I have used a lot of ‘zip’ or file compression programs over the years, but the one I use these days is the free, open source 7-Zip program. True, Windows has its own built-in compression program, but sometimes you may want a little more control over your options, such as the amount of compression, as well as some other refinements.
Here’s a look at the ‘Add to Archive’ dialog box, which you can see when you right-click a file or folder and click 7Zip…from the menu:
Here you can control the amount of compression, split the compressed file to fit over multiple media and even choose to encrypt the compressed file with a password. You cannot do any of this with Windows’ Compressed Folders!
7Zip can also handle more than the Zip files, it can do RAR, GZIP, TAR and many more. Chances are you will only need it for Zip and RAR files; those are the most common to Windows users, but it supports MAC and Linux formats as well.
My most used feature of 7Zip is the right-click menu options. Right click any file, group of files or folder and 7Zip will appear in the right click menu. Then, hover your mouse over the 7Zip label and you will get another context menu with 7Zip’s options for you to select:
File and folder compression is a quick and easy way to archive old files so that they take up less space, as well as a simple way to attach a folder to an email. Just zip the folder up and attach it like a regular file. The person receiving it can ‘unzip’ it using Windows Compressed Folders, so there’s no need to worry about compatibility. 7Zip comes in 32 and 64-bit versions versions for Windows and is a small 1 MB download.
Click here to get your free copy of the best free zip program: