an additional .ds file may be embedded within the ZIP file. In Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8, try following the steps for Windows XP, above.

More options

You can download a free unzipping application from 7-zip. It works on Windows 7, Vista, and XP. A similar option is unzip-online.