How do I zip a folder and later restore it?

The steps you take to zip folders and their contents will vary according to your preference. For additional information on this subject, please see Related Articles at the bottom of this article.

How to Zip a folder

  1. Zipping a folder from the Default view
  2. Using the context menu to zip a folder

How to Unzip a folder

  1. Unzipping a folder from an open Zip file
  2. Using the context menu to unzip a folder

You can easily zip a folder from the Default view. To do this:

  1. Open WinZip and browse in the Files pane, in order to locate the folder you want to zip
    Click one of the Places
  2. After you select your folder, you can do either of the following:
    • Drag the folder to the Zip file pane and drop it
    • Click the Add to Zip button
    Drag to the Zip file pane or click Add
  3. The Zip file pane now shows the folder you added. You can deselect the folder in the Files pane and add more to the Zip file, click the File tab for the most choices of what to do, or you can click a button in the Actions pane.
    Continue zipping or choose an Action

If you have configured WinZip to use the Classic view, you will need to work with the ribbon and you may need to have a Windows Explorer folder window open. The archived article for WinZip 17 or WinZip 18 can be used as a guide in this case.

If you are working in a File Explorer window, you can quickly create a Zip file using the context menu. To do this with a folder, you would:

  1. Locate the folder you want to zip
  2. Right click the folder
  3. Choose Add to or use another "Add" option from the WinZip submenu
    Zip a folder with the WinZip context menu

You also have the option to click Zip and Share (WinZip Express), which will open WinZip Express for Explorer. This also will zip your folder, but will give you many additional options for naming, converting, saving, and sharing.

You can easily unzip your folder from an open Zip file. Here are 4 ways to do that:

  • Starting with WinZip 22.0, a dialog displays giving you options for unzipping to:
    • The folder from which you opened your Zip file
    • The My Documents folder
    • A folder you choose
    Unzip dialog
  • Find your target folder in the Files pane, click on your folder in the Zip file pane, and then drag and drop it on the target folder
    Drag and drop the folder
  • Click Unzip to in the Actions pane (you can click the arrow to the right of Unzip to if you want to select a different target folder)
    Click Unzip to
  • Without selecting any files in the Zip file, browse to and open the folder where you want files to be unzipped in the WinZip Files pane; then click the Unzip to folder button at the bottom left area of the Zip file pane.
    Click Unzip to folder in Zip file pane

Note: If you do not see all of the icons pictured in WinZip as in the picture above, you will need to move your cursor until it is on the line separating the two WinZip panes. When it changes as pictured below, you then should click and hold your left mouse button and move it a bit to the left.

Move line between panes

In Classic view, you can click one of the buttons in the Unzip tab. Before doing this in the Classic view, it would be good to click the drop down menu on Unzip Settings. If you do not see that Use folder names is checked, you will not get any folders.

Use folder names should be checked

If you are working in a Windows Explorer folder window, you can quickly unzip a folder from a Zip file using the context menu. To do this:

  1. Find your Zip file
  2. Right click on the Zip file
  3. Choose an "Unzip" option from the WinZip submenu of the context menu
    Unzip a folder with the WinZip context menu

If you have any questions about this information, please submit a Technical Support ticket.

Related Articles:
More on File Compression
How do I control the folder information WinZip stores in a Zip file?
Quick examples of how to zip files with WinZip
How to Zip files with their folder information

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