How To Make a Self-Extracting Compressed File with WinZip

Compressing or zipping files is surely useful in reducing the size of files. It easy for users to send documents attached in emails or saved on diskettes and/or other storage devices, as a zipped file can contain one or more documents. In case the intended user of a zipped file does not have an application able to retrieve compressed files saved in a zip format, self-extracting zip files are easily made so that those users do not need a program to uncompress those files. Here are the steps to create a self-extracting compressed file.

1. Get a copy of WinZip’s installer.

Get the latest copy of the installer on WinZip’s official site, When your download finishes, open the folder where you have saved the WinZip’s execution file and then double click on the installer’s icon to start the and follow the on screen instructions to complete the installation.

2. Launch WinZip.

There are many ways on how to launch WinZip. The following are the possible ways on how to open the WinZip application.

  • On your desktop, look for the WinZip icon and double click on it.
  • On your desktop, hit the “Start” button to pull up the Start Menu. If you’re using the Classic Start Menu, hover your mouse on top of “Programs” and then double click on WinZip. If you’re using the standard Windows XP Start Menu, hover your mouse on top of “All Programs” and then hit on WinZip.
  • On your desktop, hit the “Start” button and click on “Run”. This will pull up the run command where you type in “winzip32” on the text field provided. After which, press the enter key on your keyboard or using your mouse, hit the “OK” button.

Any of these cited ways will pull up WinZip.

3. Produce an archive.

Just below WinZip's menu bar, you will see buttons for “New” & “Open”. If you have an accessible archive, hit the button for “Open” and locate the archive you want to pull up. If you don’t have an existing archive, press the “New” button to pull up the “New Archive” dialogue box. Input the file name you would like this archive to have and press the “OK” button. Doing so will now pull up the “Add” dialogue box. Locate the files you want to add into the archive you created. Highlight the item and press the “Add” button. After pressing the “Add” button, there will be a pop up box stating that the file has been added to the archive with details pertaining to the file, specifically of its size before and after compression. Just press the “OK” button to close the “Add Complete” pop up box and repeat the steps to add a file into the archive several times as needed.

4. Begin creating the self-extracting compressed archive.

After you are sure that all the files you want to include in the zipped file is added, pull up the “WinZip Self-Extractor Personal Edition” pane. This can be done in two ways:

  • From the menu bar, hit “Actions” and click on “Make .Exe File”.
  • On your keyboard, press “Shift” & “K” simultaneously.

When the Self-Extractor pane is populated, on the text field beneath “Default ‘Unzip To’ Folder”, input the folder where the decompressed documents will be saved when users run the self-extracting zipped file. Press the “OK” and then the “Yes” button when you’re done inputting the folder path where you want the compressed files to be saved. The self-extracting zipped file is now created. 


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