Fix: The Compressed (zipped) Folder is Invalid

Some users report losing the ability to open .zip files using File Explorer. Apparently, If they try to double-click the .zip archive nothing happens or File Explorer becomes unresponsive. Right-clicking the .zip archive and choosing Extract All will display the following error:

“Windows cannot complete the extraction
The compressed zipper *archive name* is invalid”

This is clearly not an issue with a specific zipped folder since affected users report that every single zip archive they download is exhibiting the same behavior. Although the most occurrences are reported on Windows 10, there are cases where users encounter this issue on Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.

If you’re currently struggling with the compressed (zipped) folder is invalid error, the following methods will help. Below you have a collection of fixes and workarounds that others have used to avoid the compressed (zipped) folder is invalid error. Please follow each of the following methods in order until you discover a fix that manages to resolve the issue in your situation.

Method 1: Reinstalling the compression client

The obvious place to start is with the compression client that you are using. Other users struggling with the same issue have managed to resolve the issue by reinstalling the software that they were using.

In the event that you get the compressed (zipped) folder is invalid error, follow the guide down below to reinstall the compression client:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run box. Then, type “appwiz.cpl” and hit Enter to open Programs and Features.
  2. In Programs and Features, scroll through the application list and uninstall the decompression software that you are getting the error on (WinRar, WinZip, 7zip, etc.).
  3. Once the decompression software has been uninstalled, use your browser to navigate to the download page of your browser and download the latest version available. Here’s a list with the most popular decompression clients:
  4. Once the decompression unit has been re-downloaded, reboot your computer and see wither you are able to extract files without the compressed (zipped) folder is invalid error at the next restart.

If you’re still encountering the compressed (zipped) folder is invalid error, move down to the other methods below.

Method 2: Using another free compression software

Although this is not a proper fix (more like a workaround), some affected users have reported that they managed to get around this issue using another free compression software like 7-Zip.

You can do this with a number of 3rd party solutions, but we recommend 7-Zip for the most convenience. Here’s a quick guide on how to install and use 7zip to avoid receiving the compressed (zipped) folder is invalid error:

  1. Visit this link (here) and download the 7-Zip installer appropriate to your Windows architecture.
  2. Open the installer, then follow the on-screen prompts to install 7-Zip on your system.
  3. Once 7-Zip is installed, you can right-click any .zip archive. You should now see an additional 7-Zip menu which can be expanded to use the same features that the native client has.

Method 3: Zipping on a drive that uses NTFS

If you get this error while you are trying to zip a file that is over 4 GB in size, you might want to check if the partition you are trying to perform the operation on is FAT32. The max file size for a Fat32 partition is 4 GB. Anything above this threshold, it will produce the compressed (zipped) folder is invalid error.

A workaround to this issue would be to perform the operation on an NTFS drive or format your drive to the NTFS file system. Another way around this issue is to use a different utility like 7zip.


Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.