Is WinZip compatible with older versions of WinZip and other Zip file utilities?

Yes is the short answer to the question posed in the title. The current version of WinZip is compatible with older WinZip versions and other Zip file utilitites.

However, you must consider a few things when you create Zip files. To insure compatibility, default Legacy settings are the safest for you to use. If you are sharing your Zip files with others, it is recommended that you find out what Zip file utility they have installed before you create Zip files for them.

WinZip provides several methods for compressing the files that you add to a Zip file. In making a choice of compression method, you should determine whether you will be sharing your Zip file with others as mentioned above. Also, there are several other things to consider including, the type of data you are compressing, your plans for later unzipping the data, and the amount of time you are willing to wait while your data is being zipped or unzipped.

The Settings tab displays the two basic zipping choices and their default compression methods. XP users will find these compression methods in the Add dialog while creating Zip files.

When considering compatibility of the Zip files you create with WinZip, you should also be aware of these two additional extensions to the Zip file format.

Advanced compression methods and AES encryption are extensions to the Zip file format. Although WinZip has published the specifications for these format extensions, not all Zip file utilities have adopted them. You may want to avoid creating .zipx files and you may want to avoid using AES encryption when you are not sure of the recipient's Zip file utility.

Please email Technical Support if you have additional questions.

Related Articles:
What is the difference between "Legacy" and "Best method" compression?
Default compression - What it is, how to change it
What is AES Encryption?
Information about size limits with WinZip