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How do I compress a folder and later restore it?

There are multiple ways to compress and restore the contents of a folder. We will only be elaborating on two methods below: using the WinZip® interface and using the WinZip menu entries in Windows Explorer's context menu.

Note: the instructions below make two assumptions. First, WinZip is using the default settings for the right-click context menu. (Changes made to the context menu through the Explorer Enhancements tab of the Configuration window may make your context menu look different.) Second, these examples assume the use of the folder C:\MYDIR for compressing and restoring the folder.

How to compress the contents of a folder and its subfolders

Using the main WinZip window

Using the WinZip Ribbon interface

  1. Start WinZip.
  2. In the Create/Share tab, click From PC or Cloud.
  3. In the Add window, browse to c:\MYDIR.
  4. Without selecting any files, click the Add button. (Of course, if you had wanted to only zip certain selected files, you would select only the files that you wanted to add before clicking Add.)
  5. In the File tab, click Save as (to PC/Cloud).
  6. In the Save to PC or Cloud window, browse to the location where you want to save the Zip file and type the name for the Zip file in the File name field. For example, browse to the My Documents folder or the Desktop, type MYDIR in the File name field, and then click the Save button.
  7. Your Zip file will be created in the specified location.

Using the WinZip Legacy Toolbar interface (Windows XP)

  1. Start WinZip.
  2. Click the Add button in the toolbar.
  3. Navigate to and open the folder you want to compress in the Add dialog, C:\MYDIR in this example.
  4. Be sure the Include subfolders box is checked and the Save full path info box is not checked.
  5. Click the Add with wildcards button. (In Windows, "wildcards" are the asterisk and question mark characters. These let you specify multiple files at once, for example, "*.txt" refers to all files with a file type of "txt".)
  6. Click the File menu and select Save As. In the Save As dialog, browse to the location where you want to save the Zip file and type the name for the Zip file in the File name field and then click OK.
  7. Your Zip file will be created in the specified location.

Using the WinZip context menu in Windows Explorer

  1. Open Windows Explorer.
  2. Browse to the folder to be zipped. In this example, browse to C:\MYDIR.
  3. Select all of the files and folders in that location either by using the mouse or clicking on the Edit menu and then Select All or pressing CTRL and A simultaneously on the keyboard.
  4. Right click on any of the files to be compressed and on the context menu that pops up, choose WinZip and then Add to MYDIR.zip(x).
  5. Your Zip file will now be created in the same location as the files that were selected, C:\MYDIR\MYDIR.zip(x) in this example.

How to restore the contents of a folder and its subfolders

Using the main WinZip window

Using the WinZip Ribbon interface

  1. Start WinZip and open the Zip file created above in the Using the WinZip Ribbon interface section by clicking Open (from PC/Cloud) in the File tab.
  2. Ensure that Use Folder Names is checked in Unzip Settings (Settings tab).
  3. Check All files in the Unzip/Share tab.
  4. Click the lower portion of the 1-click Unzip button and then click Unzip to My PC or Cloud
  5. In the Unzip window, navigate to the folder where you want the files to be unzipped, C:\MYDIR in this example, and click Unzip.
  6. The files will be unzipped into the specified folder.

Using the WinZip Legacy Toolbar interface (Windows XP)

  1. Start WinZip and open the Zip file created above in the Using the WinZip interface section.
  2. Choose Extract from the Actions menu or click the Extract button.
  3. Be sure the Use folder names checkbox is checked if the option is available. The option will be present if the View Style in WinZip is set to All Files (WinZip Style); the option will not be displayed if the View Style is set to Files by Folder (Explorer Style).
  4. Navigate to the desired folder or type the folder's name in the Extract to field,  C:\MYDIR.
  5. Click the Extract button. Your files will now be extracted into the specified folder.

Using the WinZip context menu in Windows Explorer

  1. Open Windows Explorer and browse to the location of the Zip file that was created in the Using the WinZip context menu in Windows Explorer section above, for this example, the folder C:\MYDIR is where MYDIR.zip(x) is located.
  2. Right click on MYDIR.zip(x) and on the context menu that pops up, choose WinZip and then either Extract to here or Extract to folder C:\MYDIR\MYDIR depending on your preference on the extract location.
  3. This will extract the contents of the Zip file into the specified folder.