How to Compress or Zip a File


To zip or compress a file is to shrink its size to make it more manageable for sharing and downloading purposes. One or more files can be compressed into a single zipped folder. Compressed or zipped files can be sent as email attachments, uploaded to file managers in Web hosting, transferred to zip drives or conserve space on your hard drive. The Windows 7 and Mac OS operating systems have the capability to extract and unzip compressed files. The process, however, is different.

Windows Method

  • Click "Start" and type the file name in the "Search" box. Find the file to compress. Click and drag the file to the desktop for easier retrieval. Repeat with more files, if applicable.

  • Click on the file to select it. Right-click to open a menu.

  • Click "Send To" and click "Compressed (zipped) folder." The "Compressing" window opens. After the file compresses, a compressed folder appears on the desktop.

Mac Method

  • Double-click the hard drive icon on the Mac OS desktop to open the Finder.

  • Click on the file to compress and press down the "Ctrl" keyboard key at the same time.

  • Click "Create Archive of File Name" on the pop-up menu. "File Name" is the name of the file. The file compresses and the compressed file appears next to the original file.

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