Default compression - What it is, how to change it

When you install WinZip a Default Compression Method is set. WinZip will use the default compression method each time you create a Zip file (.zip or .zipx). Exceptions to this, or methods you can use to create a Zip file and select a different compression method include, using Add to Zip file from the context menu, using Zip and Share (WinZip Express), and creating a WinZip Job (WinZip Pro and WinZip Enterprise users only). The default compression method will also be used when you create Zip files from the context menu using Add to

The default compression method set during a WinZip install is Legacy compression, which will create .Zip files. You can change this to Optimize for best compression, which causes WinZip to create .Zipx files. Best method compression provides significant compression improvements over legacy Zip compression. Zipx files that you create will:

  • Be the smallest size possible with WinZip
  • Use advanced compression methods where applicable
  • Use the .zipx extension to clearly distinguish advanced compression Zip files from Legacy Zip files (.zip)

To change the default compression setting in WinZip, open WinZip to the Zip tab and click Zipx or Zip. You may also do this in WinZip Options as described below.

  1. Open WinZip
  2. Click the File tab and click WinZip Settings
  3. In the WinZip Options General tab, click in the box next to Create new Zip files using the (.zipx) file type
  4. Click OK

If you will be sharing the Zip files that you create with others, and if they might not have a compatible WinZip version installed, you are welcome to have them download and install the latest evaluation version of WinZip. If installing a new build of WinZip is not acceptable to the recipient of your Zip files, you will likely want to configure the default compression setting to create .zip files.

Choosing a Default Compression Method - Installing WinZip

With WinZip 21.5 or earlier, you can change the default compression setting while you are installing WinZip. To do this, you must choose the Custom install option in the appropriate panel and then make the change as pictured above.

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

Related Articles:
File Compression: Everything You Need to Know
More on Compressing Your Files
Additional Compression Methods Specification
What is the difference between "Legacy" and "Best method" compression?
How to activate (or re-activate) WinZip's shell extension
Quick examples of how to zip files with WinZip
Is WinZip compatible with older versions of WinZip and other Zip file utilities?

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