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WinZip Icon
WinZip Pro screenshot.png
WinZip 14 Pro running under Windows 7.
Developer(s) WinZip International LLC
Stable release 14.0 (Build 8688)  (November 24, 2009; 3 month(s) ago (2009-11-24)) [+/−]
Preview release [+/−]
Operating system Windows
Available in English, Spanish, French, German, Japanese
Type File archiver
License Proprietary Shareware
WinZip Computing Inc. logo

WinZip is a proprietary file archiver and compressor for Microsoft Windows, developed by WinZip Computing (formerly Nico Mak Computing). It natively uses the PKZIP format but also has various levels of support for other archive formats.

WinZip 1.0 was released in April 1991 as a shareware Windows GUI front-end for PKZIP. Earlier in January 1991 Nico Mak Computing released GUI front-end for OS/2 Presentation Manager called PMZIP. It used OS/2 versions of the PKWARE, Inc. PKZIP and PKUNZIP programs.

Starting from v5.0 in 1993 the creators of WinZip incorporated compression code from the Info-ZIP project, thus eliminating the need for the PKZIP executable to be present.

From version 6.0 until version 9.0, registered users could download the newest versions of the software, enter their original registration information or install over the top of their existing registered version, and thereby obtain a free upgrade. As of version 10.0 this upgrade scheme was discontinued.[1] WinZip is available in standard and professional versions. However, the ability of Windows XP and later versions of Microsoft Windows to open and create .zip files (as "compressed folders") has reduced the need for extra compression software.

In May 2006, Corel Corporation, known for its WordPerfect and CorelDRAW product lines, announced that it has completed acquisition of WinZip Computing.[2]

WinZip has a 45-day free evaluation period, after which the program would still work even if the user had not registered, albeit with reduced functionality. However in later versions this feature appears to have been removed, although users are able to bypass this by downloading an earlier version.



  • Creation of, addition to, and extraction from ZIP archives.
  • Configurable Microsoft Windows Shell integration.
  • 128- and 256-bit key AES encryption.[3] This has replaced the less secure PKZIP 2.0 encryption method used in earlier versions. The implementation, using Brian Gladman's code, was FIPS-197 certified, on March 27, 2003.[4]
    Version 9 also implemented a 64-bit version of the PKZIP file format, eliminating both the maximum limit of 65,535 members for single archive and the 4-gibibyte size limit on either the archive and each member file.
  • Support of the bzip2 (9.0), PPMd (10.0), WavPack (11.0), LZMA (12.0), allowing smaller archives at the cost of a potential increase in compression and extraction times (especially when using PPMd).
  • Decompression of .bz2 and .rar files.
  • Support for ARC, ARJ, LHA archives if suitable external programs are installed.
  • Direct write of ZIP archives to CD/DVD
  • Automation of backup jobs
  • Integrated FTP upload
  • Email ZIP archives
  • Unicode support to ensure international characters are displayed for filenames in a Zip file. (WinZip prior to 11.2 does not support Unicode characters in filenames.[5][6] Attempting to add these files to an archive results in the error message "Warning: Could not open for reading: ...")
  • Integrated support to create, open and extract LHA and LZH archives

WinZip add-ons

  • WinZip E-Mail Companion: It adds archive processing capabilities on e-mail attachements. Supported software include Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express or Windows Mail.
  • WinZip Self-Extractor: It adds self-extracting modules to ZIP archives. A version called WinZip Self-Extractor Personal Edition is included with WinZip.
  • WinZip Command Line Add-on: It adds command line processing to WinZip.


History of Version Releases[7][8][9]
Version File size Released Support
PMZip 1.0 /OS2 67 KB 01/14/91 Expired
WinZip 1.0 56 KB 04/03/91 Expired
WinZip 2.0 78 KB 07/30/91 Expired
WinZip 3.1 101 KB 04/06/92 Expired
WinZip 3.1b 108 KB 09/08/92 Expired
WinZip 3.2 116 KB 10/03/92 Expired
WinZip 4.0 139 KB 01/16/93 Expired
WinZip 4.0a 151 KB 03/17/93 Expired
WinZip 4.0b 151 KB 04/02/93 Expired
WinZip 4.1 133 KB 06/26/93 Expired
WinZip 4.1a 169 KB 08/12/93 Expired
WinZip 5.0 189 KB 11/08/93 Expired
WinZip 5.0a 194 KB 01/26/94 Expired
WinZip 5.0b 194 KB 03/11/94 Expired
WinZip 5.5a 0.3 MB 08/15/94 Expired
WinZip 5.6 287 KB 01/24/95 Expired
WinZip 6.0 313 KB 08/14/95 Expired
WinZip 6.0a 0.4 MB 12/04/95 Expired
WinZip 6.1 487 KB 10/01/96 Expired
WinZip 6.2 563 KB 10/18/96 Expired
WinZip 6.3 615 KB (16-bit)
0.7 MB (32-bit)
09/20/97 Expired
WinZip 7.0 922 KB 10/05/98 Expired
WinZip 8.0 1.20 MB 04/25/00 Expired
WinZip 8.1 1.7 MB
1.8 MB (SR-1)
12/10/01 Expired
WinZip 9.0 3.9 MB 02/24/04 Expired
WinZip 9.0 SR1 2.3 MB 12/2004 Expired
WinZip 10.0 5.6 MB 11/01/2005 Expired
WinZip 11.0 11/2006 04/2010
WinZip 11.1 04/2007 04/2011
WinZip 11.2 13.0 MB 04/2008 09/2011
WinZip 12.0 04/2008 05/2012
WinZip 12.1 13.0 MB 05/2009 10/2012
WinZip 14.0 13.7 MB 10/2009

The ZIP file archive format (PKZIP) was originally invented for MS-DOS in 1989 by Phil Katz and his company PKWare.[10]

Because PKWare did not protect the name by trademark and algorithm of the process by patent, and was slow to realize that the Windows operating systems would eventually dominate the OS market, Nico Mak (then employed by Mansfield Software Group, Inc) eventually seized the opportunity and released the WinZip application for Microsoft Windows.[citation needed]

WinZip 1.0 was initial version for Windows

WinZip 2.0 added support for ARC files, support for self-extracting ZIP files (ZIP2EXE), optional interface to Virus Scan software, dialog box to specify paths and filenames of external programs.

WinZip 3.0 added full support for LZH files, including self-extracting LZH files, configurable support for most virus scanners, simplified options to add and extract files in a subdirectory tree.

WinZip 3.1 added support for Windows 3.1 Drag and Drop Interface, enhanced Extract dialog box with common dialog directory and drive list, Test action for ZIP and LZH files, added file types ZIP, LZH, and ARC to New and Open dialog boxes.

WinZip 3.2 added Built-in ZIP Extraction so that PKUNZIP is not needed for most ZIP extract operations. WinZip always uses PKZIP.EXE to modify ZIP files.

WinZip 4.0 added support for PKZIP 2.0, including built-in ZIP extraction, support for the ARJ file format, new toolbar with descriptive pictorial buttons, added a 3-D look to all dialog boxes.

WinZip 5.0 added PKZIP-comptiable built-in zipping, so PKZIP is not needed for basic archive management. Note that two advanced features, disk-spanning and encryption, still require PKZIP. Added support for Windows-based virus scanners. Added built-in Actions/Test operation for ZIP files. Built-in unzipping is used when running DOS virus scanners. Added support for international characters in archive names and files in archives.

WinZip 5.5 added the ability to install, try, and UNINSTALL software distributed in ZIP files.

WinZip 5.6 added support for the popular Internet file formats TAR, gzip, and Unix compress.

WinZip 6.0 added many Windows 95 features, including tight integration with the Windows 95 shell and Explorer-style dialog boxes. Other enhancements included an improved interface to file viewers, an "Express Setup" option, and better support for virus scanners.

WinZip 6.0a features improved Windows 95 drag and drop support.

WinZip 7.0 introduced Microsoft's CAB (cabinet) format, Internet Explorer 4.0-style "one click open" interface, Zip comment, registry-based configuration, ARJ 2.60 long file name support, Explorer-style fonts. WinZip Self-Extractor Personal Edition now creates Zip files that span multiple removable disks.

WinZip 8.0's Wizard interface was extended to allow create and update Zip files from the Wizard, extract and install from MIME and other encoded files, automatic installation of desktop themes and screen savers; added Explorer context menu when opening files within archives, inclusion of subfolders when adding or updating archives, "Explorer-style" toolbar buttons, displays a tooltip when a Zip file is selected in Windows Explorer, WinZip context menus displays small icons corresponding to the menu items' toolbar buttons in Under Windows 98 and Windows 2000; install desktop themes and screen savers contained in Zip files; new Zip and E-Mail Explorer context menu feature, automatically display the Zip comment, context menu help in WinZip dialogues, viewing multiple files with 1 action. Windows extensions are now 32-bit Explorer Shell extensions only. WinZip Self-Extractor Personal Edition no longer supports creation of 16-bit self-extracted archive.

WinZip 8.1 was the last major release to officially support Windows 95. It included extract multiple ZIP archives in explorer, configurable Explorer context menu, creation of split ZIP archives, new Quick Pick Taskbar Tray Icon, resizable dialogs under Windows 98 or higher, extract files from split and spanned ZIP archives in Wizard interface, Windows XP theme support, opening "skin" files for Microsoft Media Player 7 (.WMZ), Yahoo! Player (.YFS), and WinAmp (.WSZ), display Zip file comments of up to 64,000 characters, Support for filenames containing multi-byte character set (MBCS) characters, increasing number of entries created by the CheckOut feature in the Programs menu to 500.

WinZip 9.0 added support for AES encryption for ZIP archives, BZip2-compressed ZIP archives (extraction only). It also removed the previous limitations of 65,535 files per ZIP file and maximum file size of 4 gigabytes. This version was released in 2004.

WinZip 10 added support for creating and extracting PPMd-compressed ZIP archives. It was the last major release to officially support Windows 98/ME. WinZip Pro was added in this release, which added automation and task scheduling features. This version was released in 2005.

WinZip 11 added support for creating and extracting WavPack-compressed ZIP archives. The installer still installed to Windows 98/ME, but these operating systems were no longer officially supported. WinZip Pro added Passive FTP support, FTP transfers, e-mail notification option for Job Wizard, custom jobs selection, full-size image viewer when opening archive. This version was released in 2006.

WinZip 11.1 was certified for Windows Vista, with Vista theme support and 64-bit Windows support.

WinZip 11.2 could create LHA archives without an external utility. Unicode file name support for ZIP archives was also added. Support for external archiver, including ARC, ARJ, were removed.[11]

WinZip 12.0 (2008) added support of creating ZIP archives with lossless JPEG and LZMA compression methods; .ISO, .IMG, 7-Zip archive extractions. Added encryption policies, integrated image thumbnail viewer. The JPEG compression compresses metadata with LZMA compression, while image is compressed with binary arithmetic coding.[12]

WinZip 12.1 (2009) introduces the new default .zipx file extension when creating ZIP archives using methods newer than Deflate64, added automatic resizing images being sent by using Zip and E-Mail functions.

WinZip 13 was skipped.[13]

WinZip 14 (2009) added Windows 7 support, such as library grouping, taskbar icon jump lists, Explorer preview, multi-touch (two finger) gestures. WinZip 14 Backup edition was added, which supports automatic backup feature.

See also


External links

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