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Splitting Zip files

WinZip® makes it easy to create Zip files (.zip or .zipx) that are split into smaller pieces of a size that you specify. There are several reasons why you might want to do this, such as:

  • To assist with large downloads. Some users may have difficulty downloading very large Zip files from web sites, FTP sites, etc. You can use the split Zip feature to break large files into smaller pieces that can be downloaded separately.

  • To overcome email size limits, as an alternative to sharing the Zip file to the cloud. Some email systems limit the size of attachments. If you want to email a large Zip file that exceeds your limit, sharing is usually the easiest solution, but, if that is not an option, you can also split the Zip file into smaller parts and email them separately.

To split a new Zip file into smaller pieces

To create a new Zip file that is split into multiple parts:

Using the WinZip Ribbon interface

  1. Open WinZip, then open the Create/Share tab.
  2. Click From PC or Cloud to select files from your PC or a cloud location.
  3. In the Add window, locate and select the files you want to add to the new Zip file and click the Add button.
  4. You can repeat steps 2 and 3 to add more files from a different location if desired.
  5. Open the Settings tab.
  6. Click the Split dropdown box and select the appropriate size for each of the parts of the split Zip file. If you choose Custom Size in the Split dropdown list, the Custom Size (MB) field will become active and allow you to enter in a custom size specified in megabytes.
  7. Open the Tools tab and click Multi-Part Zip File
  8. In the Split window, browse to the location where you want to create the new split Zip file.
  9. Type in the file name for the new split Zip file in the File name box.  
  10. Click OK.
  11. WinZip will create your split Zip file using the size you specified in step 2 as the maximum size for each part. The result will be one file with a .zip or .zipx extension, and additional files with numeric extensions: .z01 or .zx01, .z02 or .zx02, etc.

Note that WinZip will not consider your new Zip file to have been saved if you have only created a multi-part Zip file, and it will prompt you to save the file when you close WinZip or the Zip file. You can then save it as a standard (unsplit) Zip file if you wish, or you can discard your changes if you only want the split Zip file.

Using the Legacy Toolbar interface

  1. Open WinZip.
  2. Click Add to open the Add dialog to select files to add from your PC.
  3. In the Add window, locate and select the files you want to add to the new Zip file and click the Add button.
  4. You can repeat steps 2 and 3 to add more files from a different location if desired.
  5. Back on the main WinZip window, click on the Actions menu and click Split.
  6. In the Split window, browse to the location where you want to create the new split Zip file.
  7. Type in the file name for the new split Zip file in the File name box.
  8. Click in the Part size dropdown box to select the size for each part of the split Zip file. If the sizes in the dropdown box do not contain the size that you want, you can select Other size and then specify your own size in the Other size field. You can specify the size in bytes, kilobytes (KB), or megabytes (MB); indicate which you're using by choosing from the list to the right of Other size. The minimum size allowed is 65,536 bytes (64KB).
  9. Click OK to create the split Zip file.
  10. WinZip will create your split Zip file using the size you specified in step 8 as the maximum size for each part. The result will be one file with a .zip or .zipx extension, and additional files with numeric extensions: .z01 or .zx01, .z02 or .zx02, etc.

Note that WinZip will not consider your new Zip file to have been saved if you have only created a multi-part Zip file, and it will prompt you to save the file when you close WinZip or the Zip file. You can then save it as a standard (unsplit) Zip file if you wish, or you can discard your changes if you only want the split Zip file.

To split an existing Zip file into smaller pieces

If you have an existing Zip file that you want to split into multiple pieces, WinZip gives you the ability to do that, too:

Using the WinZip Ribbon interface

  1. Open the Zip file.
  2. Follow steps 5-11 of splitting a new Zip file, above.

Using the Legacy Toolbar interface

  1. Open the Zip file.
  2. Follow steps 5-10 of splitting a new Zip file, above.

Notes

  • Each of the segments of the split Zip file will have a different extension. WinZip creates files with names like Data.z01 or Data.zx01, Data.z02 or Data.zx02, and so on, except for the very last segment of the new Zip file. The last segment will always have either the .zip or .zipx extension, respectively, based on the compression method used when creating the Zip file (e.g., Data.zip, Documents.zipx).
  • To open the split Zip file, open the file with the .zip or .zipx extension. Don't try to open any of the files with the numbered extensions; WinZip won't recognize them as Zip files.
  • Once the split Zip file has been opened, you can work with it much as you would work with a regular Zip file, except you can't add any new files or remove existing files. Some operations such as creating self-extracting Zip files and editing comments are also disabled for split Zip files.
  • The sizes listed as 1.2MB, 1.44MB, and 2.88MB are approximate. The segments of the split Zip file are sized appropriately to fit on media of the specified size. You cannot, however, use decimal points when specifying sizes in the Other size field.
  • The split Zip file format is an extension of the Zip 2.0 specification. Therefore, some Zip utility programs may not be able to open split Zip files. Please see Split Zip file compatibility information for more details.