Sometimes you read the tip on the web to unpack a zip file 7- Zip Code to use. The program does a good job of clicking archive content, but it’s bulky for this alone: because Windows is also proficient in this process, also known as unpacking, extracting or decompressing. Windows XP did this, its successors can do it, and Windows 11 can do it too. Like its predecessors, the latter operating system is quite picky when it comes to archive formats: it primarily packages and decompresses ZIP files. For example, if you want to decompress a RAR file downloaded from the web, you need a tool like 7-Zip. It is free and open source, unlike its main (shareware) competitors WinRAR and WinZip. Unlike Windows, 7-Zip also opens RAR contents, which is useful if you don’t want to decompress. There are also more useful settings for aspiring users. This includes a compression level that can be specified when filling and password protection. The benchmark that runs entirely in RAM explores the performance of the CPU.
History can also be visualized for archiving files on hard drives and SSDs: if your drive is short on space, delay purchasing a new replacement model or one to be installed as an add-on. Compression allows more data to fit on your computer than usual. However, if you want to take full advantage of that, it is more appropriate to compress the entire drive via its properties under Windows 7/8.1/10/11; This requires NTFS format, and it does not work with FAT32 partitions. Windows 10 and Windows 11 are reserved for CompactOS technology, which was already available under Windows 10 1507 (the first version of Windows 10 released in 2015) and compresses binary system files on the drive.
Files in ZIP archives can be accessed without any problems: you can double-click on an archive and it opens in the program associated with the format. On Windows, this is Explorer unless you have installed an alternative (un)packer such as 7-Zip; Which is likely intended for ZIP & Co. Archived files can often be opened without unpacking them first; Common unpacking methods are drag and drop and archive file context menu. You can even run programs that have been compressed and not yet restored in their pure form. Sometimes this does not work, and an error message appears. You can also often open data other than executable programs, that is, regular files, without unpacking them first. However, this direct access to compressed files is somewhat slower than normal disk access, because the CPU must first decompress the shrunken data. We are talking about transparency here because it is invisible. In the IT genre, the term means the opposite of the so-called transparency; More information can be found in a separate article. The same applies to CompactOS. The throttle is usually unnoticeable here, too.
Windows basically packages and decompresses ZIP files – that’s pretty self-explanatory because it’s done via the graphical interface. To compress files, select a command under “Send to” in their context menu. Microsoft renamed it from Windows XP/Vista to Windows 7: with the older OS it was a “ZIP Compressed Folder”, with newer systems up to Windows 11 including there is talk of a “ZIP Compressed Folder”. Under Windows 11, you can alternatively press via the context menu without the (!) Send menu. If the ZIP file already exists and you want to add a new file to the archive, drag it onto the ZIP file icon – or open the ZIP file in Explorer and move the new entry into it using drag and drop. It is also possible to create empty ZIP files, semi-folders: right-click an empty space on the desktop or in Explorer, then select New > ZIP Folder. Copy the desired content to the archive as shown.
In addition to ZIP files, Windows creates EXE files, which are made with an English (!) Language Wizard (although in German-speaking Windows). Can be summoned via Win-R and iexpress. It is also possible to decompress other self-extracting EXE files; These files are sometimes encrypted and are often larger than other archives because they bring the same decryption technology. Third-party programs with an emphasis on coding, for example, create self-extracting EXE objects. In addition to ZIP, Windows also decompiles MSI packages using its own technologies: however, you can only extract such files via the command line (that is, non-graphical, and not very intuitive).
7-Zip (un) packer Best Tips: Compress Files Perfectly
On the one hand, the development in Windows is declining: the XP version made it possible to provide password-zipped archives in Windows Explorer. Files can be transferred to computer systems running newer Windows operating system; They access the data – provided the password is entered. ZIP file encryption hasn’t been possible since Windows Vista. 7-Zip does just that – bringing a level of sophistication that XP veterans appreciate into the modern era. Additionally, 7-Zip offers its own kind of explorer with an address bar, which you can use to navigate through the file system – and thus (decompress) it more easily. If you’re about to archive a file, you can choose from a wide range of formats in a drop-down list: 7z, bzip2, gzip (the latter two are common on Linux), tar, wim, xz, and zip. Additional drop-down entries allow you to select “pressure strength”, “pressure method” and much more. The available options depend on the archive format you choose. Encoding is also related to formatting.
The majority of PC compression programs are equally effective at shrinking files: as the “Zipper: File Compressor Quick Check” test showed, archive file sizes are identical in a number of programs. In the test dataset used in 2017, WinRAR’s RAR format was populated more efficiently than other subjects using their ZIP method. 7-Zip beat almost all competitions in its 7z format (active out of the box). Easy 7-Zip was the same: this is based on the name itself and is supposed to be simpler. There are no real advantages, however, but 7-Zip fans might take a look.
Use 7-Zip File Manager
If you have 64-bit Windows installed, it is best to use 64-bit 7-Zip, which is newer than the 32-bit version of the tool. The latter also works with 64-bit Windows – only suitable for 32-bit Windows. However, it usually makes no sense to use 32-bit applications with 64-bit Windows. You can get 7-Zip in our download area as an EXE installer. Manufacturer offers on project page It also offers an MSI installation file; MSI format is common in corporate environment.
Do you want to decompress a zip file on your desktop? Go there in 7-Zip File Manager: inside it, double-click “My Computer” (old Windows XP slang), “C>Users” and the folder that corresponds to your username. Double-click the Desktop and the ZIP file. Your content will appear in 7-Zip. If you want to access one of the built-in items, double-click on it. Alternatively, unzip whatever you want by holding down the mouse button and dragging it to the desktop or in the Explorer folder.
It is also possible to compress files via 7-Zip File Manager: in the zip program, go to the folder where the contents are. Select the files by clicking on them while holding down the Ctrl key. Then select the “Add” button at the top. The “Add to Archive” window opens, where you can select the compression methods. Confirm with one click OK. If the subsequent opening of the new 7z file with a double-click does not work, set 7-Zip to the format: right-click on the archive file in the Windows interface and select Windows 10/11 in the context menu “Open with > More applications > Find another application on This PC, go to the “Program Files” folder with 7-Zip, select the “7zFM.exe” file (7-File Manager by Igor Pavlov) and go to “Open”.
Extract files via context menu
For example, you might have a ZIP file on your Windows desktop that contains the images you want to extract. This is also called unpacking: the term refers to both the archive and its files. In this regard, it is correct to talk about “unpacking the archive”, and “unpacking files into the archive” is also correct. You can do this by right-clicking on the desktop archive and selecting “7-Zip > Extract here” from the context menu. The desktop is used as a storage target. There is no query. An exception applies if a password is set, which must then be entered. The 7-Zip window usually closes quickly.
If the ZIP archive is in a different location, for example in a subfolder of the Desktop, that will serve as the target for decompression. If you want to extract files to a specific location, you can do this via the context menu item “7-Zip > Extract files”; In the window that opens, enter the desired folder and confirm with “OK”.
Some archive formats contain multiple files, some just one. If you highlight multiple files in Explorer, right-click and select “7-Zip > Add to Archive”, 7z, tar, wim and zip will be available. With only one item displayed on 7-Zip, the selection is even greater. Then the Archive Format dropdown lists the following options: 7z, bzip2, gzip, tar, wim, xz, zip.