Se­cret Tips For… Unzip­ping files

Hide ZIP files within pho­tos, pass­word-pro­tect sen­si­tive files, au­to­mat­i­cally ex­tract them to spe­cific fold­ers and more

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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+myzip­ Newim­age.png My­im­age.png (cut and paste this from www.paste­ J3RGJR9R), where My­im­age.png and Myzip­ 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 ( 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.

Name your com­pressed file af­ter a spe­cific file by us­ing the ‘Send to’ op­tion Peazip’s book­marks let you use short­cut keys to un­zip your files into spe­cific fold­ers

Use Peazip to pass­word-pro­tect your files and hide their con­tents from pry­ing eyes

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