ZIP File Support - Restore

How to Restore the Built-in ZIP File Support in Vista
This will show you how to restore the built-in support of ZIP files in Vista by restoring the ZIP file association.
How to Restore the Built-in ZIP File Support in Vista

information   Information
This will show you how to restore the built-in ZIP file support in Vista by restoring the ZIP file association.
Note   Note
You may have used a program like WinZip, WinRar, or some other Zip program and Vista will now not go back to it's default Zip handler in explorer after you uninstalled the other program.
Tip   Tip
If when you try to open a ZIP folder and it does not open in a Windows Explorer window, then turn on Compressed Folders. See related link below for how.
warning   Warning
This must be done while logged on to a administrator account.

Here's How:
1. Click on the download button below and save the zipfix_vista.reg file to your desktop.​
NOTE: This also contains the reg file to turn on Compressed Folders.​

2. Right click on the downloaded zipfix_vista.reg file and click on Merge.​
3. Click on the Run button in the Security Warning pop-up. (See screenshot below)​
Security warning.jpg

4. Click on Continue (UAC), Yes, and then OK when prompted.​
5. When done, you can delete the downloaded zipfix_vista.reg file if you like.​
6. Restart the computer to apply changes.​
That's it,

Last edited:
Shawn Brink


Hello Alexaurus, and welcome to Vista Forums.

The Merge function allows the .reg file to be merged (basically Copy and Paste) into your registry and replaces the current registry entries with the ones from the .reg file. It's a way to make automatic changes to the registry instead of manually making the changes.

Hope this helps,
Keep in mind that there are no such words used as QUOTE "Stupid anything" We are all learning about this operating system and the knowledge we all share is what is important. I do not feel that anyone will look down on someone because they need help! I know I need help in many aspects of Vista and I am not ashamed to admit it!
Hello Austin, and welcome to Vista Forums.

You can also double click on the .reg file to merge it. If it opens to somthing link notepad instead, then check to make sure the the .reg file extension is set to have it's "Current Default" set to Registry Editor (C:\Windows\regedit.exe) in Default Programs (METHOD THREE). Afterwards, try to merge it again.

Hope this helps,
I figured out why i could not merge it. I was using google chrome which for some reason downloaded it as a .download not a .reg and all i had to do was change the file affiliation

Excellent tutorial with clear easy to follow steps, including the screen shot. I followed the steps precisely and the problem is solved. When I click on zipped files from an internet site, they open automatically, as they did before the link apparently separated. Great solution! Thank you so much.

A. I.
Last edited:
hi can any help me please, whenever i try to open any zip files my laptop goes mental and starts tryinging to open about 20 windows...once this happens i cant do anything apart from turn it off at the mains, ive try to compress them but still with no luck
I just have to say THANK YOU! I had tried to open a zip file that was invalid and thought I'd try to open it another way. I messed up everything but managed to get the files to open with windows explorer but had the WE icon instead of the zip folder icon (I couldn't tolerate that!). It was driving me crazy. I found this forum, downloaded the fix and it put everything back to normal. So thank you very much!
I had this problem with winzip. I just removed it through the program and features tool in the control pannel and it reverted back to the windows compressed folder option.
Does this only work on Vista, or can it also work on Win7? I have Win7 x64, and am having the EXACT problem described here, and need a fix JUST like the one here, but since it is for Vista, I don't want to ruin my Win7 computer by using the wrong fix. Please advise. Thanks.
As I didn't get a reply within an hour of posting, and tired of the fact that my Zip files had the wrong Icon, I ended up downloading and using the Vista one that was here. And guess what, IT WORKED! Even on Windows 7!
That's great news Ben. I'm happy to hear that you got it sorted. :)

Yeah, with different time zones you may not always get an immediate reply.
Well what about this: My .zip is set to Microsoft Office Picture (because I tried to open pictures...) and my .download is set to Internet Explorer (because I didn't know what I was doing). So, all of these nice little downloads that should fix my computer don't work. I download the .downloads, but when I right click, there is no "Merge" to click on. I did, however, get one of the .reg to work... the exefix_cu (Registration Entries). I don't know why that download worked. Properties says it opens with Registry Editor (whatever that means). So, how can I change back the .download AND the .zip??? This has been bugging me for months!
Hello Beth, and welcome to Seven Forums.

Did the zipfix_vista.reg file that you dowloaded in this tutorial have the .reg file extension? If not rename the file so that it does.

Hope this helps for now,