Windows has built-in feature to zip and unzip files. But it may not work with big files. If your file size is less than 4 GB, you can use Windows zip feature. It is always better to have good zip program in your system.
7-zip is widely used software in the world. It is an open source software. It is one of the best among free zip software's. It not only compress the files, it will give you option to password protect the archive file. Another good feature in 7-zip is, it will be included in Windows right-click feature.
If you want more features than 7-zip, you need to go for WInRar. WinRar is the best among the paid zip software's.
How to compress files with 7-zip
- Download 7-zip from http://www.7-zip.org/download.html. Install software.
- Go to your file or folder. Right click on file or folder.
- Click “7-zip”.
- Click “Add to Archive”. You will see “Add to archive” window shows that in below screen shot.
- You can change your “Archive” name. Or keep it as it is.
- It is better to select “Archive Format” as 7z. You can also select zip from drop down. 7z format gives high-compression level compare to zip format. I have tried with 726MB folder. It produced 714Mb zip file in zip format. It produced 695 MB zip file in 7z format. So it is better to use 7z format. Don’t worry about un zipping 7z format. Any other zip program can unzip 7z format.
- Keep compression level “Normal”. Because there is minimal effect with other options.
- If you want, you can try “Split to volumes, bytes” option. It is useful when you have very big file and if you want them to split into multiple files. You can leave it empty.
- Type password and confirm in the fields under encryption. You can enter password only if you want to password protect your files. Other wise you can leave it empty.
- Click “Ok”.
Now your zip file is ready. Remember, if you want to get more compression levels and more speed, you must buy Winrar. Because, in my opinion, no other free zip software gives more compression level than 7-zip.
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