ZIP Files Windows 10: How to Open Zip Files and Fix File Association on Windows 10

Windows 10 has a basic stock utility for compressing and extracting files but it does not work with all compression formats. Most Windows users install a third-party tool to use it instead.

ZIP files on Windows 10

Third-party archiving tools such as WinRAR, 7-zip, WinZip, etc. usually have an option when installed, fixing file defects for the file formats they handle. The file companions allow users to quickly extract a zipped file without having to select an app to do it every time.

ZIP Files Windows 10

ZIP is one of the most commonly used formats for compressing files and Windows 10 can extract a zip file without the need for a third-party tool for the job. That said, users are unlikely to still use the stock tool and install other apps to handle a ZIP file.

How to open a ZIP file on Windows 10

Therefore, the third-party application needs to be set as the default application to handle ZIP files. On Windows 10, file associations don’t always stick to it and many apps still open with the stock apps.

Fix the ZIP file association on Windows 10

For ZIP files however, when setting a different default app for the failed file type, many users are unable to extract the zipped file regardless of which device they use. Here are some ways to fix that.

1. Reset default file association

The problem with unopened ZIP file is largely a file type association problem so to fix it, try resetting the association back to its default value and then change it again.

  1. Open the Options app (Keyboard shortcut Win + I).
  2. go to Apps> Deficiencies of apps.
  3. Click on the Reset button fo Reset to Microsoft debugging.
  4. Feuch extracting the zip file.

Note: This will reset the default app for ALL apps including videos, photos, and your web browser.

2. Set ZIP file associations

For some reason, ZIP is not listed as a file type on which you can set a default application. This means that users rely on the apps they install to set up the association for them and sometimes app-file associations on Windows 10 have problems.

  1. Open File Explorer and address to gin ZIP file on the system.
  2. Right click the file and go to Open With.
  3. Choose Choose another app.
  4. Look for the app you want to use and select it.
  5. Enable the Always use this app to open the .zip files ’option.
  6. Click OK to set up the new default app association.

3. Fix zip file association

One reason you may not be able to open a zipped file is that its link is broken. This can happen if a third-party app tried to modify the default application for ZIP files but something went wrong.

  1. Open Promptly forward with administrative rights.
  2. Run the following a command.
assoc .zip=CompressedFolder

4. Install and reset app

If you have trouble opening a ZIP file with a particular app, but are able to extract it with Windows Explorer without any problem, uninstall the app you are using and reinstall it.

  1. Open Control Panel.
  2. go to Programs> Enter a program.
  3. Select the app you have applied to manage ZIP files.
  4. Click on the Uninstall button.
  5. Once the app is installed, install it install it again.

Note: if you are using an obscure app to manage ZIP files, it is possible that the app itself is having problems. Try using a different app like 7 Zip.


ZIP is a very common archive format for files / folders so if the association breaks for it on Windows 10, you will find that you can’t interact / extract / access most archives which you come across. Always use a trusted app for ZIP files or try using the stock tool if you can’t find anything you want. If nothing else, the stock machine will always work.

The post Windows 10 ZIP Files Revealed: How to Open Zip Files and Fix File Association on Windows 10 first on TechtricksNg.

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