Zip integration was introduced starting Windows XP which enables the Windows Explorer to treat zip archives as a normal directory. This allows users to visit the content structure of the archive without depending on an external application like Winzip or extracting the content.

The downside of this integration is that Windows Explorer needs to finish reading all of the zip archives in the directory being visited before the directory contents are listed. This can cause a significant performance slowdown if there are many or huge zip files in the directory.

To disable the zip integration, the following command can be invoked (requires admin privileges):

regsvr32 /u zipfldr

The command above will clear all zip file associations. If you have Winzip installed, launch a new instance and Winzip will prompt if you want to restore the association. Select the ‘Yes‘ option otherwise zip archives will not be handled properly when double-clicked from Windows Explorer.

If another archiver utility is used, look around the preference page for the association options if the prompt doesnt show at the startup of the the utility.

NOTES:

  • If Winzip was configured to not show the prompt above, the associations can be done from the Tools->Configuration->System menu.
  • If you are using a different application for handling archives (e.g. WinRar, 7zip, etc.), explore it’s configuration window or refer to the manual.
  • The command “regsvr32 zipfldr” will restore the zip integration of Windows Explorer.
  • BONUS: Dump Winzip and switch to 7zip. It supports more archive types, achieves significantly better compression, and best of all it is Open Source and free!