Mike’s Dump

January 7, 2006

Stop the Insanity! Windows Explorer Integrated Unzip

Filed under: Home — mikesdump @ 6:22 am

For the most part I like Windows XP. The stability, from my experience,
has improved slightly over Windows 2000 and by leaps and bounds over
Windows 98 (I never bother trying that Windows ME crap).

With each version of Windows there are new “features” here and there.
Sometimes you have control over these features and other times your
control is limited. My current complaint is the built decompression of
zip files in Windows Explorer. This “feature” drives me nuts because
Windows Explorer can appear to hang in two cases.

1) Many zips in a single folder
For simplicity everything I download I put into the same folder. After
a while I collect several zip files in this folder because I’m unsure
if I want to keep the file or perhaps I’m holding on to it until I burn
a CD. Navigating to this folder when it has 5 or more zip files is
painfully slow. I might as well select the folder and go get a beer� at
a pub� in Calgary

2) Large zips
I run a weekly backup on my laptop and the last part of the process is
to compress everything into a single zip. This backup is normally about
700 MB. Opening a folder, which contains a 700 MB zip in Windows
Explorer is just a frustrating as a folder with several smaller files.
The only positive that comes out of this is, again, this is a fine time
to go get a beer.

This feature might not be all evil if there were a couple options.
First give me the option to disable this functionality altogether.
Second, give me an option to only decompress when I try to open the
file not as soon as I open the folder.

The Solution?
You resort to the hack of course. I found this post a little
while ago, which allowed me to disable this functionality.

You can disable XP’s zip file support using regsvr32, a tool that
allows you to register or un-register object linking and embedding
(OLE) controls. Follow these steps to disable this feature:

Select Run from the Start Menu.
Type “regsvr32 /u %windir%\system32\zipfldr.dll” at the prompt.
Click OK.

The change will take effect immediately, but you may have to restart
Windows for all traces of the built-in ZIP support to disappear. After
restarting your system, your problem should be solved, but you may need
to reassociate your unzipping program (WinZip, etc.) with the files
before you can view and open them.

If you want to re-enable Windows XP’s built-in ZIP support, just follow these steps:

Select Run from the Start Menu.
Type “regsvr32 %windir%\system32\zipfldr.dll” at the prompt.
Click OK.

I did this a couple times with a reboot in-between to get rid of this functionality.



  1. Insanity, indeed. This was driving me crazy. Thanks for the tip!

    Comment by Jason Looney — March 12, 2006 @ 2:49 pm | Reply

  2. Beautiful! Do this and then download 7zip and associate the files with it.

    Comment by Luis — April 4, 2008 @ 10:39 am | Reply

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