How to fix the ZIP file association in Windows 10

By: Matthew Adams
3 minute read

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ZIP is a compressed file format that you can archive files with in Windows 10. File Explorer is the default file manager utility for extracting and opening ZIPs in Windows. However, third-party file archive software can automatically replace Explorer as the default program for opening ZIPs. A third-party file archive utility can remain the default program for opening ZIPs even after you’ve uninstalled it.

As such, ZIP files might not open after you’ve uninstalled a default third-party file archive utility. Then you’ll have a broken ZIP file association. This is how you can fix the ZIP file association in Windows 10.

Fix ZIP file association issues on Windows

  1. Reset to Default Apps
  2. Adjust the Open With Settings for ZIP Files
  3. Fix the ZIP File Association With the Command Prompt
  4. Fix ZIP Files With Remo Repair ZIP

1. Reset to Default Apps

You can usually fix the ZIP file association by restoring File Explorer as the default utility for ZIP archives. The Settings app includes options for adjusting default apps. This is how you can quickly restore the default associations for all file formats with Settings’ Reset option.

  • Press the Type here to search button on the taskbar to open Cortana.
  • Input the keyword ‘default app’ in the search box.

  • Click Default app settings to open the window shown directly below.

  • Then press the Reset button to restore all the default apps in Windows.

2. Adjust the Open With Settings for ZIP Files

  • If you prefer not to restore all files to their default app associations, you can adjust the Open with settings specifically for ZIP archives. To do that, right-click a ZIP and select the Open with option.

  • Click More apps to open a list of programs to open the ZIP with.


For various PC problems, we recommend this tool.

This software will repair common computer errors, protect you from file loss, malware, hardware failure and optimize your PC for maximum performance. Fix PC issues now in 3 easy steps:

  1. Download this PC Repair Tool rated "Excellent" on TrustPilot.com.
  2. Click “Start Scan” to find Windows issues that could be causing PC problems.
  3. Click “Repair All” to fix all issues with Patended Technologies (requires upgrade).

  • Then select File Explorer as the default utility.
  • Select the Always use this app to open ZIP files option, and then press the OK button.

— RELATED: How to compress drive to save disk space in Windows 10

3. Fix the ZIP File Association With the Command Prompt

  • You can also fix file associations with the Command Prompt. To do that, open the Cortana app.
  • Enter the keyword ‘Command Prompt’ in Cortana’s search box.
  • Right-click Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.

  • Then input ‘assoc .zip=CompressedFolder’ in the Prompt, and press the Enter key.

4. Fix ZIP Files With Remo Repair ZIP

If you still can’t open a ZIP, it might be the case that the specific ZIP file is corrupted. Try opening alternative ZIPs to see if they open. Remo Repair ZIP is a third-party Windows utility that repairs corrupted ZIP files and recovers files from archives. You can try out a demo of that software by pressing the Download Now button on this webpage. The registered version is retailing at $39.97.

When you’ve got Remo Repair up and running, you can click its Browse button to select a ZIP to repair. The software will weave its magic when you press the Repair button. Then you can choose a path to save the repaired file to.

Those are a few Windows 10 resolutions that will probably repair the ZIP file association so that you can open ZIPs in File Explorer. Remember that Explorer only opens a few file archive formats, so it’s better to have a third-party archive utility if you need to open other archive formats such as RAR, GZ, WIM, etc.

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For various PC problems, we recommend this tool.

This software will repair common computer errors, protect you from file loss, malware, hardware failure and optimize your PC for maximum performance. Fix PC issues now in 3 easy steps:

  1. Download this PC Repair Tool rated "Excellent" on TrustPilot.com.
  2. Click “Start Scan” to find Windows issues that could be causing PC problems.
  3. Click “Repair All” to fix all issues with Patended Technologies (requires upgrade).

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