How to unzip (open) ZIP, RAR, 7z, TAR, and GZ files (5 ways)

This tutorial will show you step by step how to unzip (open) RAR, ZIP, TAR, GZ, 7Z, and other compressed files in few different ways – using free software and online services (websites).

What are compressed files?

Compressed files are files that contain one or more files or folders and have a smaller size than the original file size.

Compressed files make downloading and transferring data faster, sending by email easier and they also save storage space on a computer hard drive, USB flash drive or external hard drive.

A few common compressed file extensions are .rar, .zip, .tar, .gz, and .7z.

Other extensions are b1, jar, xpi, arj, bz2, bzip2, tbz2, tbz, txz, cab, chm, chi, chq, chw, hxs, hxi, hxr, hxq, hxw, lit, cpio, deb, gzip, tgz, tpz, hfs, iso, lzh, lha, lzma, rpm, xar, z, taz, xz, dmg, cb7, cbr, cbt and cbz.

File archivers

File archivers are programs used to compress and uncompress files.

A few popular file archivers are WinRar, WinZip, and 7-Zip.

Microsoft Windows has a feature for compressing and uncompressing files, but this one doesn't have any extra options and can only zip and unzip ZIP and RAR files.

Linux Mint and Ubuntu also have a function to compress and decompress files and support all kinds of different types of files.

You can also unzip compressed files using online services (websites), such as B1 Online Archiver and Unzip-Online.

How to unzip (open) a zip or rar file in Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10

1. Right-click on the ZIP or RAR file.

2. Click on Extract All.

unzip compressed files in windows

A “Extract Compressed (Zipped) Folders” window will appear.

3. Click on the Extract button.

Windows will now unzip (open) your compressed file.

How to unzip (open) a zip, rar, 7z, tar, gZ or another file using 7-Zip

7-Zip is a free program that allows you to compress (zip) files and unzip (extract) compressed files.

7-Zip supports the following formats: RAR, ZIP, 7Z, TAR, GZ, XZ, BZIP2, GZIP, ARJ, CAB, CHM, CPIO, CramFS, DEB, DMG, FAT, HFS, ISO, LZH, LZMA, MBR, MSI, NSIS, NTFS, RPM, SquashFS, UDF, VHD, WIM, XAR, Z.

You can download 7-Zip here.

1. Right-click on the compressed file.

2. Go to 7-Zip.

3. Click on Extract Here.

unzip compressed files using 7-zip

7-Zip will now unzip (open) your compressed file.

How to unzip (open) a zip, rar, 7z, tar, gz or another file using WinRAR

WinRAR is a powerful archive manager. It can backup your data and reduce the size of email attachments, decompress RAR, ZIP and other files downloaded from the Internet and create new archives in RAR and ZIP file format.

It supports the following formats: RAR, ZIP, 7Z, TAR, GZ, CAB, ARJ, LZH, XZ, TAR.GZ, BZ2, TAR.BZ2, ACE, UUE, JAR (Java Archive), ISO (ISO9660 - CD image), Z (Unix compress).

WinRAR isn't free, but the company offers a 40-day free trial before you're supposed to purchase a license to keep using it. But, as anyone who used it regularly knows, when those 40 days are up, nothing happens. You'll only get a frequent pop-up reminder about buying a license, but you can continue using WinRAR for free forever.

You can download WinRAR here.

1. Right-click on the compressed file.

2. Click on Extract Here.

unzip compressed files using winrar

WinRAR will now decompress (unzip) your compressed file.

How to unzip (open) a zip, rar, 7z, tar, gz or another file using B1 Archiver (online)

B1 has a free online service that allows you to unzip (extract) compressed files.

This way you don't have to install any additional software on your computer.

B1 supports the following formats: b1, zip, rar, rar5, 7z, jar, xpi, arj, bz2, bzip2, tbz2, tbz, txz, cab, chm, chi, chq, chw, hxs, hxi, hxr, hxq, hxw, lit, cpio, deb, gz, gzip, tgz, tpz, hfs, iso, lzh, lha, lzma, rpm, tar, xar, z, taz, xz, dmg, cb7, cbr, cbt, cbz.

1. Go to http://online.b1.org/online.

2. Click on Select archive.

3. Go to the location on your computer where the compressed file is stored you want to unzip.

4. Select the file and click on Open.

B1 will automatically extract (unzip) your compressed file. This may take a while. The amount of time it will take depends on the file size of your file and your internet connection.

5. Click on your file.

6. Select a location on your computer where you want to save your file and click on Save.

How to unzip (open) a zip or rar file using Unzip-Online (online)

Unzip-Online is a free online service that allows you to unzip (extract) compressed files.

This way you don't have to install any additional software on your computer.

Unzip-Online only supports ZIP and RAR files.

1. Visit https://unzip-online.com.

2. Click on the Uncompress files button.

3. Click on the Choose File button.

4. Go to the location on your computer where the compressed file is stored you want to unzip.

5. Select the file and click on Open.

6. Click on the uncompress file button.

Unzip-Online will now decompress (extract) your compressed file. This may take a while. The amount of time it will take depends on the file size of your file and your internet connection.

7. Click on your file.

8. Select a location on your computer where you want to save your file and click on Save.


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