If you are a Windows user, you probably need to install a tool to create and extract archive files. Windows features only support ZIP files, but third-party tools add support for other common archive types like RAR and 7z. They also offer built-in encryption capabilities, allowing you to securely protect the archives you create with a passphrase.
7-Zip: The best for most people
WinZip and WinRAR can be familiar names, but we do not recommend using them. These tools are commercial software applications that harass you to spend money rather than just doing their job and getting out of the way. WinZip costs a minimum of $ 30, while WinRAR costs $ 29. We recommend that you use the open-source tool 7-Zip .
7-Zip is not the most brilliant and the most modern application. There is no great marketing department behind, so you will not see any ads for 7-Zip online. Instead, it's just a fully open, open-source application that does its job without complaining. It works on all modern versions of Windows, from Windows XP to Windows 10.
7-Zip supports different types of archives. 7-Zip can create and extract 7z, XZ, BZIP2, GZIP, TAR, ZIP and WIM files. It can also extract (but not create) AR, ARJ, CAB, CHM, CAMFS, DMG, EXT, FAT, GPT, HFS, IHEX, ISO, LZH, LZMA, MBR, MSI, NSIS, RPM, SquashFS , UEFI, VDI, VHD, VMDK, WIM, XAR and Z. This is probably more formats than you will need.
The program 7z of this program offers the highest compression in our benchmarks but gives you the freedom to choose the 7z format for maximum compression or the creation of ZIP archives for compatibility Max. And, when you encounter an online archive file, 7-Zip can probably open it.
7-Zip includes its own file manager, which you can use to navigate your filesystem and extract files. However, it also integrates with File Explorer or Windows Explorer, allowing you to right-click on the files and use the 7-Zip menu to extract or compress them in various ways.
When compressing to a ZIP or 7z file, 7-Zip allows you to set a password that encrypts the encrypted AES-256 file n. This allows you to quickly and securely encrypt your files. For example, you may want to encrypt your tax returns or other financial documents before storing them somewhere.
Some people think that the 7-Zip icons look old, outdated, and just plain ugly. If you do not look at the default 7-Zip look, you can replace the icons and make 7-Zip more beautiful with the .
PeaZip: The best if you want something more beautiful or more powerful
Some people can not find the 7-Zip interface, even after using the 7-Zip theme manager to embellish it. If you find that 7-Zip seems too dated and you plan to touch your wallet to pay for a WinRAR or WinZip license, do not do it. Instead, give PeaZip a try. Like 7-Zip, it's completely free and open-source.
PeaZip has a more modern interface outside the door. It also includes many advanced features that most people will not need, but some people will appreciate. For example, PeaZip allows you to create a scheduled task that automatically compresses files of your choice into an archive according to a schedule, which can be useful for backups. It has a plug-in system that allows you to install plugins like UNACE, which allows you to open the ACE archives of WinAce. PeaZip also offers support for archival formats like ZIPX and ARC, newer archive formats that you probably will not encounter in nature, but that are not supported by 7-Zip
PeaZip is a great tool, but we still recommend 7-Zip in the package. If you need the more powerful features of PeaZip or if you prefer the appearance of its interface, we encourage you to try this tool.
Integrated ZIP support: the best if you can not install the software
Not everyone can install software, or even download portable applications like 7-Zip Portable . If you need to create and extract archive files with only the software installed on Windows on a locked system, you can do so.
There are, however, major limitations. First of all, you can only work with ZIP files. Windows can create ZIP archives and extract ZIP archives, but that's all, no other formats. You can not either encrypt your ZIP archives with a passphrase or do something else.
This feature is easy to use if you need it. To view the contents of a .zip file, double-click it. Windows opens it as if it were a folder. You can copy and paste files or drag them to or from the ZIP file to extract files from the ZIP file or to add new files to the ZIP file. You can also delete or rename files here and they will be deleted from the ZIP file or renamed inside.
To quickly extract a ZIP file, right click it and select the "Extract All" option. Windows opens a box that lets you choose where the files will be extracted.
To create a ZIP file, select one or more files or folders in your file manager, right-click and select Send to Compressed (Compressed) Folder. Windows creates a new ZIP file containing the files you have selected and you can rename it as you want.
This built – in function is not the most powerful or practical tool, but it will serve you well – assuming you simply need support for ZIP files and without whimsical features