A Free Alternative to Winzip or WinRar: 7-Zip
Looking 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.
- 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:
- Open 7-Zip
- Choose Tools –> Options
- Select the System tab and then Select All
- 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!