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How do I open a ZIP file?

Q: I have downloaded a ZIP file, but I don't know what to do with it.  Can you assist?

A: Here's a check list of things you need to know if this is the very first time you have attempted to unzip a ZIP file... 

1) Do you know where you have the ZIP file saved (stored) on your computer?  This is important.  If you have received the ZIP file as an email attachment, then that's fine.  However, if you have saved the ZIP file to your computer's hard drive, and if you can't find the ZIP file, then click here.

2) Do you have a software program to unzip the ZIP file?  The Unzip Wizard is our favorite software program to unzip ZIP files.  Do you recall downloading and installing The Unzip Wizard?  If you have not downloaded and installed The Unzip Wizard, then please do so by clicking on the animated red diskette (see left).

Now, assuming you have The Unzip Wizard installed, and assuming you know where the ZIP file is that you wish to unzip, then...

All you need to do is use "My Computer" and go to the folder where the ZIP file you wish to unzip is located.  See example below:

Once you find the ZIP file, simply double click on the file, and within seconds The Unzip Wizard will automatically pop up.  Just follow The Unzip Wizard's step by step instructions and life will be sweet.

Now, if you did not download and save the ZIP file, but rather have received a ZIP file as an attachment to an email message, then things are even simpler...   Just open the attachment, and within seconds The Unzip Wizard will appear!  Just follow The Unzip Wizard's step by step instructions and all will be well.

Q:  OK, I have downloaded and installed your Unzip Wizard, but don't know how to use it.  I go through the steps, it unzips my ZIP file, but when I go back to my folder, it is zipped again!

A:  Once upon a time your mailman delivered a box to your house, and rang the doorbell. You opened the front door, and the mailman handed you the box. You took it from his hands, shaked it, and could tell something was inside.  You ask the mailman to help you unpack the box.  Even though it's not his job, the mailman agrees to help you.  He takes out his pocket knife, and opens the box for you.  He takes out the contents and places the contents on the floor.  He then places the box on the floor.  He is about to leave, when he hears you say, "But the box is still here!  Help me open the box so that I can see what's inside."   The mailman, puzzled, says, "I've already done that.  The contents are right over there!".   But you keep insisting, "No!  But the box is over there!  Help me see what's inside the box."  At this point the mailman thinks you are crazy, and you probably are.  OK, end of story.  Now, in the previous story, replace the words "the mailman" with "The Unzip Wizard", and replace the word "box" with the word "ZIP file".  Is this making any sense yet?  Sounds like you are confusing the box with its contents.  A ZIP file is the box. The contents inside the box could be anything under the sun. When you unzip (unpack) the box your "anything under the sun" files are placed wherever you told The Unzip Wizard to place them. At that point, you should forget about going back and revisiting the box (which it sounds like you are doing), and you should instead start working with the contents. It sounds like you keep going back to the box, rather than to its unzipped contents.


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(Fine print legalese: Hey, if you even think about stealing portions of this page you better think again.  The Wizard will turn you into a toad with warts if you try to violate his Web realm).

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