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Creating, manipulating, editing, and sharing files are all key components of what many people do with their computers. Whether it’s business or leisure, most computer users have needed to send, receive, open, or edit various media files at some point. Sometimes, these files can be large, and that makes the task of sharing them cumbersome.
This is where file compression software comes into play, and WinZip is one such piece of software that you might use for this purpose. However, it isn’t free for everyone to use.
While WinZip may have started out as a free product in its very early phases, it has been many years since the company offered it as freeware.
We’ll discuss what happens when the trial on your version of WinZip expires, how you can get the program off your computer entirely, how to stop pop-up windows, and whether you can unzip a file without WinZip, or indeed any program at all.
For many years, WinZip has been a commercial product that offers new users a free trial period. This phase allows consumers to explore the full functionality and benefits of the program for a while. They can decide later if they would like to upgrade to the paid version of the software to keep using all of these features.
In fact, if this phase does expire, you will be met with a pop-up from the company asking you if you would like to purchase the full version. If you do try to continue unzipping files using the program, this pop-up will appear and ask you to fill in the details to get to the full version.
In short, you’ll no longer be able to use WinZip to compress or decompress files once the trial ends. This restriction will remain until you decide to purchase the full version of the product. It is possible that you can’t upgrade to the paid version of WinZip even if you want to, however.
In most cases, this will happen because you’re working on a business computer that is set up through the IT department at your company. The department will usually configure all the computers to the standards set forth by the business.
This would include all programs that the company feels are necessary, and it would offer access rights to you as the user for only the tasks you might need to complete as part of your job.
If you do try to upgrade WinZip in such a scenario, you may get a message that says you need administrator rights or privileges in order to proceed with this operation. This is probably because it is the IT department that is tasked with deciding how to handle licensing and payments for programs that the business would like to use.
You may be able to get around this by notifying your company that trials like WinZip are expiring on work computers. They can make the decision to upgrade to the commercial version, or they can find another solution to their file decompression needs.
If you’ve used the trial version of WinZip and are done with it, you may wish to get it off of your computer to free up space or prevent pop-ups.
Fortunately, most modern operating systems make it very easy to delete unwanted programs from your computer. With most versions of Windows, you can just follow these steps:
1. You can get to the place where your programs are stored and listed by opening up ‘Control Panel’.
2. However, an even quicker way is to open up the ‘Start’ menu that you can activate from the bottom of your taskbar.
3. In the appropriate window, look for ‘Apps’. Once you do, you should find that it lists the top result as ‘Apps & features’. Click on this to be taken to a new window.
4. From here, you’ll see a whole list of the programs installed on your computer, and it should be arranged alphabetically by default.
5. Scroll until you get near the bottom, and you should find WinZip listed there.
6. You can click the appropriate button to have the native uninstaller remove it from your computer.
As we touched on, WinZip will create pop-ups that will ask you to purchase the commercial version. It usually does this if you try to unzip any files at any point after your evaluation period has ended, but you may be faced with other pop-ups throughout the life of the program, too.
Although you could uninstall WinZip in order to get rid of the pop-ups, perhaps there are reasons why you would like to keep it on your system. Even so, you may not enjoy being faced with pop-ups at regular intervals.
There is a way you should be able to get rid of the pop-ups without deleting the program entirely, but it involves modifying some task files in your system. To do this, you can follow these guidelines:
1. Go back to the ‘Start’ menu from your Windows taskbar.
2. Search for ‘Task Scheduler’ and wait for it to appear. This is not the same thing as the ‘Task Manager’ that you can use to see various processes that your computer is running. Rather, this app shows you a large list of times when certain operations are supposed to run or complete.
3. On the left pane in this new window, find and click on the ‘Task Scheduler Library’ in order to expand the column.
4. As you scroll down, you should find multiple instances of ‘WinZip Update Notifier’, and they are probably listed numerically.
5. You may see as many as three of these scheduled tasks. If you right-click on the first one, it should create a new menu with a list of options from which you can choose.
6. Scroll down so that you can ‘Delete’ the first one of these. Repeat the process for any other entries related to the WinZip notification process.
7. Go to the folder where you’ve stored the WinZip app on your computer. From here, locate a .exe file that appears to be the WZUpdateNotifier.
8. Delete the above file to complete the process.
9. You may need to restart your computer for the changes to take effect.
Yes, you can still decompress a file without using WinZip. There are a few ways you can do this. There are other programs that work in the same way WinZip does, although they may offer a different layout or features that are not part of the WinZip package.
At their cores, they should be standard compression and decompression applications, however. Otherwise, there should be at least one native way to decompress files on your operating system.
If you have no programs whatsoever to handle unzipping files, your windows operating system should be able to do this for you natively. The last several versions of Windows have had built-in functions that allow them to decompress files for you.
This is useful for anyone who only needs to compress or unzip files without doing anything else. You can use Windows own File Explorer to do this right in the OS itself. It is possible that you have files that are associated with other executables.
If this is the case, you may have difficulties decompressing files this way. Make sure your files have the correct associations to work with Windows Explorer, and you should be good to go.
It is a good idea to remember that programs like WinZip or its alternatives do come with extra features, however. These might include additional compression formats, enhanced capabilities for easy archiving of files, or flexibility that makes it simpler to work with multiple file types.
The precise extras you get may depend on the programs you are using, but many of the ones you’ll find on the market will include some features that seem to be similar across all products.
For those looking at alternatives to WinZip, WinRAR is available. Technically, WinRAR also has a free trial period followed by a gentle upgrade prompt at the end.
However, there is a key difference between it and WinZip. WinRAR allows users to keep using the core features of the program even after the trial expires. This makes it very useful for anyone who just wants to compress or decompress files of different types. The upgrade prompts will point out that you can add extra features to this functionality.
Alternatively, 7-Zip is completely free, and many people have used it for years. It includes standard functions that you might expect from WinZip or WinRAR, but you’ll get a whole host of other options to choose from, too.
WinZip is a great tool, and it can still be useful for your basic file compression needs. However, it is locked behind a paywall after the free trial ends, and this limits its appeal to many individuals or businesses. Fortunately, there are free or nearly free alternatives out there that should offer at least the basic features you’ll need from an application of this type.