Zip Files as Folders in Vista

Last night, I mentioned that I was mostly happy with the Vista upgrade. One thing, however, that is standing out for me as a major annoyance is its insistence on treating ZIP files as folders in Window Explorer.

In the left pane where folders appear, ZIP files are treated as if they were subfolders of the folder in which they appear. I can see why some people might prefer this behavior -- you can, after all, just click on the ZIP file as if it were a folder and the right pane will display the files within the ZIP archive.

The problem for me is that I have some folders that contain a hundred or more ZIP files. When I navigate to those folders in Explorer, the folders pane on the left suddenly becomes very long and unwieldy. When there are just a few ZIP files in a folder (as in the screenshot above), then it's not a problem... but when the entire folder pane gets taken over by ZIP files, it sucks. Navigation becomes very inefficient.

Under XP, this could be taken care of by unregistering a DLL at the command line:

regsvr32 /u zipfldr.dll

Under Vista, you'll get barked at if you try this:

The module "zipfldr.dll" was loaded but the entry-point DllUnregisterServer was not found. Make sure that "zipfldr.dll" is a valid DLL or OCX file and then try again.

I've Googled around quite a bit and perused the Vista-related newsgroups, but have yet to come across an answer... though there appears to be no shortage of people asking the same question. I've got both WinRAR and WinZIP 11 on the machine (yes, both are licensed and paid for) and associating either of those with ZIP files doesn't make the view-as-folders thing go away. It just changes which app opens them when you double-click a ZIP and which icon is used to identify them (WinZIP in the above screenshot.

Note: It does seem that there are lots of people who have broken Vista's built-in handling of ZIP files and need to get those files re-associated with the Vista handler. This appears to be resolved by opening a command window as an administrator and running this command:

assoc .zip=CompressedFolder

Any advice on getting this resolved?