How to Unzip Embroidery Designs using Windows Explorer

In this video I’ll show you how to unzip embroidery designs or any file for that matter using Windows Explorer. I’m demonstrating in Windows 10 and this works in Windows 7 & 8. If you’re still using XP, choose “Explore” after right-clicking the zip file.

If you’re using a Mac, Safari will automatically extract files when you download.

When you download embroidery designs from most sites, they are zipped. Zipping compresses the file making it faster to send, protects it from getting corrupted, and prevents the browser from opening it into a window of gibberish. Some browsers will automatically unzip the file for you but let’s see what to do if yours doesn’t.

In icon view, you can easily distinguish a zip file by its distinctive icon. In a list view with extensions turned off, you may not know what kind of file it is and may mistake it for an embroidery file. Some embroidery software can unzip for you, while others cannot.

Zip files from LindeeGEmbroidery are most typically named by their unique product code followed by their format. I use these codes to name the files because most machines can only see the first 8 characters of the design’s name and also because this gives every file a unique name.

So here’s a file I’ve downloaded and I’ve moved it to my desktop for convenience. If I hover over the zip file, I can see the list of files it contains. Except for BX files, which will contain a PDF on how to install, downloaded designs will only have designs in them. Any available instructions, templates, or color sequences will be in one or more other zip files. This is to reduce duplication of files and keep them as small as possible.

To extract the files, right click on the zip file to bring up a contextual menu. If you have an unzip program, it will show up otherwise, click on open with Windows Explorer. The zip opens in a window and displays the contents.

Now all we do is select the files or folder… left click and drag to the desktop or some other location. What we’re doing is dragging a copy of the files. The original zip is undisturbed. Once your files are extracted you can do whatever you want with them.

You may have a program installed on your computer that will zip and unzip files and in that case, you can just double click to extract the designs. However, if you don’t have such a program, then Windows might try to open something else, possibly Acrobat Reader and then Acrobat complains that it can’t open the file. Well, of course not. It’s not a PDF.

It’s a good idea to keep the zip files in case you loose or damage one of the designs. And that’s all there is to it!

If after trying this technique, you’re still having problems, I’m going to suggest that you find someone who’s more computer savvy to sit down with you and see what’s going on and show you how to do it because if you’re downloading a lot of designs, you will be doing a lot of unzipping!

Where to find Thumbnailer to see images of your embroidery designs in Windows Explorer or Mac Finder:

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