What is a Self-Extracting Zip File?

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A self-extracting Zip file is a Windows executable file (.exe). It will contain a Zip file and a small program to extract (unzip) the files in the Zip file. A user can run (execute) a self-extracting Zip file just as they run any other program: just double-click on the .exe file.

WinZip offers two versions of the Self-Extractor program. WinZip Self-Extractor Personal Edition, which is included within WinZip, and WinZip Self-Extractor, which is licensed and sold separately on our website. For information on the differences between WinZip Self-Extractor Personal Edition and the full WinZip Self-Extractor, please click here.

What are the Advantages of Self-Extracting Zip Files?

1. Self-extracting Zip files are ideal for shared file distribution and downloading because they:

Note: current Windows icon support requires WinZip Self-Extractor 3.1 or later

2. Folder information in Zip files is automatically restored, including empty folders.

3. Standard self-extractors display a dialog box that makes it easy for the user to change the Unzip To folder and set other options before extracting the files.

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