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In this guide we will show you how to compress a file or folder into a .zip file using 7-zip. This is recommended before transferring a file over the internet, so that it is not corrupted in-transit.

You must have 7-zip installed before attempting to follow this guide. 7-Zip is a free open-source software; download 7-zip here.

How to Compress a File

  1. Open the 7-Zip File Manager.
  2. Navigate to the file you want to compress, and click it, then click the Add button.
    adding a file to be compressed in 7-zip
  3. The Add to Archive window will pop up, make sure the Archive format is set to zip, and click the OK button to proceed.
    compressing a folder into a zip file in 7-zip
    The file will be compressed into a zip file, that will be located in the same location as the original file.
    view of the compressed and uncompressed file on desktop

Congratulations, now you know how to compress a file into a .zip format using 7-Zip!

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n/a Points
2017-07-23 1:28 pm

If I zip a folder of .wav files on a 64bit system and a person tries to unzip on a 32bit system, will it work.  If someone doesn't want 7zip on their machine should the files be zipped with .zip extension instead of 7zip extension. I want to share my personal recordings with other musicians. I could create a huge file with a cue file but most people don't want to be bothered installing the software to split the file into single tracks. If they do install 7zip what version do they install so it reads my zip file correctly, or does it matter

13,821 Points
2017-07-24 8:41 am
It will not make a difference what type of machine they are running. Zip compression is just that, a type of compression. I'd suggest zipping using the .zip extension. It's always best practice to install the latest version of the software.
n/a Points
2017-07-21 5:18 pm

IS 7 Zip compadable with Office 365?

13,821 Points
2017-07-24 8:39 am
I'm not sure what you mean. 7-Zip runs on your computer so it will allow you to decompress / compress zip files. Office365 is the online version of MS Office.
n/a Points
2017-07-11 10:41 am

Why did you suggest that we change the default from 7z to .zip? 

10,285 Points
2017-07-11 10:44 am
This is article is about creating a ".zip" file. It is not meant to suggest that one should use .zip over another compression format, it is just the goal of this article to create .zip files.
n/a Points
2017-04-07 9:24 pm

every time i try to click "add" it just says "opperation is not suppurted. some help please?

43,761 Points
2017-04-10 11:08 am
That will happen if you have not yet first selected a file.
n/a Points
2017-01-06 2:11 pm

Your system failed to work.  Followed the directions and the zip file didn't compress, its a MOV file not jpeg. It opens to view fine, but won't attach to email.

I'll have to get PKzip

2,858 Points
2017-01-06 2:27 pm
Diane, did you get any error messages related to attaching the file? How big is the zip file that you're trying to attach?
n/a Points
2016-11-17 11:03 pm

Hello. I've downloaded a 7z file, but I can't unzip it. The only thing that appears when I try to download the file is 'winzip encountered problems during this operation solution'. Someone suggested me to use 7zip application & I already did that but still, the file cannot be unzipped. Do you have any solutions to this problem? TQ

2,858 Points
2016-11-18 9:47 am
TQ, it sounds like you have a bad zip file. I would recommend re-downloading the file, or recreating it.
n/a Points
2016-01-05 2:43 am


I want a phone number of 7zip company . do you help me?


10,285 Points
2016-01-05 12:37 pm
Hello Reza,

7-Zip is an open-source software project. They don't have a support staff in the same sense that InMotion Hosting does. However, if you have a specific question we'll be happy to look into it for you.

However, if you would be interested in visiting a 7-Zip forum to find more information or ask questions, you can start with the following link:
n/a Points
2015-01-29 7:37 pm

Hi bro ... i m admin of a site for software and games and any others applications etc and i need to uploads very large files in my site but you know large files take many tim for uploding .. so please tell me how to compres softwares or games large files into smal size and plz also tell me how we can divided these files into some parts i see many sites they upload some parts of one software and when we download all parts save these parts same drictry (folder) user extrect only one part and install whole software... please tell me how to use these tow methods plz plz plz reply me soon thanks :)

43,761 Points
2015-02-02 10:41 am
Hello Sharjeel,

This article does not cover splitting up large files. We do not yet have a guide for that, but I did find a tutorial for you that goes over how to do this. Check out How to split large files with 7zip and see if that helps you. We have not tested the guide, nor do we endorse the site, it was just something I found when searching the web.

Kindest Regards,
Scott M
n/a Points
2014-11-17 1:44 pm

Hey Dear

I have downloaded the 7 zip folder but it seems i cant get to the add botton. I am using windows 7 with 64 bit operating system but it just cant work! When you open the folder, only you see as icons are the following: organize, include in library, share with etc.

I will appreciate if you can guide me through the process!!!! I can actually see the folder /files i want to zip in the 7 zip but i cant go further in adding or do anythin else. Pls help. Its urgent

30,637 Points
2014-11-17 3:32 pm
Hello Bangso,

Thank you for your question. When you first open 7zip, you should see the button on the top left. If it is not there, you may have a different version, or it may not have installed successfully.

It may be easier for you to Zip the file using the built-in tool in Windows 7.

Thank you,
n/a Points
2014-10-30 7:15 pm
This article is complete and it's clearer than the crow of a rooster.
n/a Points
2014-10-12 1:46 am
Hello dear friend how are u hope well there, Brother i have a request with u i have 7-zip latest version but i want to compress a folder containing all my files and i want to compress it as small as possible could u please suggest me how to make it maximum small as possible using 7-zip ................................................ send me a small message if possible sir how to use it for making file smallest maximum by 7-zip software Thanks
43,761 Points
2014-10-13 8:03 am

The amount of compression will vary depending on the file and its type. For example, text files (htmp. php,etc) can usually compress somewhat. Some files such as image and pdf files do not compress much at all. As for the types of compression available in 7-zip, I tested a txt file with each type. The top 4 compression formats, starting from the smallest, are .xz, .7z, .gz, and .zip. The difference between each was very small, so all formats will be fine.

Kindest Regards,
Scott M
n/a Points
2017-02-15 7:16 am

Save me from digging a bigger hole. Your correct. PDF Files can not be compressed.

Wasn't sure until I read your message.


Thanks for taking the time to respond.

n/a Points
2014-08-17 3:24 pm

I follow the steps in the above helf file, and this creates  a .zip file as you say.HOWEVER, I want a compressed file, not just a zipped file - the .zip file i create using the above method is exactly the same size as the original, which for me defeats the purpose

30,637 Points
2014-08-18 12:40 pm
Hello ConfusedUK,

Thank you for contacting us regarding File Compression, I understand your frustration.

The amount of compression can be increased, but also depends on the files you are zipping.

Increase the Compression Level in 7-Zip:

  1. In Step 3 of the above guide, click the box next to Compression level, and choose Ultra.

Reasons a Compressed file is the same size:

Some file formats cannot be further compressed. For example jpeg file are already compressed and will not zip much smaller. In this case you can optimize the images by size, meta tags, etc. Which reduces the file sizes.

If you have any further questions, feel free to post them below.
Thank you,

n/a Points
2014-07-30 11:50 am
Very helpful - first time I've used 7zip and this was just what I needed.
n/a Points
2014-07-24 10:35 am
After the simple explanation, if you added more detail of what each feature does and how it affects the speed of your Zip operation, then it would greatly help beginners.
30,637 Points
2014-08-01 9:36 am
Hello Anthony,

Thank you for your helpful suggestion. I will hopefully write more detailed guides on using 7-Zip.

If you have any further questions, feel free to post them below.
Thank you,


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