ZIP files are great for easily compressing and moving large groups of files. However, if you’ve ever downloaded something and received a ZIP file, you might not know how to open it. Although most operating systems these days come with a ZIP program, if you still don’t know how to unzip the files, don’t worry. Along the same lines as our guides on extracting ZIP files in Chrome OS and unzipping files in iPhones, here’s how to unzip files in Windows 11.
Here we have mentioned four different ways to unzip files in Windows 11. You can use the native File Explorer or a third-party tool to extract the contents of a ZIP file. You can also use CMD to unzip files in Windows 11. For detailed instructions, expand the table below and navigate to the desired section.
1. Unzip files in Windows 11 using File Explorer
You can easily unzip files and folders in Windows 11 using the native File Explorer. There is no need to download any third-party file compression tool like Winzip or WinRAR. Here’s how to unzip and extract the contents of folders in Windows 11.
1. First, right click on the ZIP file and choose “Extract All“. You can also click “Extract All” from the top menu.
2. A mini-window will appear where you can choose the destination folder. I usually keep it as is and click “Extract“. This will unzip the file to the same destination where the zipped folder is located.
3. There you go! The unzipped content is available in a standard folder just there.
4. Alternatively, if you want unzip specific files, you can open the ZIP file by double-clicking it. And now you can select the files you need and copy them like normal files.
5. Now go back and create a new folder in the same destination and paste the files. This way you can unzip particular files from a compressed ZIP file.
Create a ZIP file in Windows 11 using File Explorer
If you want create a ZIP file in Windows 11 using File Explorer, simply select a file or folder and right click on it. You can also select a bunch of different files. Now choose “Compress to ZIP file”.
A compressed ZIP file will be created in the same folder. You can set a name for the ZIP file and you are done.
2. Unzip files in Windows 11 using 7-Zip
If you want to use a third-party program, I would recommend 7-Zip to unzip files in Windows 11 over other popular solutions like WinRAR and WinZip. It’s free, open-source, doesn’t bother you with pop-ups, and offers an excellent compression algorithm. That’s why we chose 7-Zip as one of the best Windows 11 apps. So if you want to unzip files in Windows 11, follow our guide below.
1. Go ahead and download 7-Zip from here. After that, install the app on your Windows 11 PC.
2. Now right click on the ZIP file and open “Show more options“.
3. Here, select “7-Zip” and open “Extract files…“.
4. Now choose the destination by clicking on the 3-dot menu and then click on “OKAY“.
5. And that’s it. All contents of the ZIP file will be extract in the chosen folder.
6. In case you want extract specific content from a ZIP file, right-click on it and choose “Show more options”. Now open 7-Zip -> Open archive.
7. Once 7-Zip is open, select the files you want to extract then click “Extract” at the top.
8. In the next window, choose the destination folder and click “OKAY“.
9. Files will be unzipped in a folder. And this is how you can use 7-Zip to unzip files in Windows 11.
3. Unzip files in Windows 11 using PowerShell
Besides File Explorer and 7-Zip, you can also use PowerShell to unzip files in Windows 11. With a simple command, you can unzip a ZIP and extract the contents. Here’s how.
1. Press the Windows key once and type “powershell”. Now click on “Execute as administrator” in the right pane. If you still want to run PowerShell with administrator privileges, follow our guide for more information.
2. Next, right-click on the ZIP file and choose “Copy as path“. This will copy the full address of the ZIP file to the clipboard.
3. Now to unpack the files in Windows 11 using PowerShell, run the command below. Here, replace
path of ZIP file with the real path you copied above. This will unzip the contents of the ZIP file into the “C” drive under “New Folder”. I chose drive “C” as the destination address, but you can choose your own.
Expand-Archive -Path "path of ZIP file" -DestinationPath "C:\New Folder"
4. Finally, open drive “C” and go to “New Folder”. Here you will find the extracted contents of the ZIP file. This is how you can unzip files in Windows 11 using PowerShell.
5. In case you want compress a folder and create a ZIP file using PowerShell in Windows 11, just run the command below. The syntax is similar to that above. Here, replace
path of the file or folder with the address of the file/folder you want to compress.
Compress-Archive -Path "path of the file or folder" -DestinationPath "C:\compressed.zip"
6. After running the command, you will find the “compressed.zip” file in the “C” drive.
4. Unzip Files in Windows 11 Using Command Prompt (CMD)
Finally, you can use Command Prompt to extract ZIP files in Windows 11. Just like PowerShell, Command Prompt has some neat tricks to compress and decompress ZIP files. In case you didn’t know, in 2018 Command Prompt got the powerful TAR command line tool that lets you quickly unzip files in Windows 11 just like on Linux systems. So here is how to use TAR and extract ZIP files in Windows 11 using CMD.
1. Navigate to the folder where the ZIP file is located. Click on the address bar and type
cmd and press Enter. This will open the command prompt in the same window.
2. Then run the command below. Be sure to rename
filename with the real name folder. Now hit enter and the ZIP file will be extracted to the same folder.
tar -xf filename.zip
3. As you can see here, CMD has successfully unpacked the ZIP file into the same place.
Extract ZIP Files in Windows 11 with CMD, 7-Zip, File Explorer and PowerShell
So these four methods can extract the ZIP files for you. Moreover, with 7-Zip you can extract RAR, 7Z, TAR, TGZ and many other compressed file formats. And if you’re a command-line nerd, you can have TAR available to you on the command prompt. Anyway, it all comes from us. If you want to see Wi-Fi passwords in Windows 11, you can head to our linked guide. And if you are looking for Windows 11 startup folder location to add your favorite programs to launch at startup, we also have a handy guide for you. Finally, if you have any questions, let us know in the comment section below.