Explaining a Zip File – What do you Need to Know?

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In today’s fast-paced data-driven world, digital files play a vital role in every individual’s life. Almost every user deals with and shares multiple files with other individuals every day through numerous platforms. When it comes to storing and sharing digital files, size is an essential factor that comes into play. Managing large-sized files is a hassle and comes with several disadvantages. For starters, it occupies a large amount of space on offline or online storage platforms. Besides this, sharing large-sized files with others becomes a tedious task, as the process consumes more time and data. Due to this, most users compress important files and folders and convert them into ZIP files before storing them anywhere or sharing them with others. Compressing large-sized files allows users to share them conveniently with others and helps users preserve digital storage space. This article will cover what a ZIP file is and shed light on numerous related aspects. Let us get started:

What is a ZIP File?

Wikipedia defines ZIP as a container file format that features lossless data compression. The popular archive format facilitates users to store multiple files and folders without altering their content or spoiling any aspect. Since it stores compressed files, the size of ZIP files is significantly less than regular files. The smaller file size makes it easier for users to store ZIP files, manage their content, and share them with others over different platforms. 

A ZIP file functions and performs similarly to standard files on a Mac or Windows PC. The universally-standard archive format is supported on all major operating systems, including Windows, macOS, and Linux. This feature of the format makes it popular among hundreds of millions of users all around the globe. A ZIP file features a “.zip” extension. Its icon resembles a zipper. It is used for various purposes, such as storing internal files of large-sized games and software, etc. 

How to Zip and Unzip Files on macOS and Windows:

Both macOS and Windows offer users numerous methods following which they can create a ZIP file or decompress a pre-existing ZIP folder. Let us take a detailed look at both:

macOS – macOS features numerous methods following which users can easily open ZIP files. Moreover, it also facilitates users to create them with ease. Users can conveniently compress multiple files and turn them into a ZIP file using macOS’ native Archive utility. Besides this, users can also opt to use a third-party compression tool like Archiver. When it comes to unpacking compressed files or unzipping them, users can easily get the job done using macOS’ native Archive tool. 

Windows – Windows users can seamlessly access, create or decompress ZIP files following different methods. If you wish to create a ZIP file on Windows, all you need to do is select the files, right-click on them, and click on the “Compressed (zipped) folder” option. On the other hand, if you want to decompress a ZIP file, you can do it by right-clicking on the ZIP file and selecting the “Extract all” option. 

What are ZIP Files Used For?

ZIP files are commonly used for downloading large-sized software. Zipping a software file or any large-sized file facilitates users in saving server storage space. Moreover, thanks to the smaller file size, users save time and data while downloading the file. In addition, the presence of a single folder helps in keeping numerous smaller files nicely organized. 

Besides this, ZIP files also come in handy when it comes to sharing tons of photos. Instead of forwarding one image at a time, ZIP files allow senders to fasten the process by storing all photos under a single folder. Similarly, the receiver also saves tons of time since they get saved from the hassle of downloading each picture individually and saving it on their device. 

Advantages of ZIP Files:

Let us take a look at some of the main advantages of using the popular archive file format:

  • ZIP files store other files in a compressed manner, i.e., they reduce the size of the files without altering their content or structure. This feature is the main reason why ZIP files feature a smaller size than other file types. ZIP files occupy less storage space, making it easier for users to share them quickly and efficiently over other platforms. 
  • ZIP files offer users the option to encrypt them, i.e., password-protect them. Users can set a password to a ZIP file containing sensitive information and share it securely with others. Only the individuals having the password can access and open the file. This feature significantly enhances the security quotient and helps users seamlessly share important files. 

Thanks to its top-notch features, the ZIP file format is exceptionally popular among the masses. Millions of individuals, besides tons of companies all around the globe, use ZIP files daily to store, manage and share files. If you wish to know how to access, create or decompress ZIP files, refer to the abovementioned steps.

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His love for reading is one of the many things that make him such a well-rounded individual. He's worked as both an freelancer and with Business Today before joining our team, but his addiction to self help books isn't something you can put into words - it just shows how much time he spends thinking about what kindles your soul!

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