How to Compress (Zip) Files & Folders - 7 Easy & Quick Ways

Compress Files & Folders

This tutorial will show you step by step how to compress (zip) files and folders into ZIP, RAR, 7Z or other compressed files in few different ways – using free software and online services (websites).

And also how to do this without using additional software in Microsoft Windows 7, 8 and 10, Linux Mint and Ubuntu.

There are also (optional) instructions included for adding password protection (encryption) to your compressed files or folders in 7-Zip, PeaZip, Ashampoo Free Zip, WinRAR, Linux Mint and Ubuntu.

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Compress (zip) files and folders using free and paid ($) software:

What are Compressed Files?

Compressed files are files that contain one or more files or folders and have a smaller size than the original file size.

Compressed files make downloading and transferring data faster, sending by email easier and they also save storage space on a computer hard drive, usb flash drive or external hard drive.

A few common compressed file extensions are .rar, .zip, .tar, .gz and .7z.

Other extensions are b1, jar, xpi, arj, bz2, bzip2, tbz2, tbz, txz, cab, chm, chi, chq, chw, hxs, hxi, hxr, hxq, hxw, lit, cpio, deb, gzip, tgz, tpz, hfs, iso, lzh, lha, lzma, rpm, xar, z, taz, xz, dmg, cb7, cbr, cbt and cbz.

File Archivers

File archivers are programs used to compress and uncompress files.

A few popular file archivers are WinRar, WinZip and 7-Zip.

Microsoft Windows has a feature for compressing and uncompressing files, but this one doesn't have any extra options and can only zip and unzip ZIP and RAR files.

Linux Mint and Ubuntu also have a function to compress and decompress files and support all kinds of different types of files.

Compress (Zip) Files & Folders

You can compress (pack) almost any file type and format you want, such as:

And much more file types and formats.

How to Compress (Zip) Files and Folders using 7-Zip

7-Zip is a free program that allows you to compress (zip) files and unzip (extract) compressed files.

7-Zip supports the following formats: RAR, ZIP, 7Z, TAR, GZ, XZ, BZIP2, GZIP, ARJ, CAB, CHM, CPIO, CramFS, DEB, DMG, FAT, HFS, ISO, LZH, LZMA, MBR, MSI, NSIS, NTFS, RPM, SquashFS, UDF, VHD, WIM, XAR, Z.

You can download 7-Zip here.

Quickly Compress (Zip) a File or Folder into 7Z or ZIP using 7-Zip

1. Right-click on the file or folder.

2. Go to "7-Zip".

3. Click on "Add to [FileName].7z" or "Add to [FileName].zip".

compress files and folders using 7-zip

7-Zip will now compress (zip) your file or folder.

If you want more options, such as other file types or password protection (encryption), then follow the following steps.

Compress (Zip) a File or Folder into 7Z, ZIP, TAR or another File - More Options

1. Right-click on the file or folder.

2. Go to "7-Zip".

3. Click on "Add to archive".

compress files and folders using 7-zip

4. At "Archive Format", you can select a archive format.

compress files and folders using 7-zip 2

5. If you want to password protect (encrypt) your file or folder, then go to "Encryption", enter your password twice and make sure "AES-256" is selected at "Encryption Method".

compress and password protect files and folders using 7-zip

Important! It is very important to remember your password, because you will need it to unzip (extract) your file.

You might want to create a backup of the non-password protected files and folders – in case you forget the password in the future.

6. You have a few settings, but if you don't know what any of these settings mean, then just leave the settings unchanged.

7. Click on the "OK" button located at the bottom right.

7-Zip will now compress (pack) your file or folder.

How to Compress (Zip) Files and Folders using Ashampoo Free Zip

Ashampoo Free Zip is a free program that allows you to compress (zip) files and unzip (extract) compressed files.

Ashampoo Free Zip supports the following formats: ZIP, RAR, 7Z, CAB, TAR (TAR, TAR.GZ, TAR.BZ2, TAR.XZ), ZIPX, ARJ, ARC, ACE, MSI, NSIS, CHM, DMG, RPM, CPIO, VHD, XAR, LZMA, LZH, SquashFS, CramFS, Z, ZOO, WIM plus ISO (ISO9660 and UDF).

You can download Ashampoo Free Zip here.

Quickly Compress (Zip) a File or Folder into 7Z or ZIP using Ashampoo Free Zip

1. Right-click on the file or folder.

2. Click on "Compress to [FileName].zip" or "Compress to [FileName].7z".

compress files and folders using ashampoo free zip

Ashampoo Free Zip will now compress (zip) your file or folder.

If you want more options, such as other file types or password protection (encryption), then follow the following steps.

Compress (Zip) a File or Folder into 7Z, ZIP, TAR or another File using Ashampoo Free Zip - More Options

1. Right-click on the file or folder.

2. Go to "Compress To..." and choose "Compress With Options...".

compress files and folders using ashampoo free zip

3. At "Format", you can select a archive format.

compress files and folders using ashampoo free zip

4. If you want to password protect (encrypt) your file or folder, then go to "Encryption" and select "AES-256 Encryption".

compress and password protect files and folders using ashampoo free zip

Important! It is very important to remember your password, because you will need it to unzip (extract) your file.

You might want to create a backup of the non-password protected files and folders – in case you forget the password in the future.

5. You have a few settings, but if you don't know what any of these settings mean, then just leave the settings unchanged.

6. Click on the "Add" button.

7. If you enabled encryption (password protection), then you will need to enter your password twice and then click on "OK".

Ashampoo Free Zip will now compress (pack) your file or folder.

How to Compress (Zip) Files and Folders using PeaZip

PeaZip is a free program that allows you to compress (zip) files and unzip (extract) compressed files.

PeaZip supports the following formats: RAR, ZIP, 7Z, TAR, GZ, bz, bz2, bzip2, tbz2, tbz, gzip, tgz, tpz, z01, smzip, arj, cab, chm, chi, chq, chw, hxs, hxi, hxr, hxq, hxw, lit, cpio, deb, lzh, lha, r01, 00, rpm, z, taz, tz, iso, jar, ear, war, lha, pet, pup, pak, pk3, pk4, slp, xpi, wim, u3p, lzma86, lzma, udf, xar, dmg, hfs, part1, split, swm, tpz, kmz, xz, txz, vhd, mslz, apm, mbr, fat, ntfs, exe, dll, sys, msi, msp, ods, ots, odm, oth, oxt, odb, odf, odg, otg, odp, otp, odt, ott, gnm, doc, dot, xls, xlt, ppt, pps, pot, docx, dotx, xlsx, xltx, swf, flv, quad, balz, zpaq, paq8f, paq8jd, paq8l, paq8o, lpaq1, lpaq5, lpaq8, ace, arc, wrc, 001, pea, cbz, cbr, cba, cb7, cbt.

You can download PeaZip here.

Quickly Compress (Zip) a File or Folder into 7Z or ZIP using PeaZip

1. Right-click on the file or folder.

2. Go to "PeaZip".

3. Click on "Add to .7Z" or "Add to .ZIP".

compress files and folders using peazip

PeaZip will now compress (zip) your file or folder.

If you want more options, such as other file types or password protection (encryption), then follow the following steps.

Compress (Zip) a File or Folder into 7Z, ZIP, TAR or another File using PeaZip - More Options

1. Right-click on the file or folder.

2. Go to "PeaZip".

3. Click on "Add to archive".

compress files and folders using peazip

4. Select a archive format.

compress files and folders using peazip

5. If you want to password protect (encrypt) your file or folder, then click on "Enter password / keyfile", enter your password twice and click on "OK".

compress and password protect files and folders using peazip

Important! It is very important to remember your password, because you will need it to unzip (extract) your file.

You might want to create a backup of the non-password protected files and folders – in case you forget the password in the future.

6. You have a few settings, but if you don't know what any of these settings mean, then just leave the settings unchanged.

7. Click on the "OK" button.

PeaZip will now compress (pack) your file or folder.

How to Compress (Zip) Files and Folders using WinRAR

WinRAR is a powerful archive manager. It can backup your data and reduce the size of email attachments, decompress RAR, ZIP and other files downloaded from Internet and create new archives in RAR and ZIP file format.

WinRAR supports the following formats: RAR, ZIP, 7Z, TAR, GZ, CAB, ARJ, LZH, XZ, TAR.GZ, BZ2, TAR.BZ2, ACE, UUE, JAR (Java Archive), ISO (ISO9660 - CD image), Z (Unix compress).

You can try WinRAR before buy, its trial version is available here.

Quickly Compress (Zip) a File or Folder into RAR using WinRAR

1. Right-click on the file or folder.

2. Click on "Add to [File Name].rar".

compress files and folders using winrar

WinRAR will now compress (zip) your file or folder.

If you want more options, such as other file types or password protection (encryption), then follow the following steps.

Compress (Zip) a File or Folder into RAR or ZIP using WinRAR - More Options

1. Right-click on the file or folder.

2. Click on "Add to archive...".

compress files and folders using winrar

3. At "Archive format" you can choose a archive format.

4. If you want to password protect (encrypt) your file or folder, then click on "Set password...", enter your password twice and click on "OK".

Important! It is very important to remember your password, because you will need it to unzip (extract) your file.

You might want to create a backup of the non-password protected files and folders – in case you forget the password in the future.

5. You have a lot of settings, but if you don't know what any of these settings mean, then just leave the settings unchanged.

6. Click on the "OK" button.

WinRAR will now compress (zip) your file or folder.

How to Compress (Zip) Files and Folders Online using EzyZip

1. Visit www.ezyzip.com.

2. At "File name" you enter a file name for your new compressed file.

3. Click on the "Choose Files" button.

4. Go to the location on your computer where the file or folder is stored that you want to compress (zip).

5. Select the file or folder and click on "Open".

6. Click on the "Zip Files" button.

7. EzyZip will now compress your file(s) or folder(s) and when it's done, you click on the "Save Zip File" button.

8. Select a location on your PC where you want to save the new ZIP file and click on "Save".

How to Compress (Zip) Files and Folders in Windows 7, 8 and 10

1. Right-click on the file or folder.

2. Go to "Send to" and choose "Compressed (zipped) folder".

compress files and folders in windows

Windows will now compress (zip) your file or folder.

How to Compress (Zip) Files and Folders in Linux Mint & Ubuntu

1. Right-click on the file or folder.

2. Click on "Compress...".

compress files and folders in linux mint and ubuntu

3. A small "Compress" window will appear and here you can select a archive format, such as .zip, .7z, .tar or .gz.

compress files and folders in linux mint and ubuntu

4. If you want to password protect (encrypt) your file or folder, then click on "Other Options" and enter your password.

Important! It is very important to remember your password, because you will need it to unzip (extract) your file.

You might want to create a backup of the non-password protected files and folders – in case you forget the password in the future.

5. Click on the "Create" button.

Linux Mint or Ubuntu will now compress (zip) your file or folder.

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