How To Open a Zip File Without Using Winzip

Have you ever received e-mail with Zip file attachments?  Or have you attempted to open Zipped files from someone else's folder?

Zip file is a file format used to minimize the amount of space consumed by large files.  Zip files are done by sophisticated streams of algorithms to allow users to free up some space in computers or for easier sending.

The use of zip files started in 1989.  For over twenty years, a number of software developers came out with different programs to zip and unzip files.  If you receive a file that has an extension of .zip or .zipx for newer version, then you are dealing with a compressed file.

The use of zip files is not limited to sending e-mails.  Some businesses use this to index several files on websites for clients to download easier.  The use of zip files instead of the original files can allow faster browsing since loading time is considerably shorter.    

To be able to open zip files, software is usually required.  In the past, zip files can only be extracted by using the same software used when zipping the files.  However, this it has become burdensome for a lot of users.  Winzip is a popular Windows utility that is used to compress and open large files.  Winzip can be purchased online for almost fifty dollars.  

The amount of money that you pay for a Winzip program is definitely not worth it if you intend to use it for a normal day-to-day opening of e-mail attachments.  If you do not have any professional need for Winzip program, then purchasing it is not justifiable.  Good thing that there are easy steps wherein you can open a zip file.  Read on.

  • If you want to open a zipped e-mail attachment, download the file first.  Downloading attachments can be done differently depending on your e-mail provider.  Generally speaking, there is a ‘download’ button somewhere in the screen.
  • Select where you wish to store the attachment.  The default setting on your computer will most likely point you to ‘My Downloads’ folder or your ‘Temp’ folder.  You can change where you want to save the file by pointing it to the folder.  Before you save the attachment, make sure you check on where the save settings are.
  • Once you have successfully downloaded the attachment, locate the file in your computer.  Run a virus scan on the attachment.  A virus-scan is essential prior to opening any form of attachment as most viruses are passed by e-mail attachments.  You can run the scan by pointing your cursor on the file, then right-click on the icon, and select the virus scan from the options.  Do not attempt to open an infected file.  If your virus scan reports an infected file, e-mail the sender and ask to re-send.  
  • After running a successful virus scan, right click on the file and choose the ‘explore’ button from the options menu.  A window will pop-out showing the file or the files that are in the attachment.  Select all items to highlight them.  Hold the ‘control’ and ‘C’ buttons to copy the files, or right-click to copy.
  • Make a new folder and rename as you wish.  Right-click on this new window and choose the ‘Paste’ option; alternatively, you can hold the ‘control’ and ‘V’ buttons to paste the files.   You will now be allowed to open and read the attached files.


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