First because of the floppy disks, then because of the emails, the point is that storage space has always been at a premium in the world of personal computing.
So, file compression / decompression tools, which allow you to reduce file size, they were always among the first to install after each Windows installation …
… at least, until Windows itself began to incorporate file compression as a tool integrated into the operating system, an aspect that not all users know or know how to use.
Of course: contrary to what happens in alternatives developed by third parties, such as WinRAR or 7Zip, the file compression integrated into Windows It will only handle files in ZIP format, not in other formats like RAR or 7Z.
How to compress files from Explorer
We can make use of file compression from Windows Explorer itself: we only need to move to the directory where the file (or files) or the folder (or folders) that we want to compress is located.
Once selected the elements of our interest (in case of multiple selection, we will have to hold down the ‘Control’ key while we are clicking on them), we will have to do click the right mouse button.
Then, in the contextual menu that will be displayed before us, we will only have to scroll to ‘Send to’ and select ‘Compressed folder (zip)’, as seen in the following image:
A * .zip file will then be created (in the same folder that we have open in Windows Explorer) that will contain reduced copies of the files or folders previously selected.
We will can rename the new file (which by default matches the original file -extension to the margin- or the one placed alphabetically first, in case of multiple selection), or choose to click anywhere on the interface to leave it intact:
How to decompress the files that we have created
But what to do when we want to access the files contained in the ZIP file that we just created? Well there are two ways:
- Click on the ZIP: For practical purposes, any of these files is interpreted by the system as one more folder (as long as the ZIP extension is not already linked to another program), one that we can access to work with each of the individual files, opening them, renaming them or grouping them in subfolders.
- Unzip its content: We can return the files it contains to their normal size and move them to any other folder on the hard drive; To do this, just right-click on the ZIP and select ‘Extract all’ from the context menu. Then, we will only need to select a destination folder in the window that will be displayed.