Can I create and unpack ZIP folders with PowerShell?
It's not exactly easy, but you can create ZIP files (folders, archives) and unpack them with PowerShell from version 5.0 on all MS Windows 11, 10, ... and Server OS!
Everyone probably knows how easy it is to ►► query the ► PowerShell version to check if you can create and unpack ZIP files with the installed PowerShell version. Here you will learn how easy it is to zip and/or unzip files with PowerShell.
1.) Create a zip file with PowerShell!
Example: A simple compression of a folder with all contents to Das_Archiv.zip
Compress-Archive -Path C:\Path\Of\Data\* -DestinationPath C:\Path\Of\The_Archive.zip
In this example, the path is specified from a directory containing multiple files and folders without specifying individual files filters. PowerShell compresses everything within the directory, both subfolders and all files.
The target directory (C:\Path\Des\) must exist, otherwise an error message will appear and Das_Archiv.zip cannot be created!
2.) Only add certain files to the existing zip archive!
Example: A simple compression of a folder with all content but with the *.txt filter to add only plain text files to the existing archive.zip!
Compress-Archive -Path C:\Path\Of\Data\*.txt -DestinationPath C:\Path\Of\Archives.zip -Update
Don't forget the -update parameter to overwrite existing data <<< Important
Even after the archiving is complete, you can update any existing ZIP file with the parameter. You can replace older file versions in the archive with newer ones with the same file name and add new files created in the root directory.
PS: If you want to update all the data in the zip archive, just use "*" like in the first example.
3.) Unpack the zip file / archive with PowerShell!
Almost self-explanatory, all you need to specify is the source ZIP file and a destination path for storing the data, which will then be unzipped there.
Expand-Archive -Path C:\Path\Of\Archoive.zip -DestinationPath C:\Path\Of\Data -Force
Parameters: -Force only use if the data should really all be overwritten ► Expand-Archive also has other parameters
4.) Why create and unpack ZIP files with PowerShell?
The ZIP file format, or zip folder , reduces the size of files by compressing them into a single file. This process saves disk space, encrypts data, and makes it easy to share files with others. For example to upload to a server or to share with others in the cloud.
As you can see, PowerShell can not only compress files and folders, but also decompress zip archives. The process is easy to both compress and decompress !
5.) What should I watch out for with the ZIP files and PowerShell?
The target folder to which the files should be extracted will be filled with the contents of the archive. If the folder doesn't exist before unzipping, PowerShell creates the folder and saves the contents to it when unzipping.
FAQ 15: Updated on: 16 June 2022 12:01
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