An e-mail attachment is a file that has been added to e-mail message and is then sent along with the message so that the message's recipient can download and access the file. A number of file types are associated with e-mail attachments, including some that use the .zi file extension.
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A file with the Zi file extension is known as a renamed zip file. Zi files contain a file or group of fields that has undergone compression or made smaller. The compression allows the file to be sent more quickly via e-mail and also to take up less space on a hard drive or disc.
Zi files are typically initially saved with the ".zip" file extension and then subsequently changed by a user or a software utility program to the ".zi" file extension. The reason for the change is generally to allow files to be sent from one person to another via e-mail when either the sender or the recipient makes use of an e-mail software program that does not support .zip files as attachments to messages.
To access a file with the .zi file extension, first, manually change the name of the file by clicking on it and replacing the ".zi" with ".zip." You can then use any software program that can support the .zip extension to open the file. Programs compatible with .zip files include Smith Micro StuffIt Deluxe 2010 for Windows and Mac, Corel WinZip for Windows and Unzip for Linux.
E-mail attachments can sometimes contain viruses or other harmful files, warns PCMag.com. For this reason, exercise caution when downloading .zi files, especially when you receive one from a sender you are unfamiliar with.
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