How to Zip Files and Folders on Windows 10 & 11

While zipping files might not be an everyday task, it’s a valuable skill for any Windows user. Here’s a breakdown of the various methods you can use to compress your files and save space or share them more easily.

How to Zip Files and Folders on Windows 10 & 11

1. The Right-Click Method

This is the simplest way to zip files. Here’s how:

  1. Open the folder containing the files you want to zip.
  2. Select the files you want to compress. You can click on individual files or use Ctrl + A to select all files.
  3. Right-click on any of the selected files.
  4. Hover over Send to and choose Compressed (zipped) folder.

windows zip
Windows will create a new ZIP file named “Compressed (zipped) folder” in the same location, containing your selected files.

2. Zipping with File Explorer

For a slightly different approach, utilize File Explorer’s built-in options:

Windows 10:

  1. Open File Explorer and navigate to the folder containing your files.
  2. Select the files you want to compress.
  3. Click the Share tab located at the top of the File Explorer window.
  4. Under the Send section, click on Zip. Windows will create and save a new ZIP file containing your selections.

Windows 11:

  1. Open File Explorer and locate the file(s) or folder you want to compress.
  2. Select the file(s).
  3. Click on the three-dot menu in the top ribbon.
  4. Choose Compress to ZIP file. A new, compressed ZIP file will be created right next to the original file(s).

3. Third-Party Apps

While the built-in Windows tools offer a convenient way to zip files, some users prefer third-party applications that provide additional features. 7-Zip (free and open-source) is a popular option, allowing you to create and extract various archive formats.

  1. Download and install 7-Zip on your Windows PC.
  2. Open the 7-Zip application. It will have its own file manager interface.
  3. Navigate to the folder containing the files you want to compress using the 7-Zip file manager.
  4. Select the desired files.
  5. Click the Add button in the top toolbar.
  6. Choose the output folder, archive format (ZIP in this case), compression level, and optionally set a password for your ZIP archive.
  7. Click OK. 7-Zip will create and save the compressed ZIP file in your chosen location.

There you have it! With these methods at your disposal, zipping files on Windows becomes a breeze. Whether you prefer the built-in context menu or the additional options offered by 7-Zip, you can easily compress your files for storage or sharing.