How to Unzip a File


This wikiHow teaches you how to extract (or "unzip") a ZIP folder's contents. Extracting files from a ZIP folder will decompress the files, allowing you to open and run them properly. You can easily unzip ZIP folders by using the built-in software on both Windows and Mac computers.

Part 1
On Windows

On Windows on How to Unzip a File

1
If you've installed a third-party program like WinZip, WinRAR, or 7-Zip, you won't be able to unzip files according to the steps in this method. You can ensure that your computer uses the default software instead by doing the following: Open Start . Type in choose a default app, then click Choose a default app for each file type in the Start menu. Scroll down to the .zip heading, then click the program to the right of it. If you can't find the .zip option, your computer is set up to use the default software to open ZIP folders. Click Windows Explorer in the pop-up menu.

On Windows on How to Unzip a File

2
Go to the folder in which the ZIP folder is stored. Skip this step if the ZIP folder is on the Desktop.

On Windows on How to Unzip a File

3
Doing so opens the ZIP folder in File Explorer.

On Windows on How to Unzip a File

4
It's a tab at the top of the window. Doing so opens the Extract toolbar near the top of the window.

On Windows on How to Unzip a File

5
This is in the Extract toolbar. A new window will open.

On Windows on How to Unzip a File

6
If you want to place the unzipped folder in a location other than the current folder in which the ZIP folder is stored, do the following: Click Browse... on the right side of the window. Click the name of the folder in which you want to store the unzipped folder. Click Select Folder.

On Windows on How to Unzip a File

7
It's at the bottom of the window. Your ZIP folder's contents will begin extracting to an unzipped folder in your selected location. If the "Show extracted files when complete" box isn't checked, check it before you click Extract to ensure that the extracted folder will open upon completion.

On Windows on How to Unzip a File

8
Once the extraction completes, the unzipped folder will open to reveal the ZIP folder's extracted contents. If the extraction completes and the unzipped folder doesn't open, go to the location in which the unzipped folder is stored and double-click the unzipped folder to open it.

Part 2
On Mac

On Mac on How to Unzip a File

1
Go to the location in which the ZIP folder you want to extract is stored.

On Mac on How to Unzip a File

2
Since extracting a ZIP folder on a Mac causes the unzipped version of the folder to be created in the same folder in which the ZIP folder is stored, you may want to move your ZIP folder to a different folder: Click once the ZIP folder to select it. Click Edit in the upper-left side of the screen. Click Copy in the drop-down menu. Go to the folder in which you want to store the ZIP folder. Click Edit again, then click Paste.

On Mac on How to Unzip a File

3
Doing so prompts the ZIP folder to begin extracting immediately.

On Mac on How to Unzip a File

4
Once the ZIP folder is done extracting, the unzipped version of the folder will open to display the extracted contents.

Part 3
On Linux

On Linux on How to Unzip a File

1
Click the Terminal app icon, which resembles a black box with a white ">_" on most versions of Linux. You can also press Alt+Ctrl+T to open the Terminal window.

On Linux on How to Unzip a File

2
Type cd and a space, type the path to the folder in which the ZIP folder is located, and press ↵ Enter. For example, if the ZIP folder is in the "Downloads" directory, you would enter cd Downloads into Terminal. If the ZIP folder is in a folder called "ZIP" inside the "Downloads" folder, you would need to enter cd /home/name/Downloads/ZIP (where name is your username) instead.

On Linux on How to Unzip a File

3
Type in unzip file.zip where file is the folder's name, then press ↵ Enter. If the file's name has spaces in it, you'll place quotation marks on either side of "file.zip" (e.g., unzip "this is a zipped folder.zip").

On Linux on How to Unzip a File

4
Go to the folder in which you unzipped the ZIP folder to do so. You should see a list of files and folder which were previously in the ZIP folder here. Unlike Windows and Mac operating systems, Linux's "unzip" command doesn't create a new, unzipped folder for the extracted files.