Article ID: 306531 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q306531
This article describes how to create and use compressed ("zipped") folders in Windows XP. Compressing files, folders, and programs decreases their size and reduces the space they use on your drives or removable storage devices.
Additionally, this article discusses how to add items to and remove items from a compressed folder, and how to protect the folder by using a password.
This article is intended for beginning to intermediate computer users. You may find it easier to follow the steps if you print this article first.
How to create a compressed folderIf you want to create a compressed folder within another folder, go to method 1. If you want to create a compressed folder on your desktop, go to method 2.
Method 1: Use My Computer to create the compressed folderFollow these steps to use My Computer to create a compressed folder:
Method 2: Create the compressed folder on the desktop or in a folder
How to move files and folders to and from a compressed folderYou move files and folders to or from compressed folders exactly as you move them to or from uncompressed folders. For example, you can drag files or folders to the compressed folder. When you move a file or a folder to a compressed folder, that file is automatically compressed. A file that is moved from a compressed folder is automatically uncompressed.
How to extract files from a compressed folderGetting files or folders out of a compressed folder is known as extracting them. You can extract one file or folder at a time, or you can extract multiple files or folders. To extract a single file or folder, follow these steps:
To extract all the files and folders from a compressed folder, use the Extraction Wizard. To use the Extraction Wizard, follow these steps:
How to protect a compressed folder by requiring a passwordYou can restrict access to files and folders in compressed folders by requiring a password.
Important The password for a protected, compressed file is not recoverable. If you lose the password, you will be unable to access that file.
Note You cannot protect an empty compressed folder with a password.
To protect the contents of a compressed folder, follow these steps: