Project archiving

Working with project archives

Archiving and transferring projects

If you are working on a project for a long period of time, large files may appear, especially with extensive hardware configurations. Therefore, you may want to reduce the size of the project, for example when archiving it on an external hard drive or when sending it by e-mail, and require a smaller file size.

You can create a project archive to reduce the size of your project. TIA Portal project archives are compressed or uncompressed files, each of which contains the entire project, including the entire project folder structure. Before the project folder is compressed into an archive file, all files are reduced to the necessary components to further reduce the project size.

Project archives have a file extension ".zap[TIA Portal version number]". Projects created in TIA Portal V16 have the file extension ".zap16".

To open the project archive, download the project archive. By downloading it, the archive file with the included project files will be extracted into the original project directory structure.

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Creation of a project archive

The projects of the current product version can be archived as compressed or uncompressed files. To do this, the projects to be archived do not have to be open in TIA Portal.

Project storage space can be reduced by archiving projects in compressed files.


The last saved state of an open project is used for archiving. Therefore, the project must be saved before using the archiving function. This will ensure that the latest changes are reflected in the archived project.


To archive the project, follow these steps:

  1. From the "Project" menu, select the "Archive..." command.

    The "Archive" dialog box opens.

  2. In the "Source path" field, select the project file with the extension ".ap16".
  3. To create a compressed archive file, select "Archive as compressed file".
  4. If you do not want to archive the search index and the HMI compilation result, select "Discard restorable data".

    If necessary, you can restore discarded data.

  5. To automatically add the date and time, select "Add date and time to target name".
  6. In the "Destination path" field, select the directory where you want to save the archive file or the new project directory.

    You can set the default directory under "Options > General > Archive settings > Project archive storage location".

  7. Click "Archive".


A project archive is created. Compressed projects contain the file extension ".zap16". The archive file contains the full project directory. The individual files of compressed archives are further reduced to the necessary components to save space.

For uncompressed projects, only a copy of the original project catalogue is created in the desired storage location.

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Downloading a compressed draft

You extract the TIA Portal project archives using the "Open" function. This will restore the directory structure of the project, including all project files.


No project is open.


To extract the project archive, follow these steps:

  1. From the "Project" menu, select "Open".

    The "Open project" dialog box opens.

  2. Click "Browse".
  3. Select the project archive.
  4. Click "Open".
  5. Select the destination directory to which the archived project is to be extracted.
  6. Click on "Select folder".


The project will be extracted to the selected directory and opened immediately. If you extract a project archive containing a project from product version V13 SP1, you may need to update the project. You will automatically be prompted accordingly as soon as you open the project.

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Author of entries
Tomasz Gilewski

Hello, my name is Tomasz Gilewski. I am the author of books on the S7-1200 controller and HMI panels (i.e. Siemens hardware). I have been programming exclusively on Siemens hardware and engineering tools for several years.

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