Windows Won't Let Me Unzip My Files

By Derek King

Use file-archiving software to extract ZIP files.
i laptop 9 image by Harvey Hudson from

A ZIP archive contains one or more files that have been compressed together to reduce their size. ZIP archives are used to transfer multiple files via email that would have otherwise been too large. If Windows has difficulty opening a particular ZIP archive, you can download file-archiver software to use instead.

Download and install a file archiver and data compression utility. Visit the software's official website and click directly on the "Download" link. Double-click on the downloaded setup file to initiate the utility's installation. Click "Next" through the series of prompts and follow any additional instructions to successfully install the software.

Open the file with the file-archiving software. Locate the ZIP file in Windows that you're having difficulty opening up. Right-Click on the file, and select "Open With." Choose your new file-archiving software among the list of "Recommended Programs." The application should open the ZIP file.

At the top of the application, locate an option entitled "Extract," "Unzip," "Decompress," or something similar, and select it. Designate a location on the computer for the extracted file to go, and press "OK" to start extraction. Allow several minutes for the files to completely extract from the ZIP files.