Disabling ZIP folders in Windows 7

One of the most annoying "features" of windows is undoubtedly the zip folder feature - for those of us who prefer to use a full featured archiver program.

If Microsoft’s insistence to include this annoyance in virtually every Windows feature wasn’t enough, to add insult to the injury, asking how to get rid of it has the benefit of getting a bunch of people to recommend their favourite archiver programs to handle your zip files (usually WinRar, 7zip and Winzip), even though your problem has never been finding one.

To summarize, the problem appears when in a folder there are either .cab or .zip files, which Windows treats as if they are folders. Here’s an illustration:


To solve the problem, the following actions need to be taken:

  1. Under Windows XP, run regsvr32 /u zipfldr.dll and associate both .zip and .cab files with your archiver.
  2. Under Windows Vista, you have to remove a few registry entries, usually via a .reg file which you 2x click:
    • Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
      ; Disable ZIP support in Windows Vista
      ; restart Windows after applying this patch

  3. Under Windows 7, regeditthe solution similarly involves deleting the same registry keys and rebooting, in order to make it permanent. If the above .reg file won’t work for you, you might want to try to do so manually. Be warned that if you don’t know what you’re doing you might render your computer unusable.

The following two (2) keys need to be deleted from the registry:

  • For zip files delete the key
  • For cab files delete

When you try to delete them, you will almost certainly get an "access denied" or "failed" type of message. Before you can delete them, you need to change the permissions/ownership of these two keys. Here is how to do it:

01 - open regedit from the RUN console

02 - navigate to the first key that needs to be deleted (HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{E88DCCE0- B7B3-11d1-A9F0-00AA0060FA31})

03 - right click on the key and select "Permissions"

04 - click on "Advanced"

05 - click on the "Ownership" tab

06 - in the "change owner to" section, highlight your username

07 - check the box for "replace owner on subcontainers and objects"

08 - click on "Apply"

09 - Click "OK"

10 - Under "Security" tab, highlight your username and check the box for "Allow Full Control" (located mid-menu in the "Permissions For Administrators" section)

11 - click "Apply" and "OK"

12 - you can now delete the registry key. MAKE SURE YOU ARE ON THE CORRECT KEY!

13 - repeat the process for the 2nd key.

14 - reboot (changes will NOT take effect until you reboot

In all these cases, using “Extract All” in the right-click menu or failing to define a new default association for zip and / or cab files will cause the problem to reappear.

Sources / More info: ms-technet

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