File Extension ZIP

  • Full name
    WinZIP Compressed ZIP Archive Format
  • Developer
  • Popularity
Have you encountered a problem with a ZIP file? Don’t you know which program opens a file with this extension? You will find all the information you need about working with a ZIP file here. In the further part of this page we have added a list of programs that should open your ZIP file. It is enough you choose a proper application for your operating system, download and install it.


A ZIP file is a so-called archive file in which one or more files can be archived and packed.

Since the ZIP format developed in container format in 1989 and the pack algorithms used are free of charge, it quickly became popular and is still one of the most popular pack formats today. The ZIP format has of course evolved since its introduction and also supports encryption (AES up to 256bit) and distribution to multiple files.

On all important systems there are several applications that can unzip and create ZIP archives. Since XP, Zip archives are supported directly and the content is displayed in the Explorer window. Windows users can easily create Zip archives by right-clicking on a file or folder selection and choosing Send To -> Zip Compressed Folder. Mac OSX users can accomplish this in the same way via the menu item "compress [file name]".

In addition, there are a number of free and commercial pack programs whose functionality goes far beyond just unpacking and creating Zip archives. However, be careful with the file extension, in addition to ZIP there

For example, it is still bzip or gzip. These are not compatible and can not be unpacked with the simple ZIP implementations of Windows or Mac OSX.

The Zip format captivates above all by its spreading, fast archiving and a neat packing rate.

However, competing formats such as Rar or 7zip, which are now also very popular, especially on the Internet, often have a much higher compression rate at similar processing speeds.

In addition to being used as a pure archival format, ZIP is also sometimes used by some games (e.g., Battlefield2, Empire Earth 2, Falcon 4) and application programs as a quasi-data format (e.g., Stardock ObjectBar). Here are the actual (game) data as a zip, but can be used directly by the application or the game.

Of course, these ZIP files are not to be considered compatible, as the data contained therein can only be used by the respective program. In some cases, the files are otherwise encrypted so that they can not be unzipped with a standard ZIP program

Programs which can open a ZIP file

How to open a ZIP file? Advice and guidance

Absolutely most often appearing reason that prevents you from opening the ZIP file is the lack of a proper application to support it in your operating system. It is notably the first thing you need to address. When one of the programs to support a ZIP file from the list is already installed, you can try to rerun the file. The system should display a message asking you to choose a primary application to support ZIP files. At this point we are looking for disk space where the application was installed in and we can link it with a ZIP file. Since then, our operating system will use the selected program to support all ZIP files.

Other issues

Despite the described problem with ZIP there may be many more problems. If the existing operations were not effective, get involved with the following matters:

- verify that the ZIP file is not damaged and that it has been downloaded or copied in whole
- verify that the file has a file extension that has not been intentionally changed (for example, if it do not contain other information than its extension suggests)
- make sure again whether the ZIP file type is linked in the operating system with a proper program
- make sure that the file is not infected with a virus and you have up to date software and drivers.

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