How to compress PDFs to ZIP files

How to compress PDFs to ZIP files How to compress PDFs to ZIP files

PDF documents can be very large, especially if they store many high-resolution images or various types of graphics. If you're the type of user who is also dealing with a large PDF file collection, one solution you could approach would be to either convert the documents to a format that's less space-consuming, such as BMP or TIFF, or to compress the files in question and reclaim disk space on your PC.

Converting PDFs to formats like BMP or TIFF is very simple. Compressing PDF documents to archive files is even easier. You don't need to download and install third-party programs in order to complete the aforementioned task. Instead, you can use Windows' default solution: by working with File Explorer to compress your PDF to a ZIP archive. However, if you're looking for additional compression features, there are plenty of third-party archive managers that can also encrypt the generated ZIP files or support more output formats. WinZip, WinRAR, and 7-Zip are some of the most popular archive file managers.

In this article, I will show you how to compress your PDFs to ZIP files by using Windows' File Explorer and 7-Zip.

Tutorial assets

You will need to download the following software to follow along with this tutorial.

Using File Explorer

ZIP is one of the most popular archive formats in the world. It's supported by various platforms and archive managers. So, it comes as no surprise that Windows and other platforms (for example, macOS) feature a default solution for creating this type of files. Here's what you need to do in order to compress your PDFs to ZIP files:

Step 1

Open a File Explorer window and locate the PDF file in question.

Step 2

Right-click the document's icon. Go to Send To -> Compressed (zipped) folder.

Compressing File With File ExplorerCompressing File With File Explorer

Step 3

Enter a name for your new archive and hit the Enter key.

Using 7-Zip

7-Zip is an open source utility that enables you to create and extract various types of archive files. It's compatible with formats like ZIP, RAR, 7Z, TAR, GZIP, RJ, CAB, and many others. It also uses AES-256 encryption algorithms to protect the generated files, integrates into File Explorer's contextual menu, and so much more. Here's what you need to do in order to compress PDFs to ZIP files with 7-Zip:

Step 1

Open a File Explorer window and right-click the icon of your PDF file.

Step 2

Go to 7-Zip -> Add to archive...

Creating Archive With 7-ZipCreating Archive With 7-Zip

Step 3

Configure the output settings according to your needs and click the "OK" button.

Configuring Output Settings In 7-ZipConfiguring Output Settings In 7-Zip


To conclude, compressing your PDFs to ZIP files on a Windows PC can easily be done even by a beginner computer user. The question is: Which one of the aforementioned tools you think it's the best as a default archive manager for Windows? Let us know in the comments section below.

Alternative downloads

  • 7-Zip 7-Zip free windows File archiver with a high compression ratio. Download
  • PeaZip PeaZip free windows Free archiver and file manager software, Open Source WinRar and WinZip alternative. Download
  • WinRAR WinRAR $29.95 windows Powerful archive manager. It can back up your data and reduce the size of e-mail attachments; open and unpack RAR... Download
  • WinZip Express for
Explorer WinZip Express for Explorer free windows The WinZip® Express for Explorer add-on gives you instant access to WinZip's most popular features right from Windows Explorer. Download