Disable Zip Folders in Windows 7, Vista, XP

Zip Folders (or Compressed Folders) is a feature in Windows Explorer that makes ZIP archives act like folders for easy retrieval of contents. However, this behavior is rather annoying for many, including me, so one of the first things I do upon a fresh install of Windows is to disable the zip folders functionality.

Let’s take a look at how to disable and also re-enable zip folders in Windows 7, Vista, and XP. In XP, all it takes is a quick command line statement. Vista and 7 require editing the registry, although additional protections make it more of a hassle in Windows 7.

Windows XP

To disable zip folders:

  1. Open a command prompt or go to Start Menu -> Run.
  2. Type or paste the following command (no quotes) and press enter: “regsvr32 /u %windir%system32zipfldr.dll“.
  3. Restart Windows and enjoy a life free from zip folders!

To re-enable zip folders:

  1. Open a command prompt or go to Start Menu -> Run.
  2. Type or paste the following command (no quotes) and press enter: “regsvr32 %windir%system32zipfldr.dll“.
  3. Restart Windows and return to a life bound by zip folders!

Windows Vista

To disable zip folders (automatically):

  1. Download vistadisablezip.reg and run it (double-click).
  2. Restart Windows and enjoy a life free from zip folders!

To disable zip folders (manually):

  1. Open Registry Editor (go to Start Menu -> Run and type “regedit“).
  2. Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCLSID and delete the following keys:
    {E88DCCE0-B7B3-11d1-A9F0-00AA0060FA31} and
    {0CD7A5C0-9F37-11CE-AE65-08002B2E1262}.
  3. Restart Windows and enjoy a life free from zip folders!

To re-enable zip folders:

  1. Download vistaenablezip.reg and run it (double-click).
  2. Restart Windows and return to a life bound by zip folders!

Registry files were made from instructions found here.

Windows 7

To disable zip folders:

The process is similar to Vista in terms of deleting the same registry keys. However, due to additional protections built-in, you must first change ownership of the keys to your username, which must be an administrator account.

  1. Open Registry Editor (go to Start Menu -> Run and type “regedit“).
  2. Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCLSID and perform steps 3-7 for each of the two keys:
    {E88DCCE0-B7B3-11d1-A9F0-00AA0060FA31} and
    {0CD7A5C0-9F37-11CE-AE65-08002B2E1262}.
  3. Right-click on the key and select “Permissions…”. Click “Advanced” and then the “Ownership” tab.
  4. Select your username from the list.
  5. Check the box next to “Replace owner on subcontainers and objects”. Click “OK”.
  6. In the “Security” tab, select your username and grant Full Control. (If your username is not there, click “Add…”, type your username, then click “Check Names” and “OK”.) Click “OK” to apply the permissions settings.
  7. Delete the registry key.
  8. Repeat the process for the second key.
  9. Restart Windows and enjoy a life free from zip folders!

To re-enable zip folders:

The procedure is rather long and already well-documented on SevenForums. Please check it out if you wish to return to a life bound by zip folders.

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCLSID

4 Comments

  1. Allan Wegan

    There is a simple and more brutal way, that even works on Windows 7 x64:
    – Take ownership of system32/zipfldr.dll .
    – Remove all rights for all users to the file (makes it unaccessible).
    – Kill all explorer processes.
    – Start a new explorer to get your taskbar back.

    No restart required.

  2. Jerry Zorge

    Re-enabling zip folders is easy when you make a backup of the two registry entries first: right-click the key, choose the option Export, and save as whatever.reg. The Export range should be Selected branch HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCLSID{0CD7A5C0-9F37-11CE-AE65-08002B2E1262} and HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCLSID{E88DCCE0-B7B3-11d1-A9F0-00AA0060FA31}.

    Re-enable by double-clicking the keys, and Yes to import.

    Log off and on again, and it works as before.

  3. DraggonLord

    This is nice article, nice that you keep it up.

    But, you should update it to show the regedt32.exe in the systems32 folder, ran as an administrator can import those vista reg files.

    1.open the above File as admin
    2.Click File(top left corner)
    3.Click Import
    4.Find the Reg File.

    Beats Looking through the registry for those CLSID

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