ZIP (file format)

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ZIP is an archive file format that supports lossless data compression. A ZIP file may contain one or more files or directories that may have been compressed. The ZIP file format permits a number of compression algorithms, though DEFLATE is the most common. This format was originally created in 1989 and was first implemented in PKWARE, Inc.'s PKZIP utility,[2] as a replacement for the previous ARC compression format by Thom Henderson. The ZIP format was then quickly supported by many software utilities other than PKZIP. Microsoft has included built-in ZIP support (under the name "compressed folders") in versions of Microsoft Windows since 1998 via the "Plus! 98" addon for Windows 98. Native support was added as of the year 2000 in Windows ME. [citation needed] Apple has included built-in ZIP support in Mac OS X 10.3 (via BOMArchiveHelper, now Archive Utility) and later. Most free operating systems have built in support for ZIP in similar manners to Windows and macOS.

Quick facts: Filename extension, Internet media type,...
ZIP file format
Filename .zipx .z01 .zx01
Internet media typeapplication/zip[1]
Uniform Type Identifier (UTI)
Magic number
  • none
  • PK\x03\x04
  • PK\x05\x06 (empty)
  • PK\x07\x08 (spanned)
Developed byPKWARE, Inc.
Initial release14 February 1989; 34 years ago (1989-02-14)
Latest release
1 November 2022; 15 months ago (2022-11-01)
Type of formatData compression
Extended to
ISO/IEC 21320-1:2015 (a subset of ZIP file format 6.3.3)
Open format?Yes

ZIP files generally use the file extensions .zip or .ZIP and the MIME media type application/zip.[1] ZIP is used as a base file format by many programs, usually under a different name. When navigating a file system via a user interface, graphical icons representing ZIP files often appear as a document or other object prominently featuring a zipper.

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