Updated: 12/01/2019 by Computer Hope

Zip may refer to any of the following:

ZIP file

1. ZIP is a lossless-compression binary file format developed by Phillip Katz in 1989. It is used by compression utilities such as WinZip or PKZIP.

The ZIP file format is also an archive file format. It can contain multiple files combined and compressed into one file. The resulting ZIP file may later be decompressed to re-create the original files.

The file extension of a ZIP file is .ZIP or .zip. Depending on the types of files archived and compressed, the resulting ZIP file's size may be significantly smaller than the combined size of the original files.


The original MIME specification of the ZIP file format lists "ZIP" in all uppercase letters, but it is not an acronym.

Example of a ZIP file

You can download our example ZIP file,, to extract and run on your computer. It contains a text file and a Windows-compatible EXE (executable) file.

2. On Unix-like operating systems such as Linux, zip is a command that creates files in the ZIP file format. A corresponding command, unzip, is used to decompress ZIP files. For more information, see our Linux zip command reference.

3. When referring to legacy storage devices, Zip may refer to the now-defunct Iomega Zip drive.

4. Short for Zone Information Protocol, ZIP is a network protocol used to manage zones in an AppleTalk network.

5. Short for Zoning Improvement Plan, zip codes, also known as postal codes, are designated areas in the United States.

Business terms, Compression, Computer abbreviations, Network terms, Protocol, Storage