How to Compress and Extract Files in cPanel

Either you backup your website or install a WordPress plugin through cPanel, you need to understand the concept of compression and extraction of files.

While managing your websites using cPanel, you may need to upload the third-party files in the compressed form, which need to be extracted.

Do you know to upload a file in cPanel? Such types of small things make a big difference. Dealing with cPanel can be tricky for many people, and most of them fret because of so many files and folders available in the root directory.

When you try to install a WordPress theme using cPanel, you need to upload a ZIP file and extract the theme folder resides inside it.

Not every WordPress user is aware of such things. In this tutorial, I am going to walk you through a simple process to compress and extract files.

You may be wondering as if you require any coding skills. Well, all you need are the built-in cPanel features.

A Step By Step Process to Compress Files

You may already know, the data of a WordPress website is available in its root directory, which is present in the file manager.

So, let’s follow the steps.

Step 1:

Login to your cPanel account and open the file manager. Depending on the web hosting company you have, you can easily find a file manager icon.

How to Compress and Extract Files in cPanel

Click to open.

Step 2:

Make sure you are in the public_html directory, click on its link from the left-hand sidebar. Most of the time, you see the home directory after opening the file manager.

How to Compress and Extract Files in cPanel

Step 3:

As you can see, there are many files and folders present. You can compress a single file or all of them. Depending on your choice, select them.

Let me show you an example to compress all the files and folders together, which is also helpful in backing up your website’s data.

How to Compress and Extract Files in cPanel

Select all and right-click to choose compress. As usual, you can also use the standard compress option from the main navigation menu of cPanel.

Step 4:

A popup appears to ask you the type of compress file you want. Choose the radio button to have a ZIP file.

How to Compress and Extract Files in cPanel

Step 5:

Scroll down, and you can see a field to fill in the location of the file. It’s better if you keep the file in the public_html directory, but change the file name.

How to Compress and Extract Files in cPanel

In this example, I have chosen “backupfile”.

Click on the Compress File(s) button.

Step 6:

You can see the process going on to create an archive with its location. For my file, the location is public_html/backupfile.

How to Compress and Extract Files in cPanel

You have to wait for a while. Depending on the size and number of files you have, cPanel compresses them. After a while, you can see a big popup showing the compress percentages of different files.

How to Compress and Extract Files in cPanel

Click on the Close button and refresh the page.

You can see a ZIP file available in the public_html directory. Congrats, you have learned to compress files. If you want, you can download the file to your computer.

How to Extract a Compressed File

As I have mentioned earlier, whenever you upload any file to any of the directories of your WordPress website, it’s in the ZIP format.

To see the content, you need to extract the file. If you notice in the compression method, the result is a ZIP file. Let’s take the same example.

Suppose, you have uploaded a file name “backupfile,” and you need to extract it. All you need is to right-click and choose the extract option.

How to Compress and Extract Files in cPanel

As always, you have an alternative to using the Extract option from the cPanel’s horizontal navigation menu.

A popup appears, and you can see a field to choose the location, where you want to extract the content of the ZIP file. I have improvised a little bit.

I have uploaded the file in the directory of a different domain and set the extraction location to the public_html directory.

How to Compress and Extract Files in cPanel

Click on the Extract File(s) button and the extraction starts. Within a while, you can see all the files of the compressed file in their extracted form.


Dealing with compression and extraction of a file aren’t so hard. You can easily follow the steps and accomplish your task.

Most of the WordPress users, like to back up their websites using the manual method of compression. Migration of a website requires extraction. I hope you have understood both concepts.

Check out these top 3 cPanel hosting services:

Was this article helpful?