A Free Alternative to Winzip or WinRar: 7-Zip

7ziplogoLooking for a free alternative to WinZip, PKZip, WinRar or any of the other various compression / decompression utilities?

Look no further than the Free, Open-Source 7-Zip.

You can use 7-Zip on any computer, including a computer in a commercial organization. You don’t need to register or pay for 7-Zip. 7-Zip works in Windows 98/ME/NT/2000/XP/Vista

  • Supported formats:
    • Packing / unpacking: 7z, ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2 and TAR
    • Unpacking only: ARJ, CAB, CHM, CPIO, DEB, DMG, HFS, ISO, LZH, LZMA, MSI, NSIS, RAR, RPM, UDF, WIM, XAR and Z.
  • For ZIP and GZIP formats, 7-Zip provides a compression ratio that is 2-10 % better than the ratio provided by PKZip and WinZip

To use 7-Zip simply download it from the website and install it as you would any other application. There are no hidden settings or spyware.

Once it is installed simply right click on any folder or file you want to compress or decompress and select the appropriate option from the menu:


I don’t have 7-Zip set as my default compression / decompression application because I am quick with the click of the right mouse button. If you are someone who feels the need to make things a little more automated simply:

  1. Open 7-Zip
  2. Choose Tools –> Options
  3. Select the System tab and then Select All
  4. Followed by OK


Now 7-Zip is your default zipping / unzipping application and all compressed files will have a letter in the upper right corner denoting the type of compressed file they are. In this example one is a Zip file and the other is a Cab file:


There is also a full program interface you can use if you open 7-Zip from your programs menu. For me though, it’s right click – 7-Zip!

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11 Responses to A Free Alternative to Winzip or WinRar: 7-Zip

  1. BoredGuy says:

    Its just a shame 7zips GUI isnt a little more polished.
    jZip, peazip and Bitser all use 7z backends so they can be good replacements.

  2. TechMata says:

    Single File Compression, Multiple Files, File size difference and compression time between WinRar, Winzip and 7-Zip. This might help. ^_^


  3. John says:

    For a better gui, you could use the Tango 7zip Patcher… http://tangoproject.wordpress.com/2008/02/14/tang… Cheers.

  4. ED eddie says:


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  6. Bianca says:

    awesome post and like your weblog really considerably and each of that you are seeking really cute !

  7. Is there a way to have 7-zip show up on the Send To menu within Excel? In explorer view while in Excel if I right click on a file or files, and then click on Send To, I only see the option Sent To Compressed File. Is there a way to see 7-zip as an option there too?

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  9. winrar free says:

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  10. Tonya Rose says:

    Very nice collection. I am personally a big WinZip user ever since I learned from this guide: http://www.winzip.com/learn/file-compression.html how simpler it is to compress with it. But before I bought it, I used a lot of these free alternative software, and they worked pretty well. They aren’t as quick and efficient in compression as WinZip is, but for a free software, they work pretty good.

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