Unzip 7z Files on Windows 10

What is a 7z file?

Similar to a Zip file, 7z files are simply compressed archive files. However, the 7z extension is created by numerous compression utilities — the most notable being the Open Source 7-Zip archiver by Igor Pavlov. These files may include numerous files or directories compressed together, thus saving a lot of storage space for easy transportation.

Although the 7z format was first used in 1999, it went public in December 2008. It uses the LZMA method, which means it features a high compression rate and is well maintained. Theoretically, it can support up to 16 billion GB.

It is a file format that makes it easier to receive and send large folders and files over the web or email. Compressing several files into a single folder significantly reduces the download times. It also makes large files easily manageable and offers encryption functionality.

Are 7z files dangerous?

Unlike the common compressed archive files such as ZIP and RAR, 7z files are a lot more secure. For starters, email providers cannot easily open this file format. Equally, it is straightforward to use, thanks to its user-friendly interface.

According to the experts, 7z files are an ideal compression format in today's market. You get a much more reliable file format that guarantees a lower file format size. However, most people are wary about 7z files only because it is less popular and lesser-known.

In reality, 7Zip is quickly becoming popular in the modern world. Hundreds of thousands of individuals are using this file format due to its high security and integrity. Several forum sites such as Redditors back up 7z files as both reliable and secure.

How to open a 7z file

When using Windows, it is best to use the 7-Zip tool to open a 7z file. It is a free, open-source tool that makes it easier to view these files. All you need to do is follow the simple steps below.

First, download and install the 7-Zip tool on your computer. Next, move to the file you need to open and right-click on it. Doing this gives you a submenu where you can select the 7-zip option and navigate to the 'Open Archive' option.

You will get a display screen showcasing the archive contents. Therefore, making it easier to extract the content you need to a different hard drive location. Click on the 'Extract' option at the top and select a suitable location. Equally, you can drag the files you need and drop them into the File Explorer window if you are dealing with a few items.

What does it mean to extract files?

Extracting a file entails decompressing a compressed file (such as a 7z file) before moving it to an alternate location. However, you can only start the extraction process once you establish the type of compressed file. An easy way to determine this is by checking the file extension — it can either be .ZIP, .RAR, .7Z, .TGZ, or .GZ.

You can then use the appropriate program to extract your file. For instance, most users generally use WinRAR for RAR files and WinZip for ZIP files. However, the 7-Zip program can open most of the common compressed file types. You can use this program for files such as .GZ, .TAR, .ZIP, .XZ, and .WIM.

Did you also know that you can decompress and compress files online? It is a convenient option when you cannot or don't want to install a program on your computer. However, pay attention to the destination folder. Doing this ensures you don't extract hundreds of files on your desktop.