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Zip files open the wrong program (Windows 8, Windows 7, or Windows Vista)

Article ID: 155
Last updated: 20 Jul, 2015
Views: 93242

Some actions can cause the Open With dialog to display when you are working with a Zip file (.zip or .zipx). If this has happened to you, you may have told Windows, by mistake, to use the wrong program to open Zip files. If your operating system is Windows 8, Windows 7, or Windows Vista you can try to fix this issue using Default Programs.

To do this:

  1. Windows 8:
    1. Open to or change to the Start menu screen
    2. Begin typing: default
    3. When Default Programs displays in results, click it
    Windows 7 or Windows Vista:
    1. Click Start
    2. Click Default Programs on the right side of the Start menu
  2. Click Associate a file type...

Default Programs

  1. Scroll to and click .zip to select it
  2. Click the Change program button
  3. In the dialog that opens click WinZip to select it
    (You may have to click More Options or Other Programs to see WinZip)
  4. Click OK

If this doesn't help you may need to manually delete the registry entry responsible for this user level association. To do this:

  1. Open the Registry Editor
    Windows 8:
    1. Open to or change to the Start menu screen
    2. Type: REGEDIT (this will show in the Search page)
    3. Press the Enter key on the keyboard
    Windows 7 and Windows Vista
    1. From the taskbar, click on the Start button
    2. Directly above Start, type: REGEDIT
    3. Press the Enter key on the keyboard
  2. Click Continue in the User Account Control dialog if necessary
  3. Browse to:
    (HKCU is HKEY_CURRENT_USER) - To do this:
    • Click the triangle next to each item (HKCU, then Software, etc)
    • When you get to .zip click the triangle next to it also
  4. Click UserChoice to select it

Browsing in the Registry Editor

  1. Press the Delete key to delete UserChoice
    Confirm Delete dialog
  2. Close the Registry Editor (REGEDIT)

If Zip files are not associated with WinZip after completing the steps above:

  1. Right click the WinZip shortcut on the desktop
  2. Click Run as administrator
  3. If a dialog displays offering to associate WinZip with Zip files, click Yes
  4. If the dialog above did not display, open click WinZip Options in the Settings tab
  5. Click the System tab and click the Associations button
  6. Scroll to and check ZIP
  7. Click OK both in the Associations dialog and the WinZip Options dialog

If you have additional questions, please contact Technical Support.

Related Articles:
How to reassociate WinZip with archive files
When double clicking a Zip file you see "flashing" that will not stop

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