File and Folder Compression in Windows 7

Are you running short of disk drive space?  Given the size of video and picture files it is easy to run out of hard disk drive space. Well, there’s a simple answer for you! Compress important files to save disk valuable hard disk space.

Why Use File and Folder Compression?

  • A Compressed file or folder takes up less storage space.
  • Besides compressing files you can create a compressed folder and store several files inside it.
  • You can copy or move a compressed file or compressed folder to another drive or computer quicker than conventional uncompressed files or folders.
  • You can work with compressed files and folders in the same way as you do with uncompressed files and folders.
  • Files and folders are easier to share.
  • You can compress all types of files – picture files, video files, music files and document files to name just a few.

If you choose the compressing files option there are two ways you can do it. The first method involves creating a blank compressed folder.

Creating a blank compressed folder

The Document Library will be used for this demonstration.

  1. Open the Documents Library.
  2. Right click on a blank area.
  3. A pop-up menu appears.
  4. Select New.
  5. In the menu, click Compressed (zipped) folder.pic 1
  6. A Blank Zipped folder appears in the Documents Library. While it is highlighted, type a name.pic 2

    Tip! Now you have created a compressed folder you can copy or move files into it. Each file is automatically compressed.

Compressing an Individual File

The Document Library will be used for this demonstration.

  1. Open the Document Library.
  2. Select the file you wish to compress.
  3. Right click on the selected file.
  4. In the pop-up menu, select Send to.
  5. In the side menu, select Compressed (zipped) folder.The illustration below shows the sequence to follow.pic 3
  6. The newly created Compressed folder takes the name of the file you selected for compression.

pic 4

Compressing a Folder

The Document Library will be used for this demonstration.

  1. Open the Document Library.
  2. Select the folder for compression.
  3. Right click on the selected folder.pic 5
  4. In the pop-up menu, select Send to.
  5. In the side menu, select Compressed (zipped) folder.The illustration below shows the sequence.
  6. The compressed folder appears in the Document Library with the original folder.

pic 6

It is more practical when compressing files to use the following technique.

  1. Create a blank compressed (zipped) folder in the Documents Library.
  2. Select a group of files you wish to compress.
  3. Right click on the highlighted group and drag the selection onto the compressed folder.

The illustration below shows the sequence.

pic 7

4.   Windows opens a pop-up menu asking whether you want to copy or move the files into the Compressed folder.

  • If you choose Copy, the original files remain in the Documents Library.
  • If you choose Move, the files are transferred into the Compressed folder.

Extracting a Zipped file from a Compressed folder

  1. Select the compressed folder and open it by double-clicking.
  2. In the file list, choose the file to be unzipped.pic 8
  3. Drag the file from the compressed folder to its new location.
  4. When you release the mouse button, a pop-up menu offers three options – Copy, Move or Cancel.pic 9

Note:  Choosing Copy leaves the compressed file back in the compressed folder. Choosing Move does as the name suggests.

Extracting All Zipped Files

  1. Right click on the Compressed (zipped) Folder.
  2. In the pop-up menu, select Extract All.pic 10
  3. The Extract Compressed (Zipped) Folders window opens.pic 11
  4. Click the Browse button to choose a location.
  5. The Select a destination window openspic 12
  6. Select where you wish the files extract to.
  7. Click the Make New Folder button.pic 13
  8. Type in a name for the folder
  9. Click the Ok button.
  10. The new folder destination appears in the Extract Compressed (Zipped) Folders window.pic 14
  11. Click the Extract button.
  12. Windows extracts the files and unzips them.

pic 15

13. If you double-click on the Specials folder you created, you will see the extracted files.

pic 16

Note: When extracting, the files are unzipped and copies to the new destination while the originals, remain zipped in the Compressed (zipped) folder.

Checking the contents of a Compressed Files folder

  1. Double-click on the Compressed folder.

pic 20

2.   The Compressed Folder, Important Files, opens. If you use the Details view you will see more details about the compression.

pic 20

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13 Responses to File and Folder Compression in Windows 7

  1. Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 10:17 am #

    Another reason to use compressed folder is to keep the files date/time intact when you transfer them on ftp or email. If you transfer a file the date/time is refreshed with the local computer date when it is download.
    In our company we need to know the last modification date/time for each program file.

    • Yatti420 November 10, 2009 at 3:54 pm #

      Good to know if its true accross the board etc..

  2. November 9, 2009 at 3:12 pm #

    lol how much time did you spend making this retarded guide, its not like these menu options are hidden any idiot can find them.

    • John Campbell November 9, 2009 at 6:49 pm #

      Not everybody is a smarty like you. Some folks struggle so guides help!

      • dd@dd November 10, 2009 at 4:20 am #

        Sorry I meant no offence, it’s a very nicely done guide that must of taken considerable time, but its like making a two page guide on how to use the start menu lol.

        • John Campbell November 10, 2009 at 5:36 am #

          No offence taken. The blog sure took a long time but Snagit makes it easier. I always write stuff for the beginners so tend to tell it all.

          • Susandryan December 24, 2010 at 11:57 am #

            THANK YOU JOHN for the excellent guide. I am 55 and back in college. I need all the help I can get, especially with online classes having to use the computer extensivley. Not everyone was raised w/pcs and understands all of this tech stuff. THANKS!!!! Keep up the good work.

  3. Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 3:53 pm #

    I guess it’s good to know how to do this, but I just use 7-Zip. It’s a lot faster and has more features.

  4. Mustafa Mohamed November 10, 2009 at 3:04 pm #

    Personally, I prefer to use WinRAR as it can open “zip” file extensions.
    Btw, these guides are excellent for beginners and the screenshots are very helpful. Great effort 🙂

  5. Yatti November 10, 2009 at 3:55 pm #

    IZarc here.. Opens pretty much everything..

  6. Drmaxh December 10, 2010 at 4:31 pm #

    Is there a control or method for setting the compression ratio for Wind-7?

  7. Guest May 12, 2011 at 12:47 pm #

    I have somehow lost the ability to access and use the zip function that comes with Windows 7. Does anyone know how I can get it back?

  8. Wicki January 3, 2012 at 9:58 am #

    I think the version of compression in Windows 7 is incredibly slow.  It doesn’t provide any choices for naming at the time of compression (better than the several steps shown in the guide) and doesn’t allow you to direct the compressed file to another folder.  Also, if there happens to be any apostrophes or emplty files, it fails and creates nothing.  Don’t like it at all.

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