How to Unzip a Zip File

You are new to the computer, you asked a friend how to unzip a ZIP file but did he recommend a program that is too rich in options that you are not comfortable with? No problem: if you are looking for an alternative solution that makes ease of use its main strength, I know which tools are right for you. If you want to discover them, go ahead and read my guide dedicated to the subject.

In the following lines, in fact, it will be my pleasure to show you all those that I believe to be the best programs belonging to the category in question, thanks to which you can decompress compressed archives in ZIP format (but not only) in a few clicks, without having to lose yourself among complicated menu items or particular configurations. Furthermore, I anticipate that this is also possible online, without downloading and installing absolutely anything on the PC. First of all, however, I will explain how to succeed in the enterprise using the "standard" resources of Windows, macOS and Linux.

How do you say? Would you also like to understand what are the tools you have from yours to carry out the same operation even on the move? No problem, I had already thought about that too. At the end of the guide, in fact, you will find a step focused precisely on the apps for Android and iOS used for this purpose. But now just chat and let's take action. I wish you, as usual, happy reading and I wish you a very big good luck for everything!

Unzip a ZIP File on Windows

To begin with, let's find out how to succeed unzip a ZIP file su Windows, using the features integrated into the system and a specific third party program. In all cases, fear not: it's very easy. To find out more, please continue reading.

Compressed Archives Manager

As I told you at the beginning of the article, all major computer operating systems integrate tools specifically designed for the decompression of ZIP archives (and those in other formats). In the specific case of Windows, to be able to use it, all you have to do is, very simply, locate the ZIP file you want to decompress, right-click on it, select the option Extract everything from the contextual menu that appears and press the button Extract in the window that opens.

Alternatively, you can extract your ZIP archives on Windows by double clicking on them and, in the File Explorer which opens by pressing the button Extract everything located on the toolbar.

In either case, the files contained within the archive will be extracted to the same location as the latter. Also, if the ZIP file you want to unzip is protected by a password, to proceed with the extraction you will be asked before typing the necessary key.

If you then want to extract individual files contained in the archive, double-click on the ZIP file and drag the icons of the elements of your interest from the window that opens on the desktop to the destination location you prefer.

7-Zip

If the tool already included in Windows for managing compressed archives does not satisfy you, you can try 7-Zip. It is a totally free and open source program used, in fact, for the compression and decompression of compressed archives. It is compatible with all major formats of this type (ZIP, 7z, DMG, RAR etc.), including password-protected and multi-volume archives.

It is very easy to use. To use it, first connect to the program's website and click on the link Download that you find at the top, at the Windows version you are using (a 64 bit or 32 bit), in order to start the download on your computer.

Once the download is complete, open the file .exe obtained, presses the button Si in the window that appears, then on the one with it written install and, in conclusion, his Close.

At this point, you can open any file in ZIP format with 7-Zip by right clicking on its icon and selecting the items 7-Zip> Open from the menu that appears. In the window that you will later see open, click on the button Extract, indicate the location on your computer where you prefer to extract the files and click on the button OK.

In addition to what I have just indicated, you can open your ZIP files with 7-Zip by right clicking on them, selecting the item 7-Zip is that Extract here, to extract the files contained in the archive to the current location, or Extract the files, to specify the location to extract the files. In all cases, if the ZIP file is protected by password you will be asked to type it.

If, on the other hand, it is your intention to extract only some of the files contained in the ZIP archive, right click on the latter, select the items 7-Zip> Open from the menu that appears and drag the files of your interest out of the window that opens, dropping them in the output location you prefer.

Finally, I point out that if you want to make 7-Zip automatically open ZIP files when you double-click on their icons, you can do it by opening 7-Zip File Manager (you can find it in Start menu Windows), by going to the menu Tools> Options located at the top of the pop-up window on the desktop and clicking on the item zip in the column Type until the program icon appears. Then confirm the changes made by clicking on the button Apply and it's done.

Unzip a ZIP File on MacOS

Let's now pass to the side MacOS. Below I have proceeded to show you how to decompress the archives in ZIP format using, even in this case, the "standard" operating system manager and a third-party developer program.

Compression Utility

If you want to decompress a ZIP file using the appropriate tool already included in macOS, called Compression Utility, all you have to do is locate the compressed archive in relation to which you are interested in going to act, double click on it and ... wait for the extraction procedure to be completed. The files contained in the ZIP archive will be extracted to the same location as the latter.

As an alternative to the procedure I have just indicated, you can also open ZIP files by right clicking on them and choosing the item apri from the menu that appears. In all cases, if the ZIP file is protected by password you will be asked to type it.

If you then want to adjust the preferences of the archive manager, do this: invoke the Compression Utility via the Launchpad, folder Applications, Spotlight or Siri, go to the menu Compression Utility> Preferences at the top left and use the items attached to the window that appears to choose where to save the expanded files, what to do after extracting the archives, etc.

The Unarchiver

If you'd rather turn to an alternative solution to macOS's default compressed file manager, you can opt for The Unarchiver: it is a free application that allows you to extract files in ZIP, RAR, 7z, TAR, GZIP, BZIP2, ZH, ARJ and ARC (including encrypted archives and multi-volume archives) files with a simple double click.

To use it, visit the relevant section of the Mac App Store Online, click here See in the Mac App Store and, in the window of Mac App Store  that opens on the desk, press the button Ottieni / Installa. If required, also enter the password of your Apple account to proceed with the download.

Next, right click on the ZIP file you want to unzip, select Open with from the menu that opens and choose The Unarchiver. Once this is done, the program will go into action and will extract the contents of the archive in the current position. If the ZIP file is protected by password, you will also be asked to type it.

You can also make The Unarchiver become the default tool for extracting ZIP files on macOS. To do this, start the program by selecting its icon from the Launchpad, from the folder Applications, through Spotlight or, again, call it back via Siri and, in the window you see appear on the desktop, select the tab Archive formats. Then put the check mark next to the wording Zip archive.

Then, right click on any ZIP file, select the entry Get information from the menu that opens, expand the section Open with in the pop-up window on the screen and select, from the contextual menu, The Unarchiver.

Also through the settings window of The Unarchiver, I point out that you can change the "behavior" of the program by going to the tab Extraction and expressing your preferences regarding the location to extract the compressed archives, the action to be performed following the extraction, etc.

Unzip a ZIP File on Ubuntu

And up Linux? How do you unzip a ZIP file? Nothing easier! Again, just take advantage of the tool Archive manager default. To use it on Ubuntu, the most famous and used Linux distro, just right click on the reference compressed archive and select the item Open with Archive Manager from the menu that appears. Alternatively, double-click the compressed archive.

Next, you will have to press on the button Extract in the window that opens, indicate the output position and press the button again Extract. If the ZIP file is protected by a password, you will be asked to type it in order to proceed.

If you then want to extract only some of the files in the archive, drag the ones of your interest out of the archive manager window and drop them in the output location you prefer.

Online Services to Unzip a ZIP File

I was telling you at the beginning of the guide: ZIP files can also be decompressed from the browser, using special ones online services, without having to download and install absolutely anything on your computer. If you are interested in this, please read on. In fact, below I have pointed out what I believe to be the most efficient tools in the category.

Archive Extractor

Archive Extractor is a web service that allows you to extract files in ZIP, RAR, 7Z, ZIPX and many more, completely free of charge and without requiring registration. It also supports password-protected and multi-volume archives (i.e. those split into multiple parts). Furthermore, all uploaded files are deleted from the service server within a few hours.

To use it, go to the Archive Exractor home page, click on the button Choose files from your computer and select the ZIP archive saved on your computer that you want to unzip. Alternatively, you can drag it directly into the browser window. If, however, the ZIP archive is found online or on Google Drive or on dropbox, you can upload it directly from there, by selecting the corresponding link.

Once the file upload procedure is completed, the service will automatically extract it, after which you will be shown the list with all the files contained in the archive. If the ZIP file is protected by password, you will be asked to type it.

To download the files contained in the archive to your computer, click on the name of each of them. I also point out that a button is available to download all the files simultaneously in the form of a ZIP archive, which, however, based on your current needs, greatly frustrates its usefulness.

B1 Online Archiver

As an alternative to the online service already mentioned, you can refer to B1 Online Archiver, which allows you to extract ZIP files but also RAR, 7Z and various other formats, all at no cost and without requiring registration. Note that the maximum size supported for each file is 300MB. It also winks at privacy, as uploaded and extracted files are deleted from its servers shortly after the page is closed.

To use the service, connected to its home page, click on the button Click here located in the center and select the ZIP archive to extract on your computer. Alternatively, you can drag and drop the archive to be extracted directly into the browser window.

Then wait for the file to be processed, after which you will be shown a new page with the list of all the files extracted from the archive. If the ZIP archive is protected by password, you will also be asked to enter it. To download the elements in question to your computer, press the icon with the blue arrow located next to the name of each file. And here it is!

App to Decompress a ZIP File

And what about the mobile side? How to unzip a ZIP file using Android or from iOS? Simple, indeed much more: just use the right applications. To find out what they are, take a look at the following list right away, choose the resource that you think will best suit you and put it to the test immediately.

  • WinZip (Android / iOS) - is the mobile counterpart of a popular commercial utility for extracting compressed archives. It allows you to extract archives in ZIP, ZIPX, 7Z, RAR and CBZ formats, create archives in ZIP and ZIPX format and extract encrypted ZIP files with standard, AES-128 and AES 256-bit encryption. It's free, but you can unlock some extra features, such as the ability to create encrypted archives, through in-app purchases (starting from 0,80 cents) on Android and by switching to the Pro version (costs 5,49 euros) on iOS.
  • ZArchiver (Android) - totally free application for Android devices only for managing compressed archives in ZIP, RAR, BZIP2, GZIP, XZ, ISO, TAR, ARJ format and many more. It does not include banner ads and has a highly intuitive interface.
  • Fillet (iOS) - is the default file manager of iPhone and iPad included in iOS from version 11. It allows you to organize files in the internal memory of the device or in iCloud Drive. Among its features, there is also the possibility to extract compressed archives in ZIP format (and more).

If you think you need more details about the apps described above, check out my tutorial dedicated specifically to apps to open ZIP files and, in the specific case of iOS, my guide on how to open ZIP files on iPhone and my post on how to unzip files with iPad.