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Published on 02.02.09 by Brent Trahan

Unzip a File or Folder

Learn how to unzip a file or folder in Windows 7 without any third party software.

Note: If you have any unzipping software installed on your computer, this probably won’t work.

Unzip a File or Folder

There are two ways to unzip a file or folder in Windows 7.

Browse the Zipped File

The first and quickest way to unzip a file or folder in Windows 7 is to double-click the zipped file.

unzip-1

You can browse the contents of the zipped file and open most documents. You can’t run most software though.

If you want to extract the zipped contents from the zipped file, drag-and-drop them from the zipped window (shown above) to your desktop.

You can also add files to a zipped file by drag-and-dropping them from their original location into the zipped window (shown above).

Unzip Wizard

The second way to unzip files in Windows 7 is to use the Unzip Wizard.

  1. Right-click the zipped file and select Extract All.
  2. Browse to the location where you want to save the unzipped files by clicking Browse if the default location is not good for you.

    unzip-1

  3. Click Extract to unzip the files.

Still need help? Ask your computer question now.

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22 Responses to “Unzip a File or Folder”

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  1. Ian says:

    Hey, I messed up, can you tell me the default unzipping program on Windows 7 please :(

  2. Jo Guerra says:

    Great helpful information. I paid for an older version of WinZip and just got a new computer. I was going to have to purchase it again. And I was so glad to find this. Worked like a charm. Thanks.

  3. Bianca says:

    I love you!!! I was trying forever to do this, this worked wonderfully THANKS!!

  4. Laurie says:

    Thanks for the help! Just got my new computer and was used to the old method…knew there had to be an easy way to do this!

  5. Patricia says:

    Thank you, too for the help. However, when I tried your two methods all that happened was Windows Media Player opened up. My PC is 4 years old and used to run on XP. I started having problems and since I had to reformat my hard drive I decided to up grade to Windows 7.
    I am still not very proficient at using 7, but I am learning. I appreciate any help you can pass on.

  6. Mark says:

    Except that when I right-click a file ending in .zip, I don’t get “Extract All” or “Unzip” on the context menu that comes up. Only an “Open with…”. When I then choose to open it with IE (the only program offered as a choice), IE goes absolutely nuts, wildly opening windows all over the screen, rapid-fire, until I have to painfully shut down the PC and restart.

    Why can’t Microsoft make an OS that works? Uncompressing an lsz-compressed file is not rocket science. Macs were doing it built-in two decades ago with Stuffit Expander. I really don’t get why MS is stuck in 1990 still.

  7. Tracie says:

    I’m with Mark. I don’t get “Extract All”. I’ve had to shut the computer down several times because I can’t stop the IE from opening and closing etc endlessly. Can anyone help?

  8. Barb says:

    I have the same problem as Mark and Tracie…..for Vista…what is the zip program actually called…then I can put that as the default for zip files…. it comes up as IE which causes all these damn problems…my computer goes crazy and had to shut down several times just to get control of it again…

    Again, does anyone who what the program is called so I can change the default.

  9. Barb says:

    Was looking further and it appears that we should have a unzip wizard..I did a search on my computer and it did not come up at all…so still lost….

  10. Tracie says:

    I found a link that took me to the answer and it works like a charm. I was afraid to play with the registy but it worked. The ‘[extention here]” is zip; click into zip folder and find ‘user choice’ and delete it. Should work then.

    Click Start, type regedit.exe and press Enter.
    Navigate to the following branch:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Curre ntVersion\Explorer\FileExts\[extention here]

    Delete the sub-key named “UserChoice”

    Close Regedit.exe

    Hope it works for you.

    • Caaasseeh says:

      THANKYOU SO MUCH.
      OMG.
      THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU.

    • Laura says:

      Hi Tracie!
      Thank you so much for your suggestion. I had been having problems with this for weeks! Every time I wanted to open a zip folder my computer would just go crazy, blinking and opening new internet explorer windows, until I had to shut it down and restart it. I was doubtful at the beginning to do what you said, since I was not sure if deleting something from my computer would be wise, however, since I had tried EVERYTHING under the sun to open zip files and nothing worked, I decided to try your very-detailed-suggestion. It worked, and the zip file opened immediately!! Thank you so much for sharing this with us!! Laura Hercha

    • Heather says:

      Finally, I can unzip and extract .zip files! Thanks.

  11. Lacey1210 says:

    I had problems opening a file that was zipped also. It was not giving me an open to “extract” when I right clicked. So I changed the name of the file because I noticed it was missing it’s extension!-from 10 to 10.zip and it worked like magic. It gave me the option to extract and my files showed up perfect.

  12. Gunther says:

    Tracie:

    I followed your suggestions to the letter but after clicking on “zip” all I found was “User Assist” and then aborted it because whatever I was supposed to delete had the name “Acer” in it.

    I am trying to install a printer driver on my Win7 computer for an older Canon printer NOT included in the driver list.

    Thanks for your reply here.

  13. Mon says:

    Thank you very much. I was able to transfer a blog to my other blog because of your tips. Thank you very much!

  14. Nerissa says:

    I don’t understand at all, i’m trying to unzip some files for Sims3, some extra hairstyles. The problem is, i can’t unzip them at all. Any ideas on how to? It would be appreciated, i tried Tracie’s suggestion;

    “Tracie says:
    September 23, 2010 at 1:10 pm
    I found a link that took me to the answer and it works like a charm. I was afraid to play with the registy but it worked. The ‘[extention here]” is zip; click into zip folder and find ‘user choice’ and delete it. Should work then.

    Click Start, type regedit.exe and press Enter.
    Navigate to the following branch:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Curre ntVersion\Explorer\FileExts\[extention here]

    Delete the sub-key named “UserChoice”

    Close Regedit.exe

    Hope it works for you.”

    ..and i have no clue once i got to [extension here]

    Thanks! :)

  15. icrawbeans says:

    YES! I have been looking everywhere for an answer on this! Very nervous about messing with the registry but it really worked!

    Nerissa, its been awhile but if you are still looking to do this the {extension here} is what program you are using. So if it is a zip file then open the zip folder and then delete the user choice one!

  16. Rohit Singh says:

    Right Click on Win-zipped folder and go with option “open with” then select “Windows Explorer” and can extract all the documents which are zipped.

  17. Dayan says:

    Can someone help me? I’ve tried Tracie’s suggestion, but it’s no use. When I try to open it with windows explorer, it’ll always say it’s INVALID. When I’ll click EXTRACT ALL, it won’t. It’ll say the compressed (zipped) folder is empty. Ugh. Help?

  18. mark wheeldon says:

    hi ive unzipped the btexplorer.jar and ive got a,b,c,d,e,.class
    locale cs en ru, folder , meta-inf now what how do i get this onto my htc desire mobile phone thanks mark

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