Suggestions for management of zipped and extracted files

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What methods are best for organizing zipped and their extracted files in Windows?

This is not a technical question but relates to simplicity and efficiency. I've never been quite sure of the best way to manage zipped and unzipped files.

For example, I learned long ago that it's not a great idea to extract a zipped file right in the Downloads folder where it arrived. And actually, my question is not so much about the extracted files which, like any file, are generally moved to a folder appropriate for their topic.

But for the original unzipped file, is it best to:

• leave it in the Downloads folder after extracting its contents to some other folder
• leave it in the Downloads folder but move a copy of it elsewhere before extracting
• remove the original from the Downloads folder before doing anything to it
• keep a copy of the original in the same location with its extracted files
• keep a copy of the original file in a different location than its extracted files
• discard the original file after its contents are extracted

I'm sure the above options are mostly a matter of preference but I'm curious re practices followed by others and why.

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Top Expert 2016
I usually delete the original zipped file
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018
I keep my ZIP files in my General Storage folder in an appropriate folder.

I set WinZip always to extract to C:\Temp.

Then I deal with the extracted files as appropriate.
I move my zip files to the unzipped file folder with the extracted files.

Other times, I delete them, based on their importance to me.
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For many of my folders I include a folder called "Archive".   In the case of zipped files after I unzip them I drag the original zip file to my archive folder.  That way if I ever need to go back to the original untouched files I still have the original zip file.

BTW I use the excellent free unzip software 7-Zip to unzip (and zip) zip files.  7-zip's menu tives you various unzipping choices.  Unzip to the same folde, or a different folder or to a sub folder which it can automatically create.

Top Expert 2013
i think your preferred method will be only for you; it depends on how you work, what you like, etc...
some people have a seaparate folder for these files, some put them on an usb stick, in Mydocuments, or any place they like

it may depend also on the contents of the zipped files; in many cases, they're for drivers, or anything not important; so thes maybe lost, or deleted; but if you have lots of BUSINESS files - that's another story; then they become valuable data - and must be treted as such, you maay want then to keep - the zipped file, and the unzipped in another location, to have a safer backup
Technical Specialist
Awarded 2017
Distinguished Expert 2018
Move the extracted data into a well structured Application Library on my Dropbox and treat all files in Downloads as temporary files (CTRL+A delete if I need space)

I also check installed applications if they can run "portable" (some can even without being explicitly made to be). If they can, I move these into a Portable Apps folder in my Dropbox which means I can just resync DropBox after a reload and I have all my CMD tools and Portable Apps by simply adding to the Path variable.

I also use of applications if they have


Thanks for all the perspectives.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

You are very welcome and I was happy to help.

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