USING IRONZIP

How to Zip Files in Folder Using C#

Updated February 18, 2024
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ZIP files are files that contain one or more compressed files or folders, using the ZIP format. It is a common way of compressing and archiving multiple files or folders into a single file. They can reduce the size of the data, save disk space, and make it easier to transfer files over the internet. In this article, you will learn how to work with ZIP files in C#, using the IronZIP library. You will see how to create, read, extract, and update ZIP files programmatically, as well as how to use various features of IronZIP, such as encryption, password protection, and compression levels. By the end of this article, you will be able to use IronZIP to handle ZIP files in your C# applications with ease.

What we will Cover in this Article

  1. Install IronZIP within our Project
  2. Create a ZIP file
  3. Create Password Protected ZIP file
  4. Extract ZIP file
  5. Extract Password Protected ZIP File
  6. Access Existing ZIP archive

What is IronZip?

IronZIP is a powerful and versatile C# ZIP archive library that allows you to create, read, and extract ZIP files programmatically. It supports various archive formats, such as ZIP, TAR, GZIP, and BZIP2. It also supports password protection, encryption, and compression levels. IronZIP is compatible with .NET 8, 7, 6, Core, Standard, and Framework.

IronZIP can help you handle various use cases and benefits of working with ZIP files, such as:

  1. Creating a backup system: You can use IronZIP to compress and encrypt your important files and folders into a ZIP archive and store them in a secure location. This way, you can save disk space and protect your data from unauthorized access.
  2. Sending email attachments: You can use IronZIP to reduce the size of your email attachments by compressing them into a ZIP file. This can help you avoid exceeding the file size limit and speed up the transmission process.
  3. Downloading files from the web: You can use IronZIP to download and extract ZIP files from the web, such as software packages, documents, images, and other types of files. This can help you save bandwidth and time, and access the files you need with ease.

Getting Started with IronZIP

Before writing the code, you need to install the IronZIP NuGet Package our C# project. IronZIP is a popular compression library available via NuGet.

Installing the IronZIP Library

To install IronZIP, you can use the NuGet Package Manager Console in Visual Studio. Simply run the following command:

Install-Package IronZip

Alternatively, you can download the package directly from the official IronZIP website. Once installed, you can get started by adding the following namespace to the top of your C# code.

using IronZip;
using IronZip;
Imports IronZip
VB   C#

Creating C# ZIP Files in Folder File

We can easily create ZIP files in a folder using IronZIP. The following code will zip all the files from the specified directory.

static void Main(string [] args)
{
    string [] fileArray = Directory.GetFiles(@"D:\Docs\");
    using (var archive = new IronZipArchive())
    {
        foreach (var file in fileArray)
        {
            // Add files to the ZIP
            archive.Add(file);
        }
        // Export the ZIP
        archive.SaveAs("myZipFile.zip");
    }
}
static void Main(string [] args)
{
    string [] fileArray = Directory.GetFiles(@"D:\Docs\");
    using (var archive = new IronZipArchive())
    {
        foreach (var file in fileArray)
        {
            // Add files to the ZIP
            archive.Add(file);
        }
        // Export the ZIP
        archive.SaveAs("myZipFile.zip");
    }
}
Shared Sub Main(ByVal args() As String)
	Dim fileArray() As String = Directory.GetFiles("D:\Docs\")
	Using archive = New IronZipArchive()
		For Each file In fileArray
			' Add files to the ZIP
			archive.Add(file)
		Next file
		' Export the ZIP
		archive.SaveAs("myZipFile.zip")
	End Using
End Sub
VB   C#

The above C# code uses the IronZIP library to compress all the files into a single ZIP file. The code does the following:

  • We have declared a string array named fileArray and assigned it the result of the Directory.GetFiles method, passing the path of the directory ("D:\Docs") as a parameter. This method returns an array of strings containing the full names of all the files in the specified directory.
  • We have created a new instance of the IronZipArchive class, which represents a ZIP archive in memory. The instance is assigned to a variable named archive and is wrapped in a using statement, which ensures that the ZIP archive is disposed of when the code block ends.
  • We have then iterated over the fileArray array using a foreach loop, and for each file, it calls the Add method of the archive object, passing the file name as a parameter. This method adds a new entry to the ZIP archive, with the same name and content as the file.
  • At last, we have called the SaveAs method of the archive object, passing the name of the ZIP file (“myZipFile.zip”) as a parameter. This method saves the ZIP archive to a file in the current file system.

In this way, we can easily create new zip archives using just a few lines of code.

Output

Output is as:

How to Zip Files in Folder Using C#: Figure 1 - Output files from the previous code example

Create Password Protected ZIP file

IronZIP provides the easiest method to create password-protected ZIP files. The following code sample will compress files and create a new ZIP file with a password.

using (var archive = new IronZipArchive())
 {
     foreach (var file in fileArray)
     {
         // Add files to the ZIP
         archive.Add(file);
     }
    // Set Password and Encryption Method
     archive.Encrypt("myPa55word", EncryptionMethods.AES256);
     // Export the ZIP
     archive.SaveAs("myZipFile.zip");
 }
using (var archive = new IronZipArchive())
 {
     foreach (var file in fileArray)
     {
         // Add files to the ZIP
         archive.Add(file);
     }
    // Set Password and Encryption Method
     archive.Encrypt("myPa55word", EncryptionMethods.AES256);
     // Export the ZIP
     archive.SaveAs("myZipFile.zip");
 }
Using archive = New IronZipArchive()
	 For Each file In fileArray
		 ' Add files to the ZIP
		 archive.Add(file)
	 Next file
	' Set Password and Encryption Method
	 archive.Encrypt("myPa55word", EncryptionMethods.AES256)
	 ' Export the ZIP
	 archive.SaveAs("myZipFile.zip")
End Using
VB   C#

The line archive.Encrypt("myPa55word", EncryptionMethods.AES256); sets a password ("myPa55word") for a ZIP archive using IronZIP. It enhances security by applying AES-256 encryption to the archive, ensuring that only users with the correct password can access its contents. This feature is valuable for protecting sensitive data during storage or transfer within C# applications. We need to pass the specified mode of Encryption algorithm in the second parameter.

The file is encrypted as shown below.

Output

How to Zip Files in Folder Using C#: Figure 2 - Outputted encrypted file from the previous code example

We have seen the demonstration of creating a ZIP file by looping through the directories from the specified path. Now, let's move towards the example of unzipping files.

Extracting Files from ZIP Archive

IronZIP provides a method to extract files from a ZIP archive C#. The following code sample will extract the compressed file within a ZIP archive.

IronZipArchive.ExtractArchiveToDirectory("myZipFile.zip", "myExtractedFiles");
IronZipArchive.ExtractArchiveToDirectory("myZipFile.zip", "myExtractedFiles");
IronZipArchive.ExtractArchiveToDirectory("myZipFile.zip", "myExtractedFiles")
VB   C#

The code IronZipArchive.ExtractArchiveToDirectory("myZipFile.zip", "myExtractedFiles"); uses IronZIP to extract all files from "myZipFile.zip" and places them in the "myExtractedFiles" directory. This concise method simplifies the process of extracting ZIP archives in C#, providing a convenient solution for file extraction tasks.

Output

Output is as so:

How to Zip Files in Folder Using C#: Figure 3 - Outputted files from the previous code example

How to Extract from a Password-Protected ZIP File

IronZIP also provides a method to extract password-protected ZIP files. The following code will use the IronZIP method to extract all the existing files and directories from the specified ZIP file.

IronZipArchive.ExtractArchiveToDirectory("myZipFile.zip", "myExtractedFiles", "myPa55word");
IronZipArchive.ExtractArchiveToDirectory("myZipFile.zip", "myExtractedFiles", "myPa55word");
IronZipArchive.ExtractArchiveToDirectory("myZipFile.zip", "myExtractedFiles", "myPa55word")
VB   C#

The ExtractArchiveToDirectory method of the IronZipArchive class extracts all the entries from a ZIP archive to a specified directory. It passes three arguments to the method: the path of the ZIP file (“myZipFile.zip”), the path of the destination directory (“myExtractedFiles”), and the password of the ZIP file (“myPa55word”).

In this way, we can easily extract password-protected zip files.

How to Access an Existing Archive

IronZIP provides methods to access the existing archive and view all the entries present in the file.

using (var archive = new IronZipArchive("myZipFile.zip", "myPa55word"))
{
    // Get Entries list
    List<string> names = archive.GetArchiveEntryNames();
    foreach (string name in names)
    {
        Console.WriteLine(name);
    }
}
using (var archive = new IronZipArchive("myZipFile.zip", "myPa55word"))
{
    // Get Entries list
    List<string> names = archive.GetArchiveEntryNames();
    foreach (string name in names)
    {
        Console.WriteLine(name);
    }
}
Using archive = New IronZipArchive("myZipFile.zip", "myPa55word")
	' Get Entries list
	Dim names As List(Of String) = archive.GetArchiveEntryNames()
	For Each name As String In names
		Console.WriteLine(name)
	Next name
End Using
VB   C#

The provided C# code uses IronZIP to create a secure IronZipArchive instance by loading a ZIP file named "myZipFile.zip" with the password "myPa55word". Don't pass the password parameter if the file is not encrypted. It then retrieves and prints the list of entry names (file and folder names) within the encrypted ZIP archive.

The GetArchiveEntryNames method gathers the entry names, and a for-each loop outputs each name to the console. This demonstrates how IronZIP enables secure access and retrieval of entry information from password-protected zip archives in a concise manner.

Output

How to Zip Files in Folder Using C#: Figure 4 - Output from the previous code example

Conclusion

In conclusion, IronZIP proves to be a robust and versatile C# library for working with ZIP files. Its capabilities extend beyond basic compression and extraction, offering features such as password protection, encryption, and compatibility with various archive formats. Whether you're creating backup systems, managing email attachments, or downloading files from the web, IronZIP streamlines these tasks with simplicity and efficiency.

By integrating IronZIP into your C# applications, you gain a powerful tool for handling ZIP files, enhancing data security, and optimizing file transfer processes. You can benefit from a free trial as per need.

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