How To Extract Any Compressed File

Nowadays people are compressing their files into popular formats such as GZIP, TAR, ZIP and WIM to make the files smaller to send over the internet. But how do you uncompress and view them? Here I will tell you how to extract and view virtually any compressed file using free software.

Using 7-Zip

7-Zip is free open source software. It is highly useful and can read most compressed archive file formats.

Step 1: Download and Install 7-Zip

Go to this website and download the appropiate version of 7-Zip for your computer. (Scrolling down you will see some “unofficial” versions of 7-Zip for other operating systems.) Run and Install the program 7-Zip.

Step 2: Extract The Files

Now you should open up 7-Zip, if it isn’t already open. There are two ways how to extract your file:

Number 1: Browse over to the file in your regular file browser (Should be Windows Explorer). Find the archive file, right click, and mouse over “7-Zip” in the menu. You should see several options now. Click “Extract Files” and extract the compressed files to their original, uncompressed  format.

Number 2: Sometimes you won’t see the “7-Zip” option in the menu. In this case, browse in 7-Zip’s file manager to your selected file. Highlight the archive, and click the blue button labeled “Extract” on the Top. Extract the files to their original, uncompressed format.

Using WinRAR

WinRAR, unlike 7-Zip, is not free and open source. However, it is still a popular file archiver and can read most archived file formats.

Step 1: Download and Install WinRAR

Go here to download WinRAR. Please note that if you want the full version you will have to buy it from their shop. Run and Install WinRAR to your computer.

Step 2: Extract The Files

Now you will need to open up WinRAR. Use the file manager to browse and select your archived file. Select the file and click “Extract To” button on the top. Select your destination, and click OK. There you go! The files should be extracted. Now you should find a new directory where you set the destination to be with your extracted files in it!