Sometimes, we receive files or download email attachments in a compressed format. By compressed, it means that it could be one or more files packed up into a single file to save memory space and for faster file uploading and downloading. Here's how you can extract zipped or archive files in Windows 7. If I'm right, this quick process also works with Windows XP. I can't be sure though. It's been a while since I've had my hands on an XP-operated system.
Note: This ONLY works on archive files with the *.zip extension and not on any other archive formats like *.rar, *.7z, etc.1.) Select the zipped file, right-click on it and select "Extract All..."
2.) Windows will then ask you where to put the files to be extracted. By default, it saves the files in a folder on the same destination as the parent zipped file. Click the "Extract" button to proceed.
Voila! No sweat.
"An archive file is a file that is composed of one or more files along with metadata that can include source volume and medium information, file directory structure, error detection and recovery information, file comments, and usually employs some form of lossless compression. Archive files may be encrypted in part or as a whole. Archive files are used to collect multiple data files together into a single file for easier portability and storage, or simply to compress files to use less storage space."