Open ZIP File and folder – What is and How to View – Format and Programs

File type: Zip compressed


ZIP files are archive files and folders that have been zipped or archived using the ZIP compression algorithm. It is one of the most commonly compression algorithm today.
This is a compression algorithm in which each of the original files is compressed separately of one another.
This compression format is widely supported by a variety of softwares and even by the basic operating systems by default.

One of the most useful ways of distributing a whole bunch of files and folders is to have them compressed under a .zip.

With zip files, you will be able to send many files/folders simultaneously and in the fastest possible time frame. You can attach your .zip to an email and then send to several recipients at once.

In addition, this format may contain word documents, PDF documents, Picture and Video files/folders. 

A zip file may be secured or unsecured. With the latter, anyone would be able to have access to and open it. 

However, you can secure it with a password. This ensures that your file would only be unzipped or opened when the password is provided by a recipient or group of recipients.


In this article, you will learn how to unzip on three operating systems, namely; Windows, Mac and Linux.

How to create Zip Files and Folders

Users can create them on the Windows operating system using several softwares such as PKZip, WinZip.
MacOSX users can create ZIP archive files simply by:
  • Right clicking over a file or a set of files
  • Click on the option ‘Create Archive of {filename}’
  • The archive file will be created with the ‘filename’ in the same directory as the original files.

How to open a ZIP File

Category: Archive File
File format: Open Standard

Unzipping on Windows OS

Windows OS allows you to create a zip folder or file with ease using a variety of programs. You can use programs like 7Zip, WinRAR or WinZip if you want to compress files/folders under a single .zip. While these programs allow you to create zip files, they are also helpful when you want to open one.

Here’s how you can open a zip on your Windows OS personal computer.

  1. To extract a downloaded .zip on your Windows OS, you will first need to save it to your hard drive.
  2. Next, you will highlight the saved file and then “Right Click” on it. 
  3. As you “Right Click” on the .zip, you will see several options. Highlight and click on the “extract all” option.
  4. By clicking on the “extract all” option, the systems extraction wizard will be opened. 
  5. You should then click on the “Next” button. After clicking on “Next”, choose the location where you would want the extracted files to be saved. For example, you may select the “Document File” on your “C drive”.
  6. You then select “Make a new folder” option. Usually the folder name may appear as – “ [FONT NAME]”.
  7. Click on the “Ok” button. As soon as you do, the extracted files would then be directed to this system directory – “C\Document Files\ [FONT NAME].”
  8. Click on the “next” button and the extraction of the compressed file contents to the system directory above will commence.
  9. Ensure that you select the check-box option to “Show Extracted Files”.
  10. Once the extraction process has been completed, click on the “Finish” button.
  11. You can now open the new folder named “ [FONT NAME]”.
  12. When this folder is opened, you will see a file named “install.exe”. When you double-click the “install.exe” file, those available common files will then be installed.
  13. There will be other files/folders in  “ [FONT NAME]” folder. These would include; PCL LaserJet soft fonts, Human Readable folders and PostScript (type 1) Binary and ASCII versions.


how to Unzip on Mac OS

Every single Mac computer is built with a proprietary file archive utility program known as “Archive”. 

The Archive will either create or unzip a zip file with ease. You should know that this simple built-in archive extraction app utilizes by default this archive format. 

While this is a basic app, you may also wish to use a more sophisticated program like “The Unarchiver” for example. This free to download program for extracting zip files allows you to gain more control of the .zip including its data compression algorithms. 


Opening using Archive

To open a .zip on Mac OS using the Archive, just go to the context menu and then click on the option to “open”.

It is that simple and as soon as you click on the “open” option, the zip file will be unzipped and you can access the first/folders in it.


Opening with The Unarchiver

Similarly, go to the context menu and click on “Open With” option. Highlight “The Unarchiver” and then click on it. 

You can download “The Unarchiver” for free directly from App Store or the Apple website. Note that it is better to download this app from the website as it would be fully functional than if you download from the App Store.

Also, you can set another third-party archive utility to be your Mac OS default archive utility if you prefer.


On Linux

If you want to view this format in a Linux server using SSH, follow these simple instructions.

  1. First of all, you can either open Terminal or Putty. 
  2. Secondly, using SSH, you should then login to your respective server.
  3. Next, go to the directory location of the zip file after you have logged in.
  4. To unzip the file, type this command; (unzip [filename].zip).
  5. Note that by trying the command above, you may unzip the file or you may not. If the latter is the case, you would notice an error message similar to this – (bash: unzip: command not found). 
  6. If you cannot open it directly, you can use the command below for both Ubuntu and Debian.

    (apt-get install unzipfor Red Hat Linux/Fedora/CentOS users:)
    (yum install unzip).
  7. Finally, you can try once more to unzip the zip file using the command of (unzip [filename].zip) and it should open this time around.


Programs that Open Zip Files

With Windows

  • Zipeg,
  • 7-Zip
  • WinACE,
  • PicoZIP,
  • WinZip,
  • ALTools AlZip,
  • Smith Micro Stuffit Deluxe,
  • WinRAR,
  • PKZip,
  • TurboSoft AnyZip,
  • Winferno SnapZip,
  • Bitberry BitZipper


with Linux

You can use the following linux commands:
  • p7zip,
  • funzip,
  • unzip


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