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Zip and File Compression Help.

Posted by Box Off My Computer on January 30, 2010 at 4:37 AM

So what is a zip file (.zip)?

A zip file is a file that has been compressed to reduce it's size. Zipping is also known as archiving or compressing. Although normally compression is optional in a zip archive, and if it is used, it is applied on a per-file basis. Before you zip up files or unzip files you must have zip software or facilities on your computer.

Has Your Computer Got Zip Facilities?

Most modern day computers using Windows have zip or compression facilities already installed.

A quick and easy way to check is... try the next step. If you are not presented with the option to compress (zip) folder then you dont have the facilities available on your computer and will need to download software from WinZip or a similar website. Most zip softwares are available on a free 30 day trial.

To Zip (Compress) A File.

Right click on a file or folder on your 'desktop' or in 'documents'.

You should see an option to 'Send To', hover your curser over this to open another menu.

If 'Compressed (Zipped) Folder' is an option, then you already have software available, click this to zip the file and reduce its size. The new file created will be named the same but with a new icon and .zip extention.

Downloading Zip Files

When downloading a file from a website, it's often a file that has been zipped or compressed to reduce the size of the file. So once you have it onto your computer you will need to unzip (or extract) the files in order to access the files or information inside. Please note that downloading zip files largely depends on your browser settings.

To try downloading a zip file we have created one for you to download here.

To download this zip file, simply click on the link above.

A box will open asking to 'Open' 'Save' or 'Cancel'

Click 'Save'

Another box will now open showing the folders on your computer, find where you want to save the file to, like 'documents' or 'desktop' or wherever suits you then click 'Save' on the botton right of the open box.

The zip file will now save to your computer.

If you're using Vista then your computer will automatically download to 'downloads' which you can usually find in 'documents'.

You can now find the zip file on your computer (depending on where you saved it to)or in 'downloads' if you're using Vista.

Right Click on the file and select 'Extract All' this will open a wizard that will copy the files from the zip folder to your computer so you can access them.

The zip file you have downloaded is only for practising purposes and contains only a message from the team here, you can delete the files once you've practised.

To learn by video and watch how to download zip files please check out our 'Learn By Video' pages.

Categories: Computer Basics Help, Internet Basics Help, Music, Pictures And Files Help

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