How to Zip Files With Folder Structure

by Tammy Clevenger
Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

To zip files and retain the original folder structure in the file archive, several zipping tools may be utilized. Popular tools such as WinRAR and 7-Zip will automatically retain the folder structure during ZIP file creation. However, some tools, such as WinZip may require one additional step of enclosing the entire file structure in one “wrapper” folder. In WinZip, the file structure is retained when a second-level folder is zipped into its own archive.

Zip Files and Keep File Structure in WinRAR and 7-Zip

Step 1

Open Windows Explorer by clicking “Start” and then clicking “Explore.”

Step 2

Navigate to the top-level folder that will be used to create the ZIP file and right-click the folder.

Step 3

Select “Add to Archive” from the context menu. The zipping application will open.

Step 4

Click the “Zip” file option, and then type a new name for the ZIP file into the “Name” input box, if desired. By default, the name of the folder will also be the name of the ZIP file.

Click “OK.” The ZIP file will be created and will retain the original folder structure.

Zip Files and Keep File Structure in WinZip

Step 1

Click “Start” and then click “Explore.”

Step 2

Navigate to and click on the folder to be archived so the subfolders and files show in the right pane of Windows Explorer.

Step 3

Right-click on the top-level folder in the left pane and click “Add to Archive.” The WinZip application will open.

Step 4

Type a new name for the archive, if desired, and click “OK.”

Step 5

Right-click on the second-level folder and click “Add to Archive.”

Select the ZIP file created using the top-level folder. Click “OK.” The file structure in the second-level folder will be retained.


Photo Credits

  • Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

About the Author

Tammy Clevenger works in the I.T. industry while maintaining creative outlets through film making, writing and audio production. She is a published academic author and is an accomplished and certified Project Management Professional.

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