How to add an unzip shell extension in Windows
Windows XP includes a useful feature for browsing and decompressing zip files, or "Compressed (zipped) Folders". The decompress feature is accessible by right-clicking on a zip file and selecting "Extract All..." from the context menu. However, its wizard-style interface is cumbersome, slow, and annoying to use. Follow this tip to add an "Extract Inplace.." menu option that unzips the file quickly without any intermediate dialogs.
- First download the freeware Unzip utility, which is made by Info-Zip. Their license is lenient but their site is utterly unnavigable, so I've made the downloads available here:
unzip.exe(Version 5.50 for Windows - 156 KB)
- Download Info-zip License (4 KB)
- (Alternately, you can copy the file to any directory in your PATH environment variable, such as a new
Add the Registry Keys Automatically
- Skip to the next step if you want to add the keys manually.
unzip_extension.regto your desktop.
- Double-click the file and the shell extension keys will be created.
- Delete the
- Skip down to "Test the Extension".
Add the Registry Keys Manually
- Follow these steps at your own risk!
- Press the Windows "Start" button, and click "Run...".
- Type in "regedit" in the text box, then click "OK".
- Using the arrow keys and page up/down keys, or the mouse and scroll bars, expand the keys until you get to "HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CompressedFolder\Shell".
- Make sure that the "Shell" key selected,
- From the "Edit" menu, select "New" and then "Key".
- Enter "Extract Inplace" as the name of this new key. (This is the menu item name, and you can call it whatever you like.)
- Make sure that the "Extract Inplace" key is selected.
- Again, from the "Edit" menu, select "New" and then "Key".
- Enter "command" as the name of this key.
- Select the new key named "command", and in the right pane, you will see one key named "(Default)" of type "REG_SZ".
- Double-click the "(Default)" key, or select the key and select "Edit"->"Modify" from the menu.
- Copy and paste the following text into the value data field:
unzip.exe -qq "%L"
- Click OK to confirm, compare your results with the image below, and then exit regedit.
Test the Extension
- Find a zip file on your computer.
- Right-click on the zip file.
- Select "Extract Inplace".
- The files should be extracted into the folder containing the zip file. (If files already exist, you will be prompted.)
- You can read the
unzip.exev5.50 instructions by typing
unzip /?at a command prompt.
- This technique should work with minor modification on all versions of Windows, 95 or later.
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