Compress files to Zip with Powershell

I have seen a lot of people writing Powershell scripts to compress files or folders by using external file compression programs. Often Winrar, 7-Zip or something similar is used since Powershell does not have any built in cmdlet to do this (not until version 5 at least).

There is however a pretty simple way of doing this with only Powershell. This is how.
# First we add the .Net framework class needed for file compression.
Add-Type -As System.IO.Compression.FileSystem

# Then we need a variable of the type System.IO.Compression.CompressionLevel. 
# The options for compression level are "Fastest", "Optimal" and "NoCompression".
[System.IO.Compression.CompressionLevel]$compression = "Optimal"

# Which file do you want to compress?
$file = 'C:\temp\file.txt'

# Set the path to where you want the zip file to be created.
$zippath = 'C:\temp\'

# Open the zip file and set the mode. Options for mode are "Create", "Read" and "Update".
$ziparchive = [System.IO.Compression.ZipFile]::Open( $zippath, "Update" )

# The compression function likes relative file paths, so lets do that.
$relativefilepath = (Resolve-Path $file -Relative).TrimStart(".\")

# This is where the magic happens. 
# Compress the file with the variables you just created as parameters.
$null = [System.IO.Compression.ZipFileExtensions]::CreateEntryFromFile($ziparchive, $file, $relativefilepath, $compression)

# Release the zip file. 
# Otherwise the file will still be in read only if you are using Powershell ISE.
Read more about these features at MSDN.


  1. Thanks John, This code works like charm, only issue is when I zip the file its zipping the complete folder structure. I just want to create the zip file which contains only file.txt

    With above code zip file containts file with in temp folder.

  2. for creating zip which contains only file.txt change variable:
    $RelativeFilePath = Split-Path -Path $File -Leaf -Resolve
    Tested on PS version 4