How to compress files or folders into a ZIP file (5 easy ways)

This tutorial will show you step by step how to compress files or folders into a ZIP file in Windows 10.

You can also compress multiple files or folders or both into a single ZIP file.

I've also included instructions for adding password protection (encryption) to your compressed files or folders in 7-Zip and WinRAR.

Compressed files are files that contain one or more files or folders that are smaller than their original file size. Compressed files make downloading and transferring data faster, and they allow you to store more data on an external hard drive or USB flash drive. Common compressed file extensions are .ZIP, .RAR, and .7z.

How to compress files or folders into a ZIP file in Windows 10

1. Open File Explorer (Windows Explorer).

2. Go to the file(s) or folder(s) you want to compress into a ZIP file.

3. If you want to compress multiple files or folders into a ZIP file, then you will need to select all the files or folders you want to compress. You can select multiple files or folders by holding the control key [ctrl] and clicking on the files or folders. Or click on the first file or folder, hold the [shift] key and then click on the last file or folder. Or press the [ctrl] + [A] key.

Select multiple files in Windows 10 File Explorer

4. Right-click on the file or folder > Send to > Compressed (zipped) folder. For multiple files or folders, you right-click on one of the selected files or folders > Send to > Compressed (zipped) folder.

Compress a file or folder into a ZIP file in Windows 10

Or you can also select the file(s) or folder(s), click on Share in the upper left corner of File Explorer and then click on ZIP.

Compress a file or folder into a ZIP file in Windows 10

Windows will compress the file(s) or folder(s) into a ZIP file.



How to compress files or folders into a ZIP file using 7-Zip

7-Zip is a free open-source file archiver for Microsoft Windows.

7-Zip website

1. Open File Explorer (Windows Explorer).

2. Go to the file(s) or folder(s) you want to compress into a ZIP file.

3. If you want to compress multiple files or folders into a ZIP file, then you will need to select all the files or folders you want to compress. You can select multiple files or folders by holding the control key [ctrl] and clicking on the files or folders. Or click on the first file or folder, hold the [shift] key and then click on the last file or folder. Or press the [ctrl] + [A] key.

Select multiple files in Windows 10 File Explorer

4. Right-click on the file or folder > 7-Zip > Add to "[file-name].zip". For multiple files or folders, you right-click on one of the selected files or folders > 7-Zip > Add to "[file-name].zip".

Compress a file or folder into a ZIP file using 7-Zip

7-Zip will compress the file(s) or folder(s) into a ZIP file.



How to compress files or folders into a ZIP file with password protection using 7-Zip

7-Zip is a free open-source file archiver for Microsoft Windows.

7-Zip website

1. Open File Explorer (Windows Explorer).

2. Go to the file(s) or folder(s) you want to compress into a ZIP file.

3. If you want to compress multiple files or folders into a ZIP file, then you will need to select all the files or folders you want to compress. You can select multiple files or folders by holding the control key [ctrl] and clicking on the files or folders. Or click on the first file or folder, hold the [shift] key and then click on the last file or folder. Or press the [ctrl] + [A] key.

Select multiple files in Windows 10 File Explorer

4. Right-click on the file or folder > 7-Zip > Add to archive. For multiple files or folders, you right-click on one of the selected files or folders > 7-Zip > Add to archive.

7-Zip Add to archive

A “Add to Archive” window will appear.

5. At Archive format, you click on the selection menu button and select zip. Note: If you also want to encrypt file names, then you must select the 7z archive format.

6. In the Encryption section, you type the desired password twice.

7. Make sure that AES-256 is selected as encryption method.

8. If you want to encrypt file names, then check this option now. This option is only available when you select the 7z archive format.

Compress a file or folder into a ZIP file with password protection using 7-Zip

9. Click on the OK button at the bottom of the window.

7-Zip will compress the file(s) or folder(s) into a ZIP file with password protection.



How to compress files or folders into a ZIP file using WinRAR

WinRAR is a trialware file archiver for Microsoft Windows.

WinRAR isn't free, but the company offers a 40-day free trial before you're supposed to purchase a license to keep using it. But, as anyone who used it regularly knows, when those 40 days are up, nothing happens. You'll only get a frequent pop-up reminder about buying a license, but you can continue using WinRAR for free forever.

WinRAR website

1. Open File Explorer (Windows Explorer).

2. Go to the file(s) or folder(s) you want to compress into a ZIP file.

3. If you want to compress multiple files or folders into a ZIP file, then you will need to select all the files or folders you want to compress. You can select multiple files or folders by holding the control key [ctrl] and clicking on the files or folders. Or click on the first file or folder, hold the [shift] key and then click on the last file or folder. Or press the [ctrl] + [A] key.

Select multiple files in Windows 10 File Explorer

4. Right-click on the file or folder and then click on Add to archive. For multiple files or folders, you right-click on one of the selected files or folders and then click on Add to archive.

WinRAR Add to archive

A “Archive name and parameters” window will appear.

5. At Archive format, you select ZIP.

6. Click on the OK button.

Compress a file or folder into a ZIP file using WinRAR

WinRAR will compress the file(s) or folder(s) into a ZIP file.



How to compress files or folders into a ZIP file with password protection using WinRAR

WinRAR is a trialware file archiver for Microsoft Windows.

WinRAR isn't free, but the company offers a 40-day free trial before you're supposed to purchase a license to keep using it. But, as anyone who used it regularly knows, when those 40 days are up, nothing happens. You'll only get a frequent pop-up reminder about buying a license, but you can continue using WinRAR for free forever.

WinRAR website

1. Open File Explorer (Windows Explorer).

2. Go to the file(s) or folder(s) you want to compress into a ZIP file.

3. If you want to compress multiple files or folders into a ZIP file, then you will need to select all the files or folders you want to compress. You can select multiple files or folders by holding the control key [ctrl] and clicking on the files or folders. Or click on the first file or folder, hold the [shift] key and then click on the last file or folder. Or press the [ctrl] + [A] key.

Select multiple files in Windows 10 File Explorer

4. Right-click on the file or folder and then click on Add to archive. For multiple files or folders, you right-click on one of the selected files or folders and then click on Add to archive.

WinRAR Add to archive

A “Archive name and parameters” window will appear.

5. At Archive format, you select ZIP. Note: If you also want to encrypt file names, then you must select the RAR archive format.

6. Click on the Set password button.

Archive format and Set password button in WinRAR

A “Enter password” window appears.

7. Type the desired password twice.

8. If you want to encrypt file names, then check this option now. This option is only available when you select the RAR archive format.

9. Click on the OK button.

WinRAR Enter password window

10. Click on the OK.

WinRAR will compress the file(s) or folder(s) into a ZIP file with password protection.



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