7-Zip File Extractor Review

Extract & Compress 7Z, ZIP, TAR & Lots More With 7-Zip

Screenshot of 7-Zip
7-Zip. © Igor Pavlov

7-Zip is a popular free file extractor program. It works with Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP, as well as Linux via command line.

7-Zip is easy to use, works with Windows Shell, supports encryption, and is completely free for both personal and commercial use.

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Pros

  • Integrates with the Windows Explorer context menu
  • Supports encryption when creating new archives
  • Can be used in a commercial environment
  • Self-extracting executable archives can be built
  • Can calculate checksums from the context menu
  • Setup doesn't try to install extra software

Cons

  • No portable option is available from the developer

Extract From:

001 (002, etc.), 7Z, ARJ, BZ2, BZIP2, CAB, CHM, CHW, CPIO, CRAMFS, DEB, DMG, DOC, EXE, FAT, GZ, GZIP, HFS, HXS, ISO, LHA, LZH, LZMA, MBR, MSI, NTFS, PPT, QCOW2, RAR, RPM, SQUASHFS, SWM, TAR, TAZ, TBZ, TBZ2, TGZ, VDI, VDMK, VHD, WIM, XAR, XLS, XZ, Z01 (Z02, etc.), Z, ZIP, and ZIPX

Compress To:

7Z, BZIP2, GZIP, TAR, WIM, XZ, and ZIP

Security Options

7-Zip can password-protect 7Z and ZIP archive formats with 256-bit AES encryption.

My Thoughts on 7-Zip

I've tried several decompression software and 7-Zip is certainly one of the better picks. I think it's one of the easiest programs to use for both unzipping and creating archives, even if it doesn't support the vast unpacking formats as PeaZip.

Because 7-Zip is installed closely with Windows Shell, right-clicking to extract an archive is very simple.

For me, this is the deciding factor when I choose a good file unzipper. Although similar programs support this, I think 7-Zip is more concise and simple.

There's a built-in file browser with 7-Zip that you can use to locate and extract archives or add existing files/folders to a new archive. This is basically like Windows Explorer, so I prefer to not use it and just utilize the Windows Shell integration to create and extract archive files, but it's really up to preference.

This means I hardly every actually open the 7-Zip File Manager program, but instead just use the context menu in Windows Explorer, which certainly speeds things up when packing/unpacking archives.

There isn't a portable setup on the official 7-Zip website, which is unfortunate, but you can grab one at PortableApps.com. It seems to update regularly and work just fine.