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I was wondering if there is a possibility to add .zip file to the explorer preview pane (Windows 7 64 Bit). For example if a folder contains a .zip file i would like to see the content of the .zip file in the explorer preview pane.

I know how to add file types in the registry to be previewed as plain text as you can see in the image below. I have added a xml files to be previewed in the explorer pane a plain text.

enter image description here

But what about a .zip file. It would be nice if in the explorer preview pane i could see what files are inside the .zip file. I use 7-Zip to open my .zip files.

zip preview pane registry .zip file

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

You need a Preview Handler for ZIP files, and 7-Zip doesn't provide one. I don't know of any such handler except the one available via the View Data Your Way With Our Managed Preview Handler Framework article on MSDN.

Try it out; it was written for Vista (and Outlook 2007) but should work equally well on Windows 7:

The code download for this article includes a framework that makes it a snap to implement your own preview handlers, and it provides several sample previewers (including previewers for PDF, XML, ZIP, MSI, BIN, CSV, XPS, and XAML files).

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Have you tried to install this preview handlers on windows 7 ? – Devid Feb 8 '13 at 22:12
No, I haven't. Maybe you'd care to do the honours and report back whether it works for you? :) – Karan Feb 8 '13 at 22:14
Ok will try it out – Devid Feb 8 '13 at 22:21
I got also this: – Devid Feb 8 '13 at 22:39
Good find, although it seems the code used there is from the same article I linked to above (CodePlex is an MS site too). – Karan Feb 8 '13 at 22:48

Windows Explorer in Windows 7 treats .zip files almost the same way it treats folders. You can select the .zip file in the folder tree in the left sidebar to see the contents of the .zip file:

See inside zip files

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Good to know, but that is not the Windows Explorer Preview Pane. If i open a file containing a .zip file in it i would like to see what is inside on the preview pane of the explorer. For example if you have WinZip when you click on the zip file you will see a preview on the left (preview pane). I was wondering if something like that is also possible for 7-Zip. Is there a way i can add this in the registry just as i have done for .xml , .ini and .log files. – Devid Feb 8 '13 at 16:28
I often find that one's question is not the same as the problem one wants to solve. I perceived your problem to be, "How do I see the contents of a .zip file in Windows Explorer without extracting the contents?" and I tried to solve that problem as easily as possible. – William Jackson Feb 8 '13 at 16:34
Sorry i actually meant a .zip preview inside a file. – Devid Feb 8 '13 at 16:47
When you say "a file containing a .zip file", do you mean a .zip file with another .zip file inside? – William Jackson Feb 8 '13 at 16:49
No, i mean like a folder. – Devid Feb 8 '13 at 19:19

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