How to Open Zip Files on Vista

by Michael Dance

In the past, you needed a special program, such as WinZip, to open \"zipped\" (compressed) folders. But with Windows Vista, the function comes built-in for most types of compressed files.

Step 1

Double-click on the zip folder with the zipped file inside. A window should pop up with the file or files inside.

Step 2

Click \"Extract All Files\" in the top options bar. The extraction wizard will pop up.

Step 3

Select where you want the files to be extracted to. By default, Vista will extract them to a folder that has the same name as the zip folder, in the same location. If a folder by that name does not exist, Vista will create one.

Step 4

Click \"Extract.\"

Your files will be uncompressed.


  • If a Vista window doesn't pop up when you double-click on the zip folder, you may need to change zip file associations to point to Vista's basic extraction function. To do this, right-click on the zip folder, click \"Open With\" and then click \"Choose Default Program... .\" Click \"Browse,\" navigate to C:\\Windows\\explorer.exe and click \"Open.\"
  • Other types of compressed files exist, the most common being .rar files. If the Vista unzip doesn't work with these files, try a program called WinRAR (see Resources for the download link).

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