You can do the same with the files on your computer. By compressing a large file, it takes up less space – without losing any information. A special program simply analyzes the file and mathematically checks whether it is possible to save space. For example, someone who replaces the word PC for All with PFA saves eight characters.
A compression program thus compresses a file so that it takes up minimal space. If you then want to use it, just unzip the file, which then regains its original content.
The point of this is both to save space on the hard drive and to merge several files into one – so that it becomes easier to e-mail, for example.
Built into Windows
There are different compression techniques and the most common one is called zip. Zip files work on most computers, and if you’re running Windows, no special software is even required. The Compressed Folders feature is already built in and you just need to right-click on a file or folder and select Send to, Compressed Folder. To extract, right-click and select Extract All.
Compressed folders can handle packing and unpacking, but if you need more power, you can use the free program 7-Zip. For example, it can password protect your files, so that unauthorized persons cannot unpack them.
Another advantage is that 7-Zip also supports many file formats. If you have received a rar, arj or 7z file, 7-Zip is the right program.
This is how 7-Zip File Manager works
Add new content to a compressed file.
Unzip a compressed file.
Check the file for errors – without unpacking it.
Copy one or more selected files.
5. … and move
Do the same, but don’t leave the original.
Delete one or more selected items.
Show more details about a selected file.
Here the full path is shown and the icon on the far left allows you to scroll back to the top menu.
Here you see all files. Using View in the top menu, you can choose the size of the icons and more. You can also right-click an icon to bring up more options.
Questions and answers about the program
1. Where do I download 7-Zip…
Surf to www.7-zip.org and go to Download 7-Zip . Here you will find the latest Windows version of the program. The vast majority can choose the version called 64-bit, but if you have a very old computer, you should choose 32-bit instead. Are you unsure? Read our guide here.
2. … and how do I install?
Double-click the file you downloaded and accept the warnings to launch a self-explanatory installer. Press directly on Installation to use the default setting and exit Close.
You can now find the program 7-Zip File Manager via the Windows start menu.
3. How will the program be Swedish?
7-Zip is available in a Swedish version, and if you happen to get the program in English, it is easily fixed. Choose Tools, Options, Language (Tool, Alternative, Language) and switch to Swedish (Swedish). Here, of course, you can also choose other languages.
4. How does 7-Zip work in Explorer?
By default, 7-Zip integrates with Windows Explorer. This means you can right-click on a file or folder and select 7-Zip from the menu that appears. This is a quick and easy way to use 7-Zip without having to open the program’s window and browse through the files.
However, if you find it annoying, you can unlink it from Explorer by selecting Tool, Alternative, 7-Zip.
5. How do I unpack…
If you’ve kept the connection to Explorer, just right-click a file to unzip. Choose 7-Zip, Unpack here – or any other of the options.
Otherwise, you can right-click, select Open with and locate the 7-Zip program. You can also open 7-Zip File Managerlocate the file using the tree structure at the top left and press Unpack.
6. … and how do I compress?
Even compression of files takes place by selecting 7-Zip in the right-click menu. Press add to to do so directly or Add to archive if you want more options.
You can also open 7-Zip File Managerlocate the file/folder, highlight it and press add. A window will now open where you can select the file format (for example 7z) and add password for encryption. Make your selections and press OK.