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How Do I Access Contents of a Zipped File?
Author: KB Admin Reference Number: AA-02693 Views: 4064 Created: 2012-08-05 19:00 Last Updated: 2012-06-08 04:09 0 Rating/ Voters
File compression was developed a number of years ago to provide a means by which a computer file can be reduced in size. By doing so, files can be more easily downloaded from the Internet, or they require less hard drive space for storage. When needed, the contents of file can then be extracted and made available for use.

Under previous versions of Windows, third-party software, such as WinZip, was required to perform the file extraction to access the contents. With the introduction of Windows XP, file extraction capability was included. This capability continues with Windows Vista as well.


To extract the contents of a compressed - or zipped - file, one simply right-clicks on the filename. The pop-up menu that appears should include an entry Extract all... Clicking this entry on the menu will start the File Extraction Wizard.


Windows XP
1. Step one of the wizard is a welcome screen. Click NEXT>
2. Step two allows one to select a destination for the extracted files. Unless a change is made, the files will extract to the same folder where the zipped file itself is stored. When finished with this step, click NEXT>
3. With step three, one will be given the option to view the extracted contents in a new window.
Windows Vista
1. Step one includes the following items:
a. Option to select a destination for the extracted files.
b. Option to view the extracted files in a window.
2. When EXTRACT> has been clicked, the process is executed and completed.
If one right-clicks on a file perceived to be a zipped file, but no EXTRACT ALL... option shows on the menu, check the file properties for that file. It may not have downloaded correctly, or the file may have become corrupted. It is also helpful to check the file size. It may show as 0 KB. If so, this means that the file contains no data. In cases such as these, it is usually best to try downloading the file once again.

Last Update: ELM/June 5, 2008