Disabling Windows' native Zip folder support

Posted by Dan on Feb 11, 2006 @ 9:34 PM

Tonight I finally got sick of Windows XP's native support for Zip files in Windows Explorer. It really slows down Explorer and I really have never even liked the fact that it treats Zip files as folders. I want compressed archives to be what they are—files. If I want to view the contents of compressed archives, I'll use an archive applications like WinRAR.

To prevent Windows XP from treating compressed Zip files as a folder, go to "Start > Run" and type the following:

regsvr32 /u zipfldr

If you wish to restore native Zip support in Windows, just go back to "Start > Run" and type the following:

regsvr32 zipfldr

Categories: JavaScript, Potpourri, HTML/ColdFusion, Java


  • doesn't just installing winrar pass the handling of zip files over to it?
  • WinRAR, and similar programs, will take over the default "Open" option, but it does not disable Windows from showing Zip files as a folder. I find it really slows down Windows Explorer when it does all it's parsing of the Zip files when displaying a directory with a lot of Zip files.

    Disabling this support speeds Windows Explorer up dramatically when there are a lot of zip files in a directory.
  • ack! wierd. i just ran that command (i have winrar installed..) and it allowed my zips to be opened as the folder.. rather than through winrar. when i fired winrar backup, i noticed "zip" was now unchecked in the integration.. ah well, it's late.

    btw.. nice looking dogs.
  • Thanks Dan.

    You hit #1 on a simple Google search and your suggestion was perfectly what I was looking for!

    I use XP at work and occasionally need to search network drives for specific files and since the archived files all share the zipfile name with just different extensions (not my idea, I just work here) searching inside the zip archives is a BIG waste of time. And with 10-12 years of archives it is a LOT of time.

    Thanks again,

    Dan O.
  • Yeah. A BIG THANK YOU also!
    Just what I wanted but (sigh) how do I get the WinRAR icon associated with zip/rar files back?
    It's easier when scanning folders to see the compressed files :)
  • Uh. Oh! Found it:
    For an entire extension, open Windows Explorer, select Tools, Folder
    Options, File Types, Advanced.

    (Thanks to Eric:
  • 1st hit on google, just what I wanted. Thanks. :)
  • Indeed, disabling zip folders greatly speeds up searching in a location with allot of zip files. The worst part about zip searching: when explorer searches inside a zip, it won't stop - if you press stop the search window hangs until finished.
  • Thanks, google brought me here. Much easier to find good tips through google than wading through pages and pages of irrelevant information on the microsoft support website. Thanks.
  • Thanks Dan

    You have saved what little hair I have in my head.

  • thanks, searched google for an answer to this problem and your solution worked like a charm!
  • Thank you!

    It should be mentioned that this also disabled Explorer's Find tool from searching inside zips. This "feature" was getting incredibly annoying on my 300 GB external hard disk, which has many large zip files on it, none of which I ever want Windows to search inside!
  • Good one! One of the steps that I do always after reinstalling winXP. is there any website that have a collection of similar ideas that will make your Windows work faster?
  • If you do this while WinZip is installed, WinZip will prompt the next time you open it to re-associate zip files. If you choose yes, and WinZip is configured to do explorer enhancements, it will reactivate the native zip support you just turned off.

    You have to check the button to turn off WinZip's explorer enhancements *before* you run the regsvr32 command and re-associate zip files, in order for it to work as expected.
  • Thank you very much!!
    I was looking for a way to disable explorer search inside zip files (that slows down the searches), I could not imagine that disablig the support of zip folders, I'd disabled the search into zip files. Thank you again.
    (I've got zip files with thousands of file compressed and searches of simple files were become impossible.
  • Muchas gracias, no sé cómo no lo busqué antes. Fantástico para "buscar..."

    Thanks a lot.
  • Thanks! I've always hated it searching inside zip files.
  • Unfortunately, when I do this, XP keeps "fixing" itself. How can I turn this feature off permanently?
  • @pwiecek:

    If XP is "fixing" itself, then my guess is you're running something that's changing the registry settings back for you. I've never seen this behavior, but if you're logged in to a Corporate LAN, they could be enforcing registry policies on you.

    It's also possible a program designed to prevent spyware is preventing the change.
  • Thanks, just what I was looking for.
    I was trying sort out a folder with pictures and archives in subfolders, windows's zip support totally screwed up everything I tried.
    Not enabling this in folder options is one big screwup by microsoft.
  • Thanks, that really bummed me out.
  • Most of you (me also) faced the problem with weird windows zip association. The command Dan gave here certainly works but it removes the winzip or winrar association with zip files and when you restore the file association the problem get back again.

    The solution is just rename the zipfldr.dll to zipfldr.dll_ in the windows/system32 directory. And when windows complain ignore it. This will solve the problem altogether.
  • Thanks Dan,

    What agony to have to sit through a search for 30 seconds/zip file. My google search took me right to your tip.
  • Yep, Google "I'm feeling lucky" did the job to bring me here. Looks like you've got the most relevant post. ;p
  • Renaming does not work too
    The zip dll file got its way back whenever you try to associate the zip file with winrar.
  • Thank you! I can't tell you how I hate those mikey-mouse features.
  • I never did figure out what was restoring zipfldr.dll, but I solved the problem by putting each command in a batch file on the desktop. When the "feature" reasserts itself, I simply disable it again and its gone for a couple of weeks. If by chance, I need to search zip files, I can turn it back on temporarily.
  • Another work around that did work for me was to use winrar and change the extensions of all the zips to .rar
  • Here is your answer http://forums.techarena.in/tips-tweaks/934174.htm

    This zip thing has been annoying the hell out of me!
  • muito obrigado....era isso mesmo q eu precisava....
  • I was almost having a fit until I found this tip. I even contemplated replacing my old faithful win XP laptop. Thanks a lot

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