How to Create and Extract Files in Windows 8.1

If you’ve been using Windows 8.1 for a very long time, you surely are familiar with the process of compressing files and extracting them. However, here in Windows Techies, we always want to make anything that has to do with Windows a lot easier especially to the novice users. Compressing or “Zipping” the files that are inside a folder helps eliminate some useless space produced in the process of creating the files and compiling them into one folder which therefore makes the file size a lot smaller without losing the integrity of its contents.  A zipped file or set of files is also a lot quicker to send to others via email attachment or in any other method. In the past years, there’s been a host of file compression software that has been released which are all compatible to Windows but now, the new Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 operating system versions has a built in file compression tool that will make things a lot easier.


In this tutorial, I will be teaching you how to access the option which will allow you to compress or “Zip” a folder that contains some files and show the steps in doing this very important process in a Windows 8.1 machine so if you’ve been having problems in choosing a software for doing this action with the files that you need to compress in order to send as an attachment of an email then you need to read this article from top to bottom so you can discover and learn how you can do all of these tasks without the help of a third-party file compression software.

Accessing the Zip Option in File Explorer

When you work and navigate through the files that are stored in your computer’s hard drive, you surely use File Explorer and thankfully in Windows 8.1, this file management tool which used to be called as Windows Explorer in previous Windows versions didn’t only have a change of name but there were also some very useful features that was added to it. One of these brand new features which are nowhere to be found in older Windows editions like Windows 7 and others are collectively called as the “Ribbon-Based Options”. If it is your first time to hear about this feature then you can browse through our tutorial library and you will find our series of articles that discuss the steps in working with these options in any Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 based device.


To access the compress or “Zip” option as what it is called in Windows 8.1, you will need to first select the files that needs to be moved into a folder for compression. If you are not yet ready with the files, you can simply see where the option is so you can get familiar with its location later when the files are already up for the compression/zipping process. To do this, just click on the tab located at the top portion of the ribbon that says “Share” and the very first options to the left of the ribbon should show the one that says “Zip” as highlighted on the screenshot below.


How to Compress/Zip a Single File

You might have already tried compressing/zipping files using a third-party file compression software and found out that doing this task involves using the right-click gesture and the menu that pops out after you do the action on a certain file but in Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, everything has been made easier to execute and you don’t need to use access any option from the right-click menu just to get the job done. If you want to compress a single file which is relatively large in terms of file size, all you need to do is browse to its location and one you find it, you will need to select it. Make sure that it is the only file that is selected before you click on the “Zip” button which is found under the “Share” tab as I have shown earlier.

Compressing a Group of Files

There are many ways in compressing a set of files or folders in your Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 machine but first, I will show you the quickest and the easiest one. To do this, just select all the files or folders that you want to compress by pressing and holding down the “CTRL” key then clicking on the files to be compressed. You will know that an item is already selected because it will have a light-blue box that will enclose its icon as shown on the screenshot below where two folders “oldscript” and “precious” are already selected while the third one “scriptina” is not.


Once all files are highlighted with the light-blue box (which means they are all selected), all you need to do is click on the “Share” tab that is located at the top-left portion of the Windows Explorer screen and after doing so, just click or tap on the option that says “Zip” as shown on the screenshot below.


After selecting the files and hitting the “Zip” option, you should be able to see a small Window showing the overall progress of the file zipping process. Once it completes, the window will just disappear and you will see a new zipped folder together with the files that you have selected. You will then need give a name to the zipped folder which is done simply by entering your desired name into the input box that is located at the right (if the items are in details view) of the folder itself as shown below.


If the items are in thumbnails view, you will need to enter your desired zipped folder name below the thumbnail. Once the name gets entered, just click an empty space outside and you will see that the name will automatically be saved. If you want to rename the folder, just select it then click on the “Home” tab. After doing so, simply select the option found in the ribbon that says “Rename” and you will see that the current name will be enclosed by an input box. From here, just delete the old name and type in the new one then click an empty space outside to save the new name.

Extracting a Compressed File’s Contents

Now that you’re able to create a compressed folder, you will need to learn how to extract the contents of a zipped or compressed file just in case you receive one in your email. To do this, just go to the location of the zipped folder then select it. After doing so, you will need to put your attention to the top of the File Explorer Window where you will see a tab that says “Extract”. From here, all you need to do is click on the “Extract all” option that is located at the ribbon so that all of its contents will be extracted into the same folder where the zipped file is.


In other cases, you might also want to extract the contents of a zipped folder into a separate folder or location. Doing this is very simple, just click on your desired location from the big box on the ribbon that is labeled “Extract To” and all of the files in the zipped folder will automatically be moved towards you selected location. Once you’re done, just go to the folder or location and you should be able to access all the files that has been extracted and that’s it! You can now use the built-in “Zip” option whenever you need to.