To simply share a group of files as an attachment to an email, you can use the option to create “compressed folder” of Windows accessible via the context menu, in the option “Send to”. 7-Zip is a free, open source tool that offers similar compression and decompression, adding support for many file formats and features.

How to Compress and Decompress an Archive with 7-Zip?
How to Compress and Decompress an Archive with 7-Zip?

Want to share holiday photos , or a batch of business documents, by e-mail ? Rather than sending all the files independently, it is more convenient to group them within an archive, which will also reduce the disk space occupied.

Here are some ways to compress and uncompress files and folders with 7-Zip.

Archive compression

Of course, you must first download and install 7-Zip on your computer . Then, new options appear in the context menu. You find them by selecting the documents (files or folders) that you want to compress, by right-clicking on the selection and then opening the “7-Zip” part. Then validate the creation of the archive by clicking on “Add to foldername.zip”.

> In the same way, you can choose “Add to foldername.7z” to immediately create an archive in 7z format. The zip format has the advantage of being more widespread and commonly used.

> In our case, a .zip Tutorial file has been added to the folder. This is the archive containing all the selected files and folders.

> To take advantage of additional options when creating the archive, select your documents, open the context menu, and choose “7-Zip”, “Add to archive …”.

> The archive creation window opens, and first offers the choice of the format of the archive. As noted above, the zip is the most common, but the 7z offers better performance: higher compression , and ability to encrypt the name of files and folders.

> If you choose the zip format, you will notice that the “Digit file names” box disappears. Fortunately, it is still possible to set a password .

> Whatever format is chosen, 7-Zip then proposes to indicate the level of compression. The higher the compression, the longer the working time.

In the case of an archive of important documents, you can protect it with a password . The recipient will need to know this code to be able to extract the files.

Decompression of archives

> Regarding the extraction of files from an archive, the quickest method is to right click on it, then select “7-Zip” and “Extract here”.

> The extracted documents appear immediately in the working folder.

> If you want to check the contents of the archive before unzipping it, double-click on the file to open it using 7-Zip. You can then select the part of the content that interests you, and confirm with the “Extract” button.

> A window opens to propose the destination directory. Enter the folder of your choice and confirm with “OK”.

In the case of a password- protected archive , the program displays an input window. If the 7z format is used and the “Digit file names” option has been checked during the compression, then the password entry will be necessary as soon as the archive is opened. Password-protected zip archives let you view the contents of the archive freely, and only require the password to be entered when attempting to extract.

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