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What is 7-zip, and how do I use it?

Article ID: 457
Last updated: 14 Apr, 2017

Sometimes when downloading files, you may encounter .ZIP or .7z files. These are compressed files that are designed to take up less space and hold multiple files within one single file. You can then extract these files, or unpack them, to uncompress them and use them.

Here are some helpful tips to help you use 7zip for your files:

  • When you download a .ZIP or .7z file, it will do one of two things: ask you where you want to save it, or save to a default folder, like your Downloads folder. You can determine where it has saved to by clicking the window with the list of downloaded files in your browser window, right clicking the folder, and left clicking "Open Containing Folder".
  • When you want to use a file within the .ZIP or .7z file, you will want to extract those files before opening. You can do this by right-clicking the .ZIP or .7z file, and left clicking "Extract files to...", which will then open up a Windows Explorer windows where you may specify the location you want the files to be unpacked to. I would recommend creating a new folder in that directory, and then double-clicking it and extracting the files there.
  • To create a .7z or .ZIP file, select the files you want by holding ALT+Left Clicking the files to highlight them. Then right- click anywhere in the highlighted areas and select 7-zip: Add to archive. This will pop up a Windows explorer window for you to name and save your archive to.

7zip is free to download, and is available here:

Article ID: 457
Last updated: 14 Apr, 2017
Revision: 2
Views: 10376
Comments: 0
Posted: 15 May, 2012 by -- .
Updated: 14 Apr, 2017 by Stephan J.
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