Learning never exhausts the mind

Last Updated by

By default, Windows XP and Vista treat ZIP files like folders; you can view them in Windows Explorer as if they were folders. If you're not familiar with ZIP files, this can be convenient, however, if you've already got a utility in place to manage your ZIP files (such as WinZip or WinRAR), this new feature can just get in the way.

This guide is only applicable to Windows XP. There is a separate guide for disabling Zip files in Windows 7.

By default Windows will search inside ZIP files when using Search - For Files or Folders, a process that not only causes searches to take longer but one that may cause incomplete information to be displayed in the In Folder column of the search results.

I frequently use folders with many zip files and it takes an age to navigate and browse because Windows is busy in the background indexing the files.

Naturally, Microsoft hasn't provided any easy way to turn this feature off. Here's how to do it:

  1. Select Run from the Start Menu.
  2. Type regsvr32 /u %windir%/system32/zipfldr.dll at the prompt, and click Ok.
  3. The change will take effect immediately, but you may have to restart Windows for all traces of the built-in ZIP support to disappear.

If, at any time, you wish to re-enable Windows XP's built-in ZIP support, just follow these steps:

  1. Select Run from the Start Menu.
  2. Type regsvr32 %windir%/system32/zipfldr.dll at the prompt, and click Ok.
  3. The change will take effect immediately, but you may have to restart Windows for all features of the built-in ZIP support to be available.

Leave a Reply

Fields marked with * are mandatory.

We respect your privacy, and will not make your email public. Hashed email address may be checked against Gravatar service to retrieve avatars. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.