Open ZIP File: How to Open ZIP on Various OS

Open ZIP file is a compression utility tool used to archive a collection of files and folders into a single file. This way, the files can quickly sent over the internet or intranet. Due to its compression algorithm, ZIP files can reduce the size of the file. Today we will give you a briefer on how to open ZIP on various OS.

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What is a ZIP File?

If you ever tried downloading software or any big sized file over the internet, then you’ve probably encountered ZIP files quite a few times. For those who are entirely unfamiliar with them, they are those files with the *.zip file extension.

Phil Katz first introduced ZIP files in PKWARE PKZIP as an alternative to the ARC compression format. It gains popularity because it was immediately released to the public domain. This compressed file type utilizes the DEFLATE compression algorithm, which is a combination of the LZ77 algorithm and Huffman coding. 

A ZIP file format also supports password-based AES encryption. The encryption adds to the level of security that the ZIP file offers. The AES encryption method introduced in version 5.2 and supported by other ZIP applications such as Winzip.

The older version of the ZIP file can only support a maximum of 4GB of data. But with the introduction of the ZIP64 specification, ZIP files could now support and archive files larger than 4GB.

Most of the operating systems available have already adopted the ZIP file format, which includes Windows, MAC OS, Unix, and LINUX. The Windows Explorer and MAC OS Finder can uncompress ZIP files even without the use of a third-party application.

Benefits of a ZIP

ZIP files do so much more than saving space in your computer’s local storage. Here are some of the benefits that you can get from maximizing the functions of ZIP files:

  1. Saves storage space in your local storage because the compression algorithm reduces the actual size of the file.
  2. Due to its small size, it decreases the time it takes to download and upload the file from the network.
  3. It keeps hundreds of files neatly in a single ZIP file.
  4. Instead of sending photos, videos, and documents individually, you can use the ZIP file to archive those files and send them all at once.
  5. You can protect your file so not everyone can view your file unless they know the password

How to Open the ZIP File

The ZIP file is accessed in different ways depending on the operating system of your device. Newer versions of some OS can now natively support ZIP. This feature enables the simple double-clicking of the ZIP file, which will give you access to the content of the archive.

Third-Party Software

WinRAR and 7-ZIP are some of the more well known third-party software that supports the compressing and decompressing of files. After successfully installing this software on your device, opening ZIP files becomes more convenient. A simple double-click on the file will give you access to the content of the ZIP file. 

If you want to decompress the ZIP file, you need to right-click on the file and extract it using the software available in the option. You can also choose another location on where you want the extracted folder to place using “Extract Here” or “Extract To.”


Windows is one of the first operating systems that natively supports ZIP files. Native support for ZIP files means that you don’t need to download third-party software to open the ZIP file. If you are using a newer version of Windows, there is an excellent chance that it natively supports the ZIP file. Follow the steps below to open files with .zip extension.

  1. Locate the ZIP file that you want open
  2. Double click on the ZIP file, and it will open the content of the ZIP file
  3. You can now open each file to view its content.

You cannot make changes to the file you want to open if you just double click the file. Below are the steps to follow in extracting the archive:

  1. Locate the ZIP file that you want to extract
  2. Right-click on the ZIP file. Choose the “Extract All” option
  3. Another window will show up, and you can specify the location of the extracted file anywhere in your local storage
  4. By default, the location where the file will be extracted is in the same folder where the *.zip file is located.
  5. Click the extract button
  6. Once extraction is completed, a new folder will be created with the same file name as your *.zip file.

How to Open ZIP Fine in Linux

You can open files in Linux by using the unzip command. The unzip command is usually readily available in the Linux installation package. But in case it is not installed as part of the utility, you can always use the tar command. Browse the folder where the ZIP file is located and type the command below on the command line tar -xvf


Opening a ZIP file format archive is as simple as opening a folder as long as you have the latest version of the operating system. If your operating system has no native support for ZIP files, make sure to install third-party software such as WinZIP, WinRAR, and 7-Zip to get the job done. 

What are your experiences with ZIP files? Leave us a comment below, and we will get back to them as soon as possible.

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