How to Open ZIP Files in Internet Explorer

By Dan Gookin

Sometimes when you download files from a website they arrive compacted into a form called ZIP. Compressed files download faster, so ZIP can be an advantage if you know how to un-ZIP the files when they arrive on your computer.

If you have downloaded a ZIP file, you need to open the ZIP file and extract the files onto your computer. Follow these steps:

  1. Click the Open button if one is available after the download is finished.

  2. If prompted with a User Access Control (UAC), click the Allow button to allow the website to open a folder on your PC.

    The website isn’t opening the folder; you are.

    If there’s no Open button, open the Downloads folder window and then open the Compressed Folder (ZIP) icon.

  3. In Windows 7 and Windows Vista, click the toolbar button Extract All Files; in Windows XP, click the link on the left side of the window — Extract All Files.

  4. Work through the Extraction Wizard.

    In Windows 7 and Windows Vista, click the Extract button. In Windows XP, click the Next button repeatedly until it turns into the Finished button and then click that button.

    When Windows is done extracting the files, you should see them in a folder window.