How to Zip a Folder NOT a file

Posted on 2011-02-12
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-01
I fix PCs for a living; this is for a customer even though I am testing it on my office PC.

Please read what is below and then answer the questions (A) - (D) in the QUESTIONS section below the first part. The LONG first part is prolog to the Questions farther down.

I need to know how to zip a folder NOT A FILE. I do not mean how to COMPRESS a folder which could be done MAYBE with RAR and ACE and so on. The folder MUST be created with Winzip NOT any other compressor because a 3rd party program my customer uses ONLY will import the folder if it is in TRUE Winzip format.

I am running Windows XP Home XP SP3 fully updated. I have installed the Evaluation version of WinZip15 just now.

(1) I start WinZip 15 and look for an option under File that will zip a folder AND ALL I CAN FIND IS ZIP A FILE. If I try to point it toward a folder it does not work

(2) I go to  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306531
and follow the directions

On the File menu, point to New, and then click Compressed (zipped) Folder

BUT  that option "Compressed (zipped) Folder" does NOT show up under New.
HOW CAN A MS KB BE WRONG ???? But it is wrong.

(3) I go to  www.webdeveloper.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-35732.html
and follow the directions . Essentially the same PROBLEM as in (2) above occurs

right click the folder -> add to zip (or add to archive if you've got winrar (http://rarlabs.com/)

Well guess what the "add to zip" option is NOT in the right click menu. Sounds just like (2) above if you think about it, right ??

BEFORE I GO ON PLEASE NOTE THAT WinZip>Options>Configuration>Explorer Enhancements has EVERY BOX IN BOTH COLUMNS CHECKED. So NO, the problem is not that WinZIp setting which CLEARLY RELATES DIRECTLY TO (2) AND (3) ABOVE. The related WinZIp setting is CORRECT for (2) and (3) above.

(4) FINALLY I go to  


and YES when I right click the folder and then select Send To I get a "Compressed (Zipped) folder" option
BUT when I choose that,
a window pops up saying something about for this to work Compressed Zip Folder must be associated with something and this is currently NOT the case so I say do it and I DO FINALLY get as output a zipped folder. IMPORTANT: I have not included the exact text as it is LONG and can not be copied (and pasted) from. But if a TRUE Zip expert responds here I assume they will be familiar with the popup, right ??

(1) When I repeat with another folder I get the same popup BUT did I not say to approve whatever association (see above) so WHY IS IT ASKING ME AGAIN. ?
(2) When I next open WinZip I get a message THAT WAS NOT THERE BEFORE saying that Winzip is NOT associated with *.zip **FILES** and do I want to do that. i.e what I did in the popup box above caused zip to no longer work with files !!!


(A) Will (4) above work and the resulting folder-name.zip is REALLY a correctly zipped FOLDER. This is a YES or NO question, right, so please answer with a YES or NO.
(B) Why is (2) above NOT working given it is a MS KB article for Windows XP and I have the latest version of WinZIp (V15) installed ???
(C) What does the Compressed folder association popup box coming up with (4) above MEAN and what is it getting at ?? After saying Yes to it why does it come up again for another folder when I approved the association which is USUALLY NOT a one time thing?
(D) Why after I approve the Compressed folder association does Winzip come up a message that it is no longer associated with Zip **FIles**.

Question by:mgross333
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LVL 63

Accepted Solution

☠ MASQ ☠ earned 2000 total points
ID: 34878982
A) Yes

B) Compressed Folders are not always available as a right-Click context option in XP depending on your installation.  You should be able to add it as a right-click context (send to...) option by running the following command in the Run box [rundll32 zipfldr.dll,RegisterSendto]

C) Because the zipfldr.dll isn't registered  Windows isn't sure how to handle the request (See B) above)

D) You asked Windows to associate with .zip with the Operating Systems own "Compressed (zipped) Folder" format thus changing the file association created by the WinZip installation (Microsoft assume that because you are using their Compressed Folders as the default you won't also be using WinZip so "helpfully" change the association)  WinZip checks automatically on launch that it is the default app for .zip

FWIW if you've WinZip installed my usual approach would be to create an empty .zip file, open it and drag and drop the folder into it.

Author Comment

ID: 34878986
From the Question Poster.

To those that answer Question (B) above by saying that KB article is out of date and (4) in my question is NOW the correct way to go, please go to http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306531 (referred to in Question (B)
and read the top few lines and you will see that that KB clearly applies to XP SP3 which is the latest SP, right ?? Also the date of the KB is Nov. 6, 2008 which is AFTER XP SP3 was released..

NO, it is NOT out of date. It is 2 1/2 years old BUT it applies to the latest Windows XP Service Pack which IS installed (as stated near the top of my question) on the PC I am testing this with.


Author Comment

ID: 34879161

Thank you for your prompt and complete reply. The important part is your answer to (A) as YES. However I have followup questions on your answers to (B) - (D).

(1) I copy pasted (from your post)

 rundll32 zipfldr.dll,RegisterSendto

into my Run command and clicked OK, got no error message or confirmation,  and then tried the approach in the MS KB article and I still did NOT get the
On the File menu, point to New, and then click Compressed (zipped) Folder

to work, ie. there was NO "Compressed (zipped) Folder" option after selecting New.

Also when I used approach (4) (your YES reply to Question (A)) I **STILL** got the same popup about Compressed (zipped) folder association

SO, it appears that executing "rundll32 zipfldr.dll,RegisterSendto" has had NO EFFECT. Is it possible I need to do it in a DOS window (Run>cmd) OR that I need to reboot for your command to take effect ?

(2) Regarding
> my usual approach would be to create an empty .zip file, open it and drag and drop the folder into it.

How do I create an empty zip file ?
Please starting with the interface to WinZip 15 (Evaluation version) provide step by step instructions on how to do that (i.e. click File (or whatever) then click whatever then click whatever and so on).


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LVL 63

Expert Comment

by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 34879200
Give me a while - I'm going to set up a clean XP install and see why this didn't work (& I don't want to add WinZip 15 over my earlier licenced version :))
In the meantime if v15 hasn't changed that much if you just open WinZip and choose File>New you'll create an empty Zip file which you can name & save wherever - then close WinZip, locate the icon for the file you've just created and drag and drop a folder onto it for it to be compressed.

Author Comment

ID: 34882375

> open WinZip and choose File>New...........

There is NO File>New option in WinZip 15. There is ONLY a a AFile>New Zip File on CD or DVD which is of course useless. There is also a File>New Archive which INSISTS that you specify files to go into the Zip file.

LVL 63

Expert Comment

by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 34882435
OK, that sounds "really helpful" - pehaps they've put it somewhere else.

One thought I had - could you check the XP machine's drive is formatted as NTFS?  If it's FAT32 compressed file won't be available as an option.
LVL 63

Assisted Solution

by:☠ MASQ ☠
☠ MASQ ☠ earned 2000 total points
ID: 34882515
Just installed WinZip 15 on XP (NTFS with Compressed (Zipped) Folder option already available)
Used the Express Setup option

For an example take a folder on the desktop of profile Owner called 'temp' and create a Zip file called 'MikeTest.zip' containing it :

When this window opens:

 Drag and drop your folder here
Drag and drop the folder into it

 Create a New Zip file
Change the location for the Zip archive to be created to Desktop

Name your Archive and select the location to save
Then select the Add button to add the folder "MikeTest.zip"

 Use 'Add' to put the folder into the newly created Zip file
The new archive "MikeTest.zip" should appear on the desktop and the contents of the folder should appear in the WinZip window.  
 Contents of folder displayed

You can now close the WinZip window
Job done!
LVL 63

Expert Comment

by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 34882525
If you have NTFS as the file system and still don't have the "Compressed (zipped) Folders" available as a right-click option in New then try this registry fix

Cut and paste the text into Notepad and save as Zip.reg then merge it into your registry by opening the file.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00







Open in new window

Source: http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_tweaks.htm  (#85b)

Author Comment

ID: 34883359

My file system IS NTFS. I tried your screen shot approach and IT WORKED. Thanks (although the Right click folder, Send To etc etc approach also works and produces the same zip file).



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