Secret Tips For… Unzipping files
Hide ZIP files within photos, password-protect sensitive files, automatically extract them to specific folders and more
Automatically name a ZIP file after a specific file
When you use Windows’ built-in compression tool to unzip a group of files, you often seem to end up with a ZIP file that’s named after a random file in your group. There is, in fact, a hidden way to control how Windows names your ZIP files. Open File Explorer, locate your files and drag (or Ctrl+click) to select those you want to zip. Now, when you right-click your selection to access the ‘Send to’ option, make sure you click the specific file you want to name your ZIP after. Select ‘Send to’, then ‘Compressed (zipped) folder)’ (see screenshot above right) and your ZIP file will be named after the file you right-clicked.
Hide a ZIP file within an image
You can use command prompt to disguise a ZIP file as an innocent-looking picture file. First, find an image file – any JPEG, PNG or GIF will do – and place it on your desktop. Now find a ZIP file and put this on the desktop, too. Rename the files so there are no spaces in the names. If your image file is called ‘My image.png’, for example, right-click it, select Rename and change it to Myimage.png.
Now click Start, type cmd and press Enter. At the command prompt, type cd desktop and press Enter. Then type copy /B Myimage.png+myzipfile.zip Newimage.png Myimage.png (cut and paste this from www.pastebin.com/ J3RGJR9R), where Myimage.png and Myzipfile.zip are the names of your image and ZIP files, and Newimage.png is the name of the file you’re creating.
Press Enter and Newimage.png will appear on your desktop. The file works like a normal image file, so you can view it in an image-editing program. To reveal the hidden files, open Peazip (see next tip), navigate to the image file, then right-click it and select ‘Open as archive’.
Unzip files to specific folders
Our favourite free archive tool, Peazip ( www.peazip.org) has some great hidden features, including shortcuts that let you unzip files to your favourite folders. Open Peazip and navigate to a folder you want to add as a favourite. Right-click the folder and select Navigation, then ‘Add to bookmarks’ (see screenshot above). You’ll see your folder listed under Bookmarks. Note where the folder appears in the list. If it’s the sixth bookmark from the top, for example, you can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+6 to extract the contents of any file directly into that folder.
Password-protect your files
To hide a file from prying eyes, you can add it to an encrypted archive. In Peazip, browse to the file you want to encrypt, click it, then click Add. In the box that opens, select a format from the dropdown menu, then click ‘Enter password/keyfile’. Type and confirm your password (see screenshot below), and click OK twice. Now, only people with the password can unzip the file.