Wednesday, 12 Jun 2024

How to Zip Files and Folders on Windows 11, 10

Windows 11 (and 10) offers a built-in “zip” feature in File Explorer, allowing you to quickly compress files or gather multiple files to send over the internet. In this guide, we will explore how to use this feature to create zip files and compress content. While the File Explorer zip feature is convenient, it does have limitations compared to other applications. For example, you cannot control compression ratios, add password protection, or choose encryption methods. Nevertheless, let’s dive into the steps to create a zip file on Windows 11 or 10.

Zip Files on Windows 11 from File Explorer

To zip files and folders on Windows 11 (or 10), follow these steps:

  1. Open File Explorer on Windows 11.
  2. Navigate to the folder containing the files you want to include in the zip file.
  3. Select the files (and folders).
  4. Right-click the selection and choose the “Compress to ZIP” option.

Once you complete these steps, Windows will create the compressed zipped file. You can also refer to these instructions for Windows 10. You can include various file types, such as documents, pictures, music, executables, and even other already compressed “.zip” files. If a file is already compressed, its size will remain unchanged within the new zipped file. Although File Explorer may appear slightly different on Windows 11, the instructions remain the same for Windows 10.

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Create Zip Before Adding Files

Alternatively, you can first create the zip file and then drag and drop the files into it to compress them. Here’s how:

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Click the New menu and select the “Compressed (zipped) Folder” option.

After completing these steps, you can drag and drop files into the zipped file or copy the files, open the zip file, and paste the contents.

Zip Files on Windows 11 from PowerShell

If you prefer using PowerShell commands to compress files into a zip file, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Start menu.
  2. Search for PowerShell, right-click on the top result, and select “Run as administrator”.
  3. Type the following command to zip files with PowerShell and press Enter:
Compress-Archive -Path C:SOURCE-PATH-TO-YOUR-FILES* -CompressionLevel Optimal -DestinationPath

In the command, replace the source and destination paths with your specific paths. The wildcard character * instructs the command to compress all the contents of the source folder.

  1. (Optional) Type the following command to compress additional files and press Enter:
Compress-Archive -Path C:SOURCE-PATH-TO-YOUR-FILES -Update -DestinationPath

Again, modify the source and destination paths as required in the command.

Once you complete these steps, the files will be compressed, and a zipped file will be created in the specified location.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Windows 11 have a zip extractor?

Yes, on Windows 11, you can use File Explorer to extract files from a zip file.

Should I enable file and folder compression on Windows 11?

Typically, enabling compression on Windows 11 is not necessary. You can always use File Explorer to compress and uncompress files and folders using zip.

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Does 7zip work on Windows 11?

Yes, you can use third-party tools like 7zip to zip and unzip files on Windows 11.


With the native zip feature in Windows 11’s File Explorer and the option to use PowerShell commands, you can easily compress files and folders for various purposes. Whether you need to reduce file sizes or prepare files for sharing, these methods will help you accomplish those tasks. Remember, always choose the method that suits your needs and consider using third-party tools if you require more advanced compression options. Happy zipping!