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Hints for Working with Downloaded Files

WinZip® makes it easy to work with files downloaded from the Internet.

  • The Unzip and Install feature makes it easy to install most software distributed in Zip files (.zip or .zipx): if a Zip file contains a "setup" or "install" program, WinZip can unzip the files, run the installation program if present, and clean up temporary files. If the Zip file does not contain any of these, you can use the Unzip and Try Feature to try the downloaded file.
  • The Favorite Zip Folders feature makes locating Zip files you want to open much easier.
  • The Downloading and Processing Files with WinZip topic provides further hints, tips, and helpful procedures.

You should always use appropriate caution when using files downloaded from the Internet. See Security Hints and Tips for some basic security information to keep in mind when you work with downloaded files.

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One strategy for handling downloaded files involves creating and using particular folders such as:


Recently downloaded files


Files you are planning to upload


Archives you are planning to keep

A relatively empty download folder makes it much easier to stay organized. It is a good idea to download all archives into your DOWNLOAD folder, and after each on-line session perform the following steps for each archive:

  1. Open the archive. An easy way to open files is to first open the DOWNLOAD folder in Windows Explorer. Then double click on an archive to open it. You will probably want to click on the Modified or Date Modified column header in Windows Explorer so that the most recent files are shown at the top of the list.
  2. Read about the software in the archive. Many archives contain a file named "readme.txt". By convention this file contains a brief description of the archive contents. If this file is listed in the main WinZip window, double click on it to view its contents. When you are done viewing the file, close the program being used to view the file. Repeat this process for any files with the word "read" in the filename (e.g. "read.me").
  3. Try the software if the archive looks interesting. One easy way to do this is with the Unzip and Install or Unzip and Try buttons on WinZip's toolbar. If the archive contains an "install" or "setup" program, the Unzip and Install button will be active (i.e. it won't be gray). Note: downloaded software should always be scanned for viruses before you install or use it. If you download archives containing software, you should obtain a reliable virus scanner, keep it up to date, and always use it on the contents of such downloaded archives.

Of course, these are just suggestions. There are other good ways to use WinZip to work with downloaded files. Feel free to use whatever method works best for you.

Related Topics:

Hints and Tips

Using the Explorer Interface

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)