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 was created in the early 1990s as a shareware GUI front-end for PKZIP. Sometime around 1996 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, and thereby obtain a free upgrade.


  • Creation, addition, extraction from ZIP archives.
  • Configurable Microsoft Windows Shell integration.
  • 128- and 256-bit key AES encryption.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.
  • Support of the bzip2 (9.0), PPMd (10.0), WavPack (11.0), 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

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.


WinZip 12.0

New features and enhancements for photo compression, management, and sharing. New advanced compression methods to create even smaller Zip files and support to read 7Z, ISO and IMG files. The ability for enterprises to specify password requirements and allowed encryption methods. Also various interface enhancements and refinements to make WinZip® easier to learn and use.

WinZip 11.2

An updated version to our most recent major release—WinZip 11.0—that adds: Unicode support to ensure international characters are displayed for filenames in a Zip file, integrated support to create, open and extract LHA and LZH archives.

WinZip E-Mail Companion 2.0

Work smarter, faster and safer by automatically zipping and encrypting your e-mail attachments. Works with Microsoft® Outlook®, Outlook Express and Windows Vista® Mail.

WinZip Self-Extractor 3.1

An updated version of our most recent major release—WinZip Self-Extractor 3.0—that supports Windows Vista.

WinZip Self-Extractor 3.1.0

WinZip® Self-Extractor 3.1 creates self-extracting Zip files. These self-extracting Zip files are ideal for electronic file distribution, because they contain multiple compressed files, minimizing download time and ensuring that important files do not become separated.

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