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How to create zip files, open and extract (unzip)

Zip and unzip files with PeaZip

PeaZip ia an Open Source free zip utility providing read / write support for .zip files on Linux, macOS, and Windows systems: create zip archives, open (list, search and explore archived files and directories) and extract zip archives, converter from / to Zip format.
ZIP file format is the default archive type for PeaZip, which uses optimized 7-Zip / p7Zip Deflate compression implementation to reduce zip file size while keeping compatibility with other zip utilities.
The application can also manage password protected, encrypted zip archives (encrypt and decrypt), and provides an archive integrity testing utility to detect data corruption or forging.

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ZIP compression and extraction performances

ZIP format uses Deflate compression algorithm by default, which provides fast but single threaded compression and de-compression.
PeaZip can optionally set Deflate64, BZip2, LZMA, PPMd and XZ (LZMA2-based) compression algorithms from Advanced tab in the archive creation screen.
BZip2 and LZMA algorithms provides multi-threaded compression, taking advantage of modern multi-core, multi-thraded CPUs, and BZip2 also provided multi-threaded extraction.
Read File Compression Benchmarks section for more information about performances comparison between different compression algorithms, formats, and archive managers.
Please note that some legacy archive managers may not support ZIP archives created employing those new compression algorithms, so it is recommended to rely on Deflate compressed ZIP archives whenever interoperability with other archive manager utilities is critical.

Create ZIP files

Create Zip files from the system's file explorer

  • Use context menu PeaZip > Add to archive for archive creation screen, to set compression settings, output destination, set encryption password, and other options

  • Alternatively, use system context menu Add to .ZIP to compress selected items without further interaction

Create Zip files from PeaZip free archiver
  • Select files and folders, and use Add button (or Add entry in context menu) for archive creation screen

  • Drag and drop files / folders from the system to PeaZip; if you are browsing an existing archive you will be asked if to add files to current archive or to create a new one

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From main archive creation interface it is possible to apply encryption (recipient will need to enter a password to read and extract the archive), and to split files in order to keep the output size below limits (e.g. max upload or mail attachment size).
"Advanced" tab can fine-tune compression settings: faster or higher compression level, algorithm, solid compression block size, compress open files, create self extracting archive (SFX)...
Read more about how to create archives (zip multiple input files into single archive) or how to compress each file to a separate archive (zip files separately).

Update existing ZIP archives

How to add items into an existing ZIP file
To update existing archive, easiest way is dragging files/folders to it, which will automatically activate update mode.

How to delete files and folders from a ZIP archive
To remove (delete) data from the archive, select items and press cancel or "Delete from archive" button. Deleted items will not be recoverable from recycle bin.

How to edit files inside a ZIP archive
To open and edit a file inside a ZIP archive, double click the file to open it with associated application, or right-click it to chose a custom app to open it with.
When saving or closing a modified copy of the file, the temporary data will be added back to the existing archive replacing the old data - PeaZip will ask for confirmation before modifying the content of the archive.

How to convert ZIP files

Convert tool extracts and then re-pack input archive files.

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This function makes possible to convert any read-supported archive type (e.g. 7Z, ACE, ARC, CAB, PEA, RAR, TAR, ZIP, ZIPX...), even mixed extensions at once, into any write-supported format (7Z, ARC, PEA, TAR, ZIP...).

Read more about archive file conversion tool.

Open ZIP files

Double click to open ZIP file and browse / search its content, if file extension is associated with PeaZip (default).

Open arbitrary file type as ZIP
If zip file type, or a zip variant, is not associated with PeaZip, right-click on the archive and use system context menu "Open as archive" entry, that will attempt to read any user provided file type regardless file extension associations.
Read more about how to open and browse zipped archive files.

Extract ZIP files (unzip)

Direct ZIP extraction

  • Select one or more zip archives and use context menu entry "Extract..." for extraction screen, to set output path, enter password, and other unzip options

  • Select one or more archives and use context menu entry Extract here or Extract here (to new folder) for quick zip file extraction with no further confirmation

UNZIP files within PeaZip free archiver

  • Extract button shows archive extraction screen providing access to all uzip options

  • Extract all to... button for setting zip file extraction output path only

  • Simplest alternative is drag & drop to extract desired objects from the application to the system

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How to extract a multipart ZIP archive
To extract a spanned (split) ZIP file, save all the parts in the same directory, then open as usual the first volume of the archive, which usually has Z01 or 001 extension - subsequent volumes have progressively numbered file extensions (Z02, Z03 etc).

Please remember that you need to place all the volumes of the archive (.001, .002 etc) in the same directory in order to be able to extract it.

Read more about archive files extraction and how to extract selected files from archive

Create, open, extract encrypted ZIP archives

ZIP natively support encryption, so it is possible to create secure, password-protected archives in this format.
To create, open, or extract, an encrypted .zip file, enter the password in PeaZip clicking the padlock icon.

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Supported algorithms for zip encryption, in Advanced tab, are:
  • AES256 (WinZip's Advanced Encryption standard)
  • ZipCrypto, for legacy support only
Extract encrypted files from a ZIP archive
Encrypted items inside the archive are identified by * sign, and can be successfully decompressed only providing the correct encryption password.

Read more about how to encrypt zip files and how to extract encrypted files

Synopsis: How to use PeaZip free zip files software. How to create, open, extract ZIP archives. Download compression, extraction, unzip software for Windows, Linux, and macOS. Open zip files with PeaZip. Extract zip files (unzip), or extract selected content from zipped archive. How to create zip files, zip files and folders. How to add files to zip or remove files from existing zip archive, edit files in zip archives. How to convert zip to rar or 7z format. How to manage encrypted ZIP archives.

Topics: how to create zip files, update existing zip archives, convert and recompress zip files, open and extract zip files on Windows, Linux, and macOS, free zip / unzip utility

PeaZip > FAQ > Free ZIP utility: create, extract, open ZIP files


Create, open, extract 7Z files

Open and extract ACE files

Create, open, extract ARC files

Create, open, extract Brotli files

Compress, decompress Bzip2 files

Open and extract CAB files

Compress, decompress GZip files

Open and extract DMG, ISO, UDF disk images

Create, open, extract PAQ, LPAQ, ZPAQ files

PEA: Pack Encrypt Authenticate

Open and extract RAR files

Create, open, extract TAR, TGZ, TBZ files

Create, open, extract WIM disk images

Create, open, extract ZIP files

Create, open, extract ZIPX files

Create, open, extract Zstandard files

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