Complete guide to opening a ZIP file

The ZIP file is a free data compression format that contains one or more documents. To open one just perform some simple steps. Here's how to do it.

At work, sitting comfortably at your desk, you've received an important e-mail containing crucial documents you've been waiting for! You try to open them normally, by clicking on them, but the attached file does not open: it is a ZIP file. What does this mean? Don't worry, it's one of the most widely used archive formats and with this simple guide you'll learn how to unzip ZIP files quickly and easily, so you'll have all your documents just a click away!

What is a ZIP file?

In order to deal with a ZIP file, you'll first need to know what you're dealing with. It's a series of documents (in this case, the ones you've been anxiously waiting for) that - to be sent all together via file sharing services, email or electronic media - must be compressed. What does this mean? Compressing files means creating a new file - our ZIP file - inside which the files to be shared are placed, collected all together and reduced to the minimum number of bytes so that they occupy little space and can be transferred faster and more easily.

How to open the ZIP file?

After finding out what exactly a ZIP file is, our main interest shifts to "how do I open it by extracting the documents it contains?". As in all computer operations - even the simplest ones - there may be several ways to open ZIP files.

Open ZIP Files with Windows

The creation of ZIP files is a native function of the Windows processor, therefore, clicking on the ZIP file with the right mouse button will open the drop-down menu where the second option from the top will be "extract all". All you have to do now is choose the destination of the files (it is recommended to always choose the desktop) and you're done! With this elementary operation you can unzip the ZIP files and the original files will be immediately available for consultation, separated and in their original size.

Open ZIP Files with iOS

Although creating ZIP files is not a native feature of iOS, opening this type of compressed files turns out to be an equally simple and fast operation even for those who own an iMac. By clicking on the ZIP file with the right mouse button, you'll open a dropdown menu in which you'll have to select "Open". This will automatically launch the Compression Utility application (a tool available by default) where you can view and subsequently open the decompressed files.

Alternative applications to open a ZIP file

Alternatively, there are programs to open ZIP files that can be easily downloaded from the internet. The best in terms of performance are definitely 7-Zip for Windows, a completely free program that in a few clicks will allow you to unzip, view, open and edit the files contained in the ZIP file, and iZip Archiver for iOs, a free application easily downloadable from the App Store that allows you to perform operations within the ZIP file without having to extract the files.

Now that you have all the proper tools to unzip and open a ZIP file, the documents you've been waiting for are fully available, just a click away!