7-Zip for PC: The Best Way to Handle RAR, ZIP, ISO, and More
Have you ever encountered a situation where you need to send or store a large number of files, but they take up too much space or time? Or have you ever downloaded a file from the internet, but you don't know how to open it? If so, you might need a file archiver.
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A file archiver is a software that can create or extract compressed files, also known as archive files. Archive files are files that contain one or more files or folders that are reduced in size, usually by using a compression algorithm. Archive files can save disk space, bandwidth, and time when transferring or storing files.
There are many file archivers available for different platforms and purposes, but one of the most popular and powerful ones is 7-Zip.
What is 7-Zip?
7-Zip is a free and open-source file archiver that was first released in 1999 by Igor Pavlov. It is mainly developed for Windows, but it also has ports for Linux, macOS, and other operating systems. It supports a wide range of archive formats, both for packing and unpacking.
The most distinctive feature of 7-Zip is its own archive format called 7z, which has a high compression ratio and supports various compression methods, such as LZMA, LZMA2, BZIP2, PPMd, and more. It also supports strong AES-256 encryption in 7z and ZIP formats.
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Features and benefits of 7-Zip
Some of the features and benefits of using 7-Zip are:
It is free and open-source software, which means you can use it without any cost or license restrictions.
It has a simple and intuitive user interface that integrates with Windows Shell, allowing you to easily access its functions from the right-click menu or the file explorer.
It has a powerful command-line version that can be used for scripting or automation purposes.
It can create self-extracting archive files that can be opened without installing any software.
It can handle various archive formats, such as ZIP, RAR, TAR, GZIP, ISO, DMG, CAB, ARJ, CHM, MSI, NSIS, RPM, UDF, WIM, XZ, Z, and more.
It can compress files to ZIP format better than most other ZIP-compatible programs.
It can split large archive files into smaller volumes for easier distribution or storage.
It can test the integrity of archive files and repair corrupted ones.
It can encrypt archive files with passwords or key files to protect your data from unauthorized access.
It can create multi-language archive files with Unicode support.
How to install 7-Zip on PC
If you want to use 7-Zip on your PC, you need to download and install it first. Here are the steps to install 7-Zip on your PC:
Downloading 7-Zip from the official website
The first step is to download the latest version of 7-Zip from its official website: . On the homepage, you will see a table with different download links for different versions of Windows. Choose the one that matches your system architecture (32-bit or 64-bit) and click on it. This will start downloading the installer file to your computer.
Running the installer and choosing the settings
The second step is to run the installer file that you have downloaded. You can do this by double-clicking on it or right-clicking on it and choosing "Run as administrator". This will open a window with the 7-Zip setup wizard. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the installation process.
Some of the settings that you can choose during the installation are:
The destination folder where you want to install 7-Zip. The default location is C:\Program Files\7-Zip, but you can change it if you want.
The file associations that you want to enable for 7-Zip. This means that you can choose which archive formats you want to open with 7-Zip by default. You can also change this later from the 7-Zip options menu.
The integration options that you want to enable for 7-Zip. This means that you can choose whether you want to add 7-Zip to the Windows context menu, the Windows Explorer toolbar, or the Windows Start menu. You can also change this later from the 7-Zip options menu.
After choosing your settings, click on "Install" to start installing 7-Zip on your PC. The installation should take only a few seconds. When it is done, click on "Finish" to close the setup wizard.
How to use 7-Zip on PC
Now that you have installed 7-Zip on your PC, you can start using it to create or extract archive files. There are two main ways to use 7-Zip: using the right-click menu and using the file manager.
Creating an archive file with 7-Zip
To create an archive file with 7-Zip, follow these steps:
Select the files or folders that you want to compress. You can select multiple items by holding down the Ctrl key while clicking on them.
Right-click on one of the selected items and choose "7-Zip" from the context menu. This will open a sub-menu with various options for creating an archive file.
Choose the option that suits your needs. For example, if you want to create a ZIP file, choose "Add to archive.zip". If you want to create a 7z file, choose "Add to archive.7z". If you want to create a self-extracting archive file, choose "Add to archive.exe".
This will open a window with the 7-Zip add to archive dialog box. Here you can customize various settings for your archive file, such as the name, the format, the compression level, the encryption method, the password, and more.
After choosing your settings, click on "OK" to start creating your archive file. The progress will be shown in a new window. When it is done, click on "Close" to exit.
Extracting an archive file with 7-Zip
To extract an archive file with 7-Zip, follow these steps:
Locate the archive file that you want to decompress. It can be any format that is supported by 7-Zip, such as ZIP, RAR, 7z, TAR, GZIP, and more.
Right-click on the archive file and choose "7-Zip" from the context menu. This will open a sub-menu with various options for extracting an archive file.
Choose the option that suits your needs. For example, if you want to extract all files and folders from the archive file to a new folder with the same name as the archive file, choose "Extract Here". If you want to extract all files and folders from the archive file to a specific folder of your choice, choose "Extract files...". If you want to extract only some files or folders from the archive file, choose "Open Archive".
If you choose "Extract files..." or "Open Archive", this will open a window with either the 7-Zip extract dialog box or the 7-Zip file manager, respectively. Here you can customize various settings for your extraction, such as the destination folder, the overwrite mode, the password, and more.
After choosing your settings, click on "OK" or "Extract" to start extracting your archive file. The progress will be shown in a new window. When it is done, click on "Close" to exit.
Using the right-click menu and the file manager
As you can see, using the right-click menu is a quick and easy way to create or extract archive files with 7-Zip. However, if you want to have more control and flexibility over your archive files, you can also use the 7-Zip file manager.
The 7-Zip file manager is a graphical user interface that allows you to browse, view, and manage your archive files and folders. You can access it by clicking on the 7-Zip icon on your desktop or start menu, or by right-clicking on any file or folder and choosing "7-Zip" > "Open Archive".
The 7-Zip file manager has two panels: the left panel shows the tree view of your folders and drives, and the right panel shows the contents of the selected folder or archive file. You can use the toolbar buttons or the menu commands to perform various operations on your archive files, such as adding, extracting, testing, deleting, renaming, copying, moving, a