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Extracting files from an archive

New users: For introductory information, please see the section Brief Tutorial - Extracting Files.

This section describes the Extract window that is used by WinZip in Windows XP. If you need help using WinZip's Unzip or Extract window in Windows Vista or later, please click here. There are other ways to extract files from an archive:

  • Using the drag and drop interface.
  • Directly from My Computer or Windows Explorer, as described in Using the Explorer Interface.
  • If a Zip file (.zip or .zipx) contains a "setup" or "install" program, you can use the Install Feature to automatically extract the files, run the installation program, and clean up temporary files.

The Extract window

Use the Extract button on the toolbar or select Extract from the Actions menu to display the Extract window. Use the Extract window to extract or "unzip" files from the open archive to your disk.

WinZip® extracts files from the archive to the folder specified in the Extract to field. You can specify this folder in one of four ways:

  • Select a folder and drive in the Folders/drives list boxes.
  • Type a folder name in the Extract to field.
  • Pull down the Extract to combo box and select a folder from the list of previous Extract to folders.
  • Click the New Folder button image\newfolder1.gif and create a folder.

The Extract window provides the following options:

  • The Selected files/folders option button instructs WinZip to extract only files that are selected in the main WinZip window. You can use conventional file selection methods to choose files. This option is disabled if no files are selected.
  • The All files/folders in current folder option button instructs WinZip to extract all files and folders from the currently selected folder. Note: this button is only available when extracting in Files by Folder view.
  • The All files/folders in archive option button instructs WinZip to extract all files from the archive.
  • The Files in Archive option button and edit field allow you to specify which files are extracted using filenames (standard Windows wildcards are accepted, so you could use "*.doc" to extract all .doc files)
  • If the Open Explorer window checkbox is checked, a Windows Explorer window is opened after the extract operation is complete. The window will show the folder to which the files were extracted. This checkbox is not present if you are extracting from multiple Zip files directly from Windows Explorer using the WinZip context menu.
  • The Overwrite existing files checkbox determines whether you are prompted before existing files are overwritten with files from the archive.
  • The Skip older files checkbox determines whether WinZip skips (does not extract) existing files when the date/time stamps of the file in the archive is older than the file on disk.
  • The Use folder names checkbox determines whether WinZip will use folder names (also known as path names) stored in the archive. You will probably want to check this option for most extract operations. If this option is checked, any folder names stored in the archive will be appended to the Extract to folder when appropriate. If this option is not checked all files will be extracted to the same folder, regardless of any folder names in the archive. Note: this option does not appear when you are in the Files by Folder view. When in Files by Folder view files are extracted to their respective folders.
  • For example, assuming the Extract to folder is "c:\temp", the file "mydir\filename" will be extracted to the folder "c:\temp\mydir" if the Use folder names option is checked, or the folder "c:\temp" if the option is not checked.
  • If you extract from multiple Zip files using WinZip's Extract to Windows Explorer context menu entry, there will be a checkbox labeled Use Zip file names for folders. If this checkbox is checked, WinZip will create a folder for each Zip file under the Extract to folder; the folders will be named with the base names of the Zip files. For example, if the Extract to folder is "c:\temp", WinZip will extract files from "NewDocs.zip" to "c:\temp\NewDocs". If this checkbox is not checked, files will be extracted to the Extract to folder. In most cases, you will probably want to leave this option checked when you extract from multiple Zip files.
  • The New Folder button image\newfolder1.gif activates the New Folder dialog box. Note that you can extract files and create a folder without this dialog box: simply type the name of the new folder in the Extract to field of the Extract dialog box and press the Extract button.

Note: you can change the default Extract to folder using the Folders tab of the Configuration dialog.