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How to activate (or re-activate) WinZip's shell extension

Article ID: 85
Last updated: 10 Dec, 2013
Views: 53292

If the WinZip context menu does not appear when you right click a file or folder, please check the information below to see if one of the sections applies to your situation.

The Explorer shell extension was not installed

During the WinZip Setup, if you chose a Custom install, one panel that displayed would be the Explorer Configuration panel. This panel includes the option to prevent the Explorer shell extension from being installed. If you unchecked the Explorer shell extension box as you installed, you will not find the WinZip context menu available.

Check box in setup governing the shell extension

This feature can be turned back on in the WinZip Options dialog. To do this:

  1. Right click the WinZip shortcut on the desktop and choose Run as administrator
  2. Open the WinZip Options dialog
    • Winzip ribbon interface: Click WinZip Options in the Settings tab
    • Legacy menus/toolbar: Choose Configuration on the Options menu
  3. Click on the Explorer Enhancements tab
  4. Check the box next to Enable Explorer enhancements (including additional Drag and Drop features). If this check box is already checked, UNcheck it, click on OK, and then repeat this procedure, only now CHECK the check box and click OK.

Check box to enable the shell extension

WinZip was installed by another user

If your copy of WinZip was installed for you by your site license admininistrator or by another user of the same computer, the context menu will not be available to you until you open WinZip. This will cause the registry settings in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Nico Mak Computing\WinZip to be propagated to the same key in HKEY_CURRENT_USER. Once this has been done, the WinZip context menu should work for you.

WinZip shell extension library files are missing

Some users have seen this occur after uninstalling an older WinZip version and then installing a newer version before restarting the computer. In this case wzshlstb.dll has been marked for deletion, which occurs when the computer is next restarted. Without this library file there will be no shell extension on 32-bit operating systems. To correct this begin reinstalling and choose Repair or uninstall WinZip and then reinstall WinZip.

Library files can also be missing if an older, unsupported install method is used, especially when being done on a 64-bit operating system. This older method involved copying the WinZip program files to the new computer and letting the main program file, winzip32.exe, run the install. Often the files being copied do not include the 64-bit library files (WZSHLS64.DLL and WZSHLX64.DLL) making it impossible for the 64-bit shell extension to work. Installing WinZip using one of the available files from the Alternative Download Links page will insure that the correct library files are included.

WinZip is not associated with Archives

When WinZip is installed, the default setting would be to have it associated with all of the archive file types WinZip supports. If for some reason you have removed this association to archives, the WinZip context menu will not be available.

WinZip Associated with Archives

You may be able to manually reconfigure this setting. To do so:

  1. Right click the WinZip shortcut on the desktop and choose Run as administrator
  2. Open the WinZip Options dialog
    • Winzip ribbon interface: Click WinZip Options in the Settings tab
    • Legacy menus/toolbar interface: Choose Configuration on the Options menu
  3. Click the System tab
  4. Check the box labeled Archives
  5. Click OK

If this information does not apply to you or you continue to have difficulty please describe your issue in an email message to Technical Support.

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Attached files
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