The effects of pre-treatments on the precipitate microstructures of an Al–Zn–Mg–Cu alloy are investigated. Meanwhile, the creep-rupture behavior of the under-aged and peak-aged alloys are comparatively analyzed. Additionally, the effects of pre-treatment on the fracture mechanisms are discussed. It is found that the precipitate microstructures are sensitive to pre-treatments. The intragranular precipitates of the peak-aged alloy are larger than those of the under-aged. The precipitate free zone of the peak-aged alloy is wider than that of the under-aged. Some large intergranular precipitates appear on the grain boundaries of the under-aged alloy, and induce the nucleation of microvoids. Eventually, the creep fracture of the under-aged alloy is accelerated. Therefore, the differences in microstructures lead to the shorter creep-rupture life of the under-aged alloy, compared to the peak-aged alloy.