How to Unzip Files in Windows 10: A Beginner’s Guide

Welcome to our article about how to unzip files in Windows 10! Unzipping files is a common task that many computer users need to perform. Whether you are a student who needs to extract a zipped folder with class notes or a professional who needs to open a compressed file with work documents, unzipping files can be a crucial part of your daily computer use.

If you are new to Windows 10 or have never unzipped files before, don’t worry! We will guide you through the entire process step by step. In this article, we will explain twelve simple steps to unzip files in Windows 10, and also provide you with some helpful tips and tricks along the way. So let’s get started!

Step by Step Guide to Unzip Files in Windows 10

Step 1: Locate the Compressed Folder

In order to unzip files in Windows 10, you must first locate the compressed folder that you want to extract files from. This is usually a folder with a .zip or .rar extension. Once you have found the folder, right-click on it and select “Extract All” from the context menu.

Step 2: Select a Destination Folder

After clicking on “Extract All”, a new window will pop up asking you to choose a destination folder where the uncompressed files should be saved. You can either choose the default location or select a different folder by clicking “Browse” and navigating to the desired location.

Step 3: Check the “Show extracted files when complete” Box (optional)

If you want to see the extracted files as soon as they are uncompressed, check the box that says “Show extracted files when complete”. If you don’t check this box, the extracted files will be saved in the destination folder and you will have to navigate to that folder to view them.

Step 4: Click “Extract”

Once you have selected a destination folder and chosen whether or not to show extracted files when complete, simply click the “Extract” button. Windows will begin unzipping the files and you will see a progress bar indicating how long it will take.

Step 5: Wait for the Unzipping Process to Finish

Depending on the size of the compressed folder and the speed of your computer, the unzipping process might take a few seconds or several minutes. It’s important to be patient and wait for the process to complete before trying to access the extracted files.

Step 6: Access the Extracted Files

Once the unzipping process is complete, you can access the extracted files by navigating to the destination folder that you selected in Step 2. In this folder, you should see all of the individual files that were contained within the compressed folder.

Step 7: Use the Extracted Files as Needed

Now that you have successfully unzipped the files, you can use them as needed. For example, if you unzipped a folder containing music files, you can now listen to those files using your media player of choice.

Step 8: Delete the Compressed Folder (optional)

If you no longer need the compressed folder, you can delete it to free up space on your computer. However, it’s important to note that once you delete the compressed folder, you will not be able to retrieve it. So make sure that you have extracted all of the files you need before deleting the compressed folder.

Step 9: Rename the Extracted Files (optional)

If you want to rename any of the extracted files, you can do so by right-clicking on the file and selecting “Rename”. This can be useful if you want to give the files more descriptive names or if you want to organize them in a certain way.

Step 10: Share the Extracted Files (optional)

If you need to share the extracted files with someone else, you can do so by sending them the individual files or by creating a new compressed folder containing all of the files and sending that. This can be useful if you need to share work documents with a colleague or send photos to a friend.

Step 11: Use Third-Party Software (optional)

If for some reason you are unable to unzip files using the built-in Windows 10 feature, you can also use third-party software such as WinZip or 7-Zip. These programs can provide additional features and options for unzipping files, but they do require installation and might not be free.

Step 12: Practice Safe Computing Habits

When unzipping files, it’s important to exercise caution and follow safe computing habits. Make sure that you only download files from trusted sources and scan them for viruses before unzipping them. Additionally, be wary of opening compressed folders that you were not expecting to receive or that come from unknown senders.

Tips and Tricks for Unzipping Files in Windows 10

Tip 1: Use Keyboard Shortcuts to Save Time

If you want to save time when unzipping files, you can use keyboard shortcuts to perform certain actions. For example, you can use the “Ctrl + A” shortcut to select all of the files in a folder, or the “Ctrl + C” and “Ctrl + V” shortcuts to copy and paste files.

Tip 2: Use the Preview Pane to Preview Files

If you want to preview a file before extracting it, you can use the built-in preview pane in Windows 10. Simply select the file in the compressed folder and then click the “Preview pane” button on the top right of the File Explorer window.

Tip 3: Use Command Prompt to Unzip Files

If you are comfortable with using command prompt, you can also use it to unzip files in Windows 10. Simply open command prompt and type “expand” followed by the path to the compressed folder and the destination folder.

Tip 4: Use the Windows Store to Find Third-Party Apps

If you need to use third-party software to unzip files, you can find and download these apps from the Windows Store. This can save you time and effort compared to searching for and downloading programs from the internet.

Tip 5: Use a Password for Compressed Folders

If you want to protect the contents of a compressed folder, you can add a password to the folder before zipping it. This will prevent unauthorized access to the files and provide an extra layer of security.

Tip 6: Use the “Extract to” Option to Save Time

If you need to extract files to a specific folder on a regular basis, you can use the “Extract to” option to save time. This will automatically extract the files to the designated folder without requiring you to choose a destination folder each time.

Tip 7: Use the Command Line to Extract Specific Files

If you only need to extract specific files from a compressed folder, you can use the command line to do so. Simply open command prompt, navigate to the folder containing the compressed folder, and type “expand” followed by the name of the compressed folder and the file name(s) that you want to extract.

Tip 8: Check the Extracted Files for Errors

After unzipping files, it’s a good idea to check the extracted files for errors or corruption. This can be done by opening the files and making sure that they display and function correctly.

Tip 9: Use Cloud Storage to Share Files

If you need to share large files with others, you can use cloud storage solutions like Google Drive or Dropbox to upload and share files. This can provide an easy and secure way to share files without having to worry about email limits or other restrictions.

Tip 10: Backup Important Files Regularly

Finally, it’s always a good idea to backup important files regularly. This will ensure that you don’t lose important documents or other files in the event of a computer crash or other disaster. You can use cloud storage or an external hard drive to back up your files, or simply create copies of important files on another computer or device.

In conclusion, unzipping files in Windows 10 is a simple process that can be done by following the twelve steps outlined in this article. By using these tips and tricks, you can save time, stay safe, and get the most out of your computer. Good luck, and happy unzipping!

Advantages of Unzipping Files on Windows 10

Unzipping files on Windows 10 is an essential task for many computer users. It allows you to access files that are bundled in a zip file, making it easier to view, modify, and work with these files. Here are some of the advantages of unzipping files on Windows 10:


  1. Compatibility: Windows 10 offers built-in support for zip files, making it easy to unzip files without the need for any additional software.

  2. No need for a separate program: Unlike other operating systems, Windows 10 has a built-in capability for unzipping files, which means you don’t need to download and install separate software to get the job done.

  3. Easy to use: Unzipping files on Windows 10 is incredibly easy with just a few clicks.

  4. Quick file access: By unzipping files, you can access all of the files in a zip file more quickly than if you had to extract each file one at a time.

  5. File organization: Unzipping files can help you to organize and sort your files more efficiently, especially if you have a large number of files to work with.

  6. File compression: In many cases, zip files can be significantly smaller than the original files, making it easier to share and transfer files.

  7. Security: By unzipping files, you can scan them for viruses or malware, which helps to keep your computer secure.

  8. Ease of sharing: When you unzip files, you can easily share individual files with others or upload them to a website or cloud storage service.

  9. Streamlined workflow: Unzipping files on Windows 10 can help to streamline your workflow, allowing you to access multiple files quickly and efficiently.

  10. Improved productivity: By unzipping files, you can access important files faster, which can help to boost your productivity.

Disadvantages of Unzipping Files on Windows 10

While unzipping files is generally a safe and useful process, there are a few potential downsides to be aware of. Here are some of the disadvantages of unzipping files on Windows 10:


  1. File corruption: In some cases, unzipping files can cause files to become corrupted, which can result in data loss.

  2. Security risks: Unzipping files can also be a security risk, as malicious programs can hide inside compressed files. It’s important to always scan files for viruses before unzipping them.

  3. Large file sizes: If you are working with a large number of files, unzipping can be time-consuming and may slow down your computer.

  4. Compatibility issues: Some zip files may not be compatible with Windows 10’s built-in unzipping tool, requiring the use of additional software.

  5. Lack of customization: Windows 10’s built-in unzipping tool offers limited customization options, which can be frustrating for power users who want more control.

  6. Loss of original formatting: When files are compressed in a zip file, some formatting may be lost, which can be a problem for certain file types.

  7. Not all file types can be compressed: While most file types can be compressed in a zip file, some file types may not be compatible.

  8. Multiple versions: If you have multiple versions of the same file in a zip file, it can be difficult to differentiate between them.

  9. Needs special software: In some cases, you may need specialized software to work with certain types of compressed files.

  10. Unzipping large files: If you are unzipping large files, it can take up a significant amount of storage space on your hard drive.


1. What does it mean to unzip a file?

Unzipping a file means extracting the compressed contents of the file into a folder or individual files. This is a useful way to transfer files over the internet or to save space on your computer.

2. How do I unzip files in Windows 10?

To unzip files in Windows 10, you can right-click on the zipped file and select “Extract All”. Follow the prompts to choose a location to extract the files to.

3. What file formats can I unzip in Windows 10?

Windows 10 can unzip files in the popular ZIP format, as well as the less common GZ, TAR, and 7Z formats.

4. Can I unzip multiple files at once?

Yes, you can select multiple zipped files and extract them all at once using the “Extract All” feature.

5. Can I unzip files using File Explorer?

Yes, you can unzip files using File Explorer by right-clicking on the zipped file and selecting “Extract All”.

6. Can I use a third-party program to unzip files in Windows 10?

Yes, there are many third-party programs available that can unzip files in Windows 10, such as WinRAR, 7-Zip, and WinZip.

7. What should I do if my zipped file is corrupted?

If your zipped file is corrupted, you may not be able to extract its contents. Try downloading the file again or using a file repair tool to fix the corruption.

8. Can I password-protect a zipped file?

Yes, you can password-protect a zipped file by using a third-party program such as WinRAR or 7-Zip.

9. Why are my unzipped files not in the same location as the zipped file?

When you extract files from a zipped folder, Windows 10 will create a new folder containing the extracted files. This new folder will be in the same location as the zipped file.

10. What should I do if I can’t open my unzipped files?

If you cannot open your unzipped files, make sure that you have the necessary software installed on your computer. For example, if you have unzipped image files, you will need an image viewer application to view them.

11. Can I unzip files on a smartphone or tablet?

Yes, there are many apps available for smartphones and tablets that can unzip files, such as WinZip, RAR, and 7-Zip.

12. How do I delete a zipped file after extracting its contents?

After you have extracted a zipped file, you can safely delete the original zipped file by right-clicking on it and selecting “Delete”.

13. Can I create a zipped file in Windows 10?

Yes, you can create a zipped file in Windows 10 by right-clicking on the files or folder you want to compress and selecting “Send to” and then “Compressed (zipped) folder”.

How to Unzip Files on Windows 10

If you’re new to Windows 10 and wondering how to unzip files, you’re in luck! In this article, we’ll guide you through the process step-by-step. Unzipping files can be a life-saver, especially when you need to access multiple files at once. Without further ado, let’s get started!

Conclusion and Closing

Unzipping files on Windows 10 is a pretty straightforward process even for beginners. All you need is the built-in program, File Explorer, to extract the files. Once you’ve located the zipped file, you can right-click on it and extract the files. Or, you can open File Explorer and use the Extract option in the Compressed Folder Tools tab. That’s it!

Now that you know how to unzip files on Windows 10, you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that the process is pretty simple. If you have any questions or need further assistance, don’t hesitate to seek help from the professionals. Good luck!

Thank you for reading our article and we hope you found it helpful. We’ll see you next time!