Sharing large files with friends and family, whether they're digital photos or other documents, can cause some problems. If you're emailing the files, you run the risk of clogging up inboxes, while transferring the files to media that can be shared, whether it's a USB stick or CD, means you have to keep a close eye that the files size doesn't exceed the size of the media.

This is where the ability 'zip' or compress files comes in. Using a tool in Windows, users can squash files so they have a smaller footprint and therefore can be shared more easily. It's really simple to use too.

Step one
Navigate to the file or folder you want to compress and right-click with your mouse. From the options displayed, select Compressed folder from the Sent-to menu.

Step two
Windows will now begin compressing the file or folder. Once completed, a new folder will appear in the same location, with a 'zipper' icon on it. You can now send this via email or transfer to USB stick.

How to zip files

Step three
If you receive a compressed file or folder, you can view its contents by simply right-clicking on the file and selecting Extract All from the options display. Windows will ask you to choose the location you want the extracted files to be stored and then complete the process for you. You can now view the files as normal.

How to zip files


See also: How to troubleshoot display problems in Windows 7