If you want to make some file in your computer smaller (e.g. for sending by e-mail), one of the most common procedure is a compression. Especially the zip compression, so called “zipping”. Zipping will compress an original file into smaller (compressed) zip file (extension *.zip). Also more files can be compressed into one zip file. You can imagine zipping as packing your clothes (original files) into one “space bag” (zip file). Sending of the one zipped file (with more original files within) by e-mail is then easier than sending of these files separately.
You can create a zip file with any zip utility. There are number of such utilities. We will use utility 7-Zip, because it’s extremely easy and free open source software without any fees. Let’s start with the installation.
1. Download 7-Zip installation file
As the first thing, you need download the 7-Zip installation file for your particular system. Most probably you need download the .exe file for the 32-bit system. Just go to http://www.7-zip.org and download this version to a local folder in your computer (for example to folder Desktop).
If your Windows 10 is 32 bit- download the 32 bit version of 7-Zip, otherwise download 64 bit version:
The size of the installation file is 1 MB, so downloading should be pretty fast.
2. Install 7-Zip
Now there should be downloaded the installation file with the name 7zXXX.exe on your desktop (where XXX is number of the current version). If you downloaded it to any other folder, just find it with Windows Explorer. Do you have it? Ok. Now double click on that file. Installation will start. As the first step of the installation you can Choose Install Location.
Pre-selected folder is ok in most cases. So click on Install and the installation will proceed.
Then click on Finish. 7-Zip is installed now. It’s pretty easy, isn’t it?
3. First start of the 7-Zip
If everything went fine with the installation, you have the new program group in the menu Start > Programs > 7-Zip. Go there and click on 7-Zip File Manager. The 7-Zip utility will start for the first time! You can see its basic window.
4. Association of the file types
It’s a good practice to have associated a particular file type with a particular application which can handle this file. For setting up of these associations for 7-Zip files run 7-Zip (Start > Programs > 7-Zip > 7-Zip File Manager) and then click on Tools > Options.
New Options window appears. On the first tab, called System, you can associate 7-Zip utility with a several file types. We recommend to associate all file types by clicking on “Select all” button and then OK button. You can look at other settings too.
Now you have associated all the files which 7-Zip can handle. And finally, 7-Zip is succesfully installed.
5. File association not working?
If you have Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10, you have to have administrator’s permissions for files association, otherwise association won’t work. To run 7-Zip as administrator, click to Start and then right click to 7-Zip. In the context menu select Run as administrator. Then changing of file associations in the previous step will be permanent.
It’s done! Congratulations!
In some cases you have to restart your computer if you have Windows 7,Windows 8 or Windows 10 to finish all changes. After restart you’ll have context menu of Windows Explorer with 7-Zip added.