ZIP File - opening and understanding

Did your computer fail to open a ZIP file? We explain what they are used for and recommend software that we know can open or otherwise handle your .ZIP files.

What is a ZIP file?

A .ZIP file is a ZIP compressed archive file. A Zip file is a compressed archive file used to make large files and collections of files more manageable to the user.

When a .zip file is created, data is compressed to reduce the file size. Multiple files can be combined into a single Zip folder, making it easier to upload, download or email a volume of files. When opening a file with a .zip extension, you can extract a single file or the entire directory structure.

The Zip file format makes sharing documents and files much easier. For example, if you had twenty separate documents that you wanted to email, you could compress them all into a single .zip file rather than uploading each one individually. Some Zip files can be encrypted to protect the content.

How to open ZIP files

You will need a program compatible with the specific file you are trying to open, as different programs may use files with file extension ZIP for different purposes. We have identified 4 ZIP openers for Windows that is compatible with this specific type of ZIP file.

Programs that open these files

BitZipperBitZipperVerified
WinZipWinZipVerified
WinRARWinRARVerified
7-Zip7-ZipVerified
We have not yet verified any programs for Mac that work with this specific file format. If you know one, please use the 'Suggest a program' link below. Thanks!
We have not yet verified any web services that work with this specific file format. If you know one, please use the 'Suggest a program' link below. Thanks!

Suggest another file format using extension ZIP

While we know of one file format using the .ZIP file extension, there may be more. It is widespread that different programs use files with the same file extension for very different types of data. Please let us know if you are aware of a different kind of .ZIP file.