How to Open ZIP Files & Downloads

By Mitchell White

When you download files from the Internet, sometimes these files will be stored inside the ZIP format. The program, video or other file you really want is inside the ZIP file. To get access to that file, you'll need a program that can "unzip" it. This is called an archive program. Several free programs are available that all work in a similar fashion.

Step 1

Download and install an archive program such as WinRAR, WinZip or 7Zip (see Resources section).

Step 2

Open the folder that contains your ZIP file. Double-click the file. The program you installed should automatically load and show you the files inside the ZIP in a little box.

Step 3

Click and drag the files you want to your desktop or a folder on your computer. You'll see a status bar appear and begin filling up. This shows you how close the program is to "unzipping" the file. When it's done, the files will appear where you dropped them, ready for you to use.