WinZip: Split a Zip file

February 24, 2009


You have a file that is too large to email to someone even after you’ve zipped it. Either their email system won’t accept it or yours won’t let you send it. You can use alternatives like a Gmail account (20 MB limit) or Skype or an instant messaging service or an FTP service like YouSendIt (I blogged about these options before).

But even then, unless you’re using a paid account, there may be a file limit (e.g. YouSendIt has a 100 MB limit for an individual file with its free account).

In my case, I had a 135 MB Word document (don’t ask…) I needed to transfer it from my client’s system to mine, and then back again after I’d finished working on it.


WinZip has a file splitting option! And you can specify how big or small you want the split files to be.

To split a Zip file:

  1. Use WinZip to zip up the file, as normal.
  2. Double-click on the zipped file to open it in WinZip.
  3. Select the zipped document.
  4. On the WinZip menu, select Actions > Split.
  5. Give the split files a name — this name must be different from the original.
  6. Select a Part size from the drop-down list — if you select Other size you can then define whether you want this size to be in Bytes, KB or MB. (For my 135 MB file I selected Other size and made the parts 70 MB — this created two files, one of 70 MB and the other the remaining size.)
  7. Click OK.
  8. WinZip now splits the file in the number of parts necessary to complete the job. You will get one or more files that end in z01, z02, z03 etc. (these are the parts) plus a zip file (the master that controls the parts).
  9. Upload or email all the parts, plus the zip file.

To put the split files back together:

  1. Save all files (the parts plus the zip file) to the same folder.
  2. Right-click on the zip file and select WinZip > Extract to here.
  3. As if by magic, WinZip will put all the pieces back together again giving you one large file and you’re done!


  1. I seem to have a problem unpacking split zip files sent to me, but I’ve got two workarounds.

    Platform: WinZip 8.0 on Windows XP (SP2), with C: and D: as local hard drives.
    [mind-numbing detail below]

    I start by having the xxx.zip, xxx.z01, xxx.z02, and xxx.z03 all in the same folder D:\Documents and settings\…\. When I double-click the .zip file, it brings up the classic interface with the details of the one file inside.

    If I attempt to extract the file by any means, it pops up a dialog:

    Please insert disk number 1 of the spanned Zip file into drive D:. [OK] [Cancel]

    The expected result (judging from the blog entry) is Winzip will automatically read all the required information from the z0? files.

    There is a choice of two workarounds:
    1. Use several different directories in Win XP
    2. Unzip the file(s) on Linux

    1. Use several different directories
    a. I make several directories

    b. I copy (or move) the files into these directories

    c. I rename all files to be the .zip extension
    [untouched] D:\G4\xxx.zip

    d. Do you remember several decades ago a dos command called SUBST? Open a dos box, find a spare drive letter, and verify. In my situation, my G: drive was spare. Now verify it is really spare.

    The system cannot find the drive specified.

    e. Use the SUBST command for the original .zip file

    D:\>subst G: D:\G4

    f. Return to the file browser (Windows Explorer), you will now see a drive G:, navigate to it, and observe the .zip file inside. Close down any other Winzip you have open, and double-click this .zip file

    g. Extract the file(s) inside the .zip. It will pop up the dialog box, as above.

    h. Leave the dialog box up, swap to the Dos box, and enter

    D:\>subst G: /d
    D:\>subst G: D:\G2

    The first command disconnects the G: drive, the second reconnects it to the next directory in the sequence. This is something similar to inserting the next floppy disk.

    i. [intentionally blank, continue with j.]

    j. Return to the dialog, press OK. There will be another dialog similar to this: The diskette in drive G: is labelled “UserData”, WinZip expected “PKBACK# 001. Answer [Yes]

    k. When it has finished with that file, it will pop up a dialog asking for the next file. Repeat steps h. to k. for the rest of the directories.

    When complete you should have your extracted file.

    2. Unzip the file(s) on Linux
    An alternative is you can move the files to a Linux machine and extract it there. I did this on Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron).

    a. Move the files to the Linux machine. Example methods include FTP (BINARY!!), scp, a removable drive, or you can smbmount (gives Linux access to a Windows shared drive), or dual-boot.

    b. cd to where the files are
    $ cd somewhere

    c. Concatenate the zip files together.
    $ cat xxx.z* > JoinedUp.zip

    d. Unpack the files
    $ unzip JoinedUp
    (shows several errors, then shows files being unpacked)

    e. Move the unpacked files back to the Windows machine, or to wherever they’re required.

    Judicious use of either smbmount or dual-booting will reduce the need to copy files around.

    Mind-numbing detail on my system, as produced by Winzip -> Help -> About -> System Info

    Windows 2000 5.1 build 2600 Service Pack 2
    Current date/time: 11/06/2009 17:05
    WinZip(R) 8.0 (3105s) compiled: Apr 19 2000
    Module name = C:\Program Files\WinZip\WINZIP32.EXE
    Command line: “C:\PROGRA~1\WinZip\winzip32.exe” “D:\Documents and Settings\PRIVATE\xxx.zip”
    Total physical memory = 2095000 Kbytes
    Physical memory available = 635432 Kbytes
    Total virtual memory = 2097024 Kbytes
    Virtual memory available = 2052360 Kbytes
    Country code: 61
    Language: English
    Code-page: 1252

    WinZip Shell Extensions are in the system approved list
    EnforceShellExtensionSecurity is OFF

    Internet Explorer
    C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe
    ver: 6.0.2900.2180 04/08/2004 00:56

    Folder Options: Using System Settings
    Classic Style: 0
    DblClk in Web: 1
    IconUnderline: 0
    Browser ULine: yes

    RichEdit 1.0 ver: 5.1.2600.0 29/08/2002 22:00
    RichEdit 2.0 ver: 28/11/2006 00:54

    System desktop theme installer:
    Installer name: C:\WINDOWS\system32\rundll32.exe
    Installer version: 5.1.2600.2180
    Theme base folder: C:\WINDOWS\system32\rundll32.exe C:\WINDOWS\system32\shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL C:\WINDOWS\system32\Themes\

    WCI Product file information follows…

    WCI Product ID: WINZIP
    Path: C:\Program Files\WinZip
    WINZIP32.EXE Ver: 8.0 Build: 3105 Date: 19/04/2000 08:00
    WZSEPE32.EXE Ver: 2.2 Build: 3063 Date: 19/04/2000 08:00
    WZ32.DLL Ver: 8.0 Build: 3090 Date: 19/04/2000 08:00
    WZCAB.DLL Ver: 1.0 Build: None Date: 19/04/2000 08:00
    WZCAB3.DLL Ver: 8.0 Build: 3070 Date: 19/04/2000 08:00
    WZSHLEX1.DLL Ver: 8.0 Build: 3081 Date: 19/04/2000 08:00
    WZSHLSTB.DLL Ver: 8.0 Build: 3081 Date: 19/04/2000 17:00
    WZVINFO.DLL Ver: 8.0 Build: 3070 Date: 19/04/2000 08:00
    WZZPMAIL.DLL Ver: 8.0 Build: 3083 Date: 19/04/2000 08:00

    shell32.dll ver: 6.0.2900.3402 03/07/2008 23:16
    comdlg32.dll ver: 6.0.2900.2180 04/08/2004 00:56
    comctl32.dll ver: 5.82.2900.2982 26/08/2006 01:45

    End of system info

    Hopefully that helps other people facing the issue.

  2. Typo in previous comment, Windows procedure.

    Step h. in the first iteration should connect the G: drive to the FIRST directory, and therefore should read
    h. Leave the dialog box up, swap to the Dos box, and enter

    D:\>subst G: /d
    D:\>subst G: D:\G1

    The first command disconnects the G: drive, the second reconnects it to the first directory in the sequence. This is something similar to inserting the first floppy disk.

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