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ZIP File Format

Zip file Compressed archive


.ZIP is a very common compressed archive file format used in many archival tools.  A ZIP archive may contain one or more files and archives may span multiple files, often used to break up the archive to store on media smaller than the archive.

PKWARE introduced the ZIP format in 1989 as an open standard. In 2003, PKWARE  placed a non-standard encryption routine into their PKZip product. Today the original .ZIP is a cross-platform compression tool integrated into Macintosh and Windows operating systems where the files can be clicked and opened as folders and files can be right-clicked and made into a .ZIP archive. 

MIME type: application/zip, application/x-compressed, application/x-zip-compressed, multipart/x-zip


Learn more about .ZIP files:

Visit the PKWARE webpage.

Search for answers to .ZIP-related questions at

This was last updated in July 2010
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