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How to unzip a docx file

Updated April 17, 2017

The DOCX file format makes Microsoft Word documents more compact, secure and accessible than before. First introduced in Office 2007, the XML-based format stores data as separate components within a single compressed archive. DOCX files are really zip archives with a different file extension. These files can be treated like any compressed folder in Windows. You can open, view and edit individual parts of the archive.

Click "My Computer" on your Desktop, or launch Windows Explorer from the Start menu. Navigate to the folder where the Microsoft DOCX file is saved.

Right-click the DOCX file, and click "Rename." Add the extension ".zip" (without quotes) to the name, so that it appears as filename.docx.zip in the Explorer or My Computer window. Click on an empty space to deselect the file. If Windows prompts you with a warning about renaming the file, click "Yes."

Right-click the renamed file. Open the zip file by clicking "Open With" and then choosing "Compressed (zipped) Folders" if you are running Windows XP. If you are running Windows Vista or 7, click "Extract All." Enter a new location to unzip the DOCX to, or use the default. Windows will now display the contents of the DOCX file.

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About the Author

Jay Leon began work as a writer and blogger in 2007. Her clients have included content provider Averheld and Loudoun Rewards Club. She writes about computing, web design, the Internet and travel.