Create Self Extracting Zip Files

While on the topic of zip files, another handy thing you can do with them is create self extracting zip files. If you deal in tech support or with family members who are not technically savvy, they may not know what to do with a zip file. For most computer users it is a no-brainer, but when you do come across someone like this, make the zip file you send them into an exe so they can extract it with a mere double-click.

Pretty much all major zip clients, such as WinZip, support this feature, but I am going to use my favorite, 7-Zip, for the purposes of this tip. To create a self extracting zip file, do the following:

1. Select the files/folders to compress.
2. Right click on one of the select object and select 7-Zip > Add to Archive.
3. Enter the name of your new zip file.
4. Change the Archive Format to 7Z.
5. Check the Create SFX archive box. The archive name will now have .exe as the extension.
6. Optionally assign a password for security.
7. Click Ok to create.

Now when users want to extract the file, they just need to double-click. Easy enough.

Note, some email service providers and clients may block files with a .exe extension (as this is how a lot of viruses get passed around), so sometimes this may not be the solution…