How to Zip a Photo File

by Rosa Lyn

The digital camera has made photography more accessible to everyone. Most people have thousands of photo images saved on their computer. While it's easy to store digital photo files, they can take up a lot of space on your hard drive. In addition, large files sizes can be difficult to send through email or share via the Web. Compressing photo files and saving them in a zip file is one of the best ways to make them manageable.

Step 1

Open the photo file in a photo editing or compression software program on your computer. Resize or compress the photo according to the instructions included with the program. Photo editing programs allow you to resize the picture by adjusting the pixels, selecting the size you prefer or shrinking the photo by a certain percentage. Some programs have preset settings for web photos or other standard configurations. You do not have to adjust the parameters of the photo, but it is an option.

Step 2

Save the photo file under a new name so you can easily identify the compressed photo file. Note the location where you saved the new photo and close the software program.

Step 3

Open the folder where the compressed file is saved. Most Windows computers save photo files in the "Picture" folder by default, creating a sub-folder for each date, event or group of photos.

Right-click on the picture name or thumbnail for the new file that needs to be zipped. Select "Send to" and choose "Compressed (Zipped) Folder" on a computer using a Windows operating system. Select "Create Archive" on a Macintosh computer. The new zipped file will have the same name as the original, but will appear with the zipped icon folder and with a ".zip" file extension on the end of the file name.


  • Keep backups of important photo files to avoid loss of data in case of hardware malfunctions.


  • You can zip an entire folder of photo files by right-clicking on the folder instead of an individual photo file.
  • You can zip a photo file without first compressing it, but it will only reduce the file size slightly.


About the Author

Rosa Lyn has been a freelance writer since 2009. She has worked as a ghostwriter for companies such as eBay and was the editor-in-chief for the member newsletter at the websites SewingMamas. She specializes in subjects such as home and family, parenting, alternative health and crafts.

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