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How to Open a Zip File

If someone wishes to send you a large file, or several files at once, they may use WinZip to "zip" the files. This compresses the files so that there is no difficulty in sending them in one e-mail. Zipped files also take up less space when they're stored on the computer. If this is done with a Word file, for example, instead of .doc at the end of the file, the file will now have .zip at the end of its name [source: Microsoft]. Zip files have to be unzipped before you can view them. If you have Windows XP or beyond, you will have a built-in facility for opening zip files, otherwise you have to use a special program, such as WinZip [source: Tech Pro]. Here we will show you how to open the zip file you just got sent by e-mail, using WinZip.

  1. Install the WinZip application on your computer. This is available from It usually comes with a free evaluation period before you have to pay for it. There will be clear instructions how to download the application and install it on your computer. Once you have WinZip up and running, life gets easier.
  2. Download any zipped files you receive as an e-mail attachment in the usual way.
  3. Double click on the file icon. The WinZip wizard dialogue box will open and the list of files will appear on the right side of the box.
  4. Double click on the file that you want to open. A dialogue box will open asking you to confirm that you want to open the file. Select OK.
  5. The file will open. You can view it and save it in the normal way [source: WinZip].