Covering bases: What is a zipped file and how can it be opened?

Zip files

If you download large files onto your computer, it’s only a matter of time before you come across a .ZIP file. And if you do, you might now know what to do next.

In premise, this file is a zipped file type that is compressed and is used to archive data for the sake of occupying less disk space. So what is a zipped file?

It’s a very useful tool for sharing data quickly, easily, and more conveniently. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about ZIPs so that you can finally interact with them.

So if you’re ready to break into the treasure that’s hiding behind the .ZIP door, keep reading.


Any file with a .ZIP extension is a compressed ZIP file. However, to figure out what is a zipped file, we also need to consider the other formats that are part of this category.

A zipped file like any other archive format is a collection of several or more files/folders, which are compressed into a single file for ease of mobility.

The most common use case for .ZIP is to download software. Zipping the program allows you to get access to the download quicker, as well as save space on your device.

Another common use for zipped files is to share images or videos. Instead of sending them individually, the sender can make use of the compression and send them all together.


In general, files can only be converted into the same realm of use. For instance, you cannot make a single image into a video, and you cannot make a ZIP file into a song.

If this is hard to understand, you need to remember that zipped files are simply containers, the actual files are inside of them. So if you want to convert files inside of the ZIP, you can do so. But you will need to extract them first.

Since ZIP is an archive, you can convert the file to 7Z, RAR, TGZ, TAR, ISO. As well as any other compression format. This is done in two ways.

If the zipped file is small, you can use an online ZIP converter. Type ZIP converted into the search engine of your choice. Then follow the instructions provided.

If the zipped file is large, it will take a long time to upload it online. In this case, download a converting software, such as IZarc.

If neither works for you, you can use a simple file converter by downloading one online. It should be able to do everything you want it to.


The best way to open a zipped file is to click on it twice and allow your device to show what’s inside of it. All modern OS allows you to uncompress and look into zipped files without downloading any software. Zipped files are handled internally both on macOS and Windows.

If you need more functionality, you can download a zip/unzip tool, which will allow you to compress files into several archive formats as well. Some can password-protect and decrypted the data if you like. If we had to choose one, it would be 7Zip.

If you’d rather avoid using a program, there are many online services available to do the same. EzyZIP allows you to upload the ZIP and see all of the files. Then you can choose to download them individually or altogether uncompressed.

You should only make use of online services if the zipped file is small. Otherwise, you will be wasting time. 7ZIP takes just a minute to download and allows you to do everything on your device.

You can also open zipped files on a mobile device. You can download iZIP for IOS or B1 Archiver for Android.


If you have protected your ZIP file with a password but forgot it, you can make use of a cracker to remove the password. These are brute force programs and they work for easy passwords. Hard passwords can be cracked but it can take days or weeks.

Some ZIP files might have a name with a different extension before the final ZIP.  Keep in mind that the final extension is the one that defines the entire file.

For instance, is a zipped file, no matter what. In this case, the archive is named in that way so it’s easier to identify that images are inside of the ZIP.

Some backup tools can create copies of the ZIP format so that they are compiled together and compressed. A program like COMODO does exactly that.

To make use of a ZIP file, right-click on the folder and then click on Send To, navigated to Compressed Folder. To zip the folder on macOS, right-click and choose Compress Items. Learn how to unzip a file on Mac.

A zipped file can be 22 bytes on the minimum, and 4 GB on the maximum. This limit applies to compressed and uncompressed files within the format, as well as the total size of the ZIP.


Now that you know “what is a zipped file?”, you are well on your way to make use of all of the great features that come with it. You will be able to view, interact with, and create them in no time.

Just remember that your device already can operate with ZIPs, you just need to be courageous and try clicking on it. And if that’s not enough, just download some software.

If you’re interested in similar articles, feel free to check out the rest of our tech-related articles on the sidebar.

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