Free File Archivers and File Compression Utilities

Free tools to compress, decompress (uncompress) and archive files

Free File Archivers and File Compression Utilities - Compress / Decompress (Uncompress) / Archive Files

This page lists free tools that will allow you to compress, decompress (uncompress), and archive (ie, bundle multiple files together into one container) files. Most of the utilities listed here handle the ubiquitous zip file format, and many (if not all of the software listed) can decompress files using a variety of file compression formats.

Note that this page does not list commercial archivers like the well known WinZip (other than to mention it here).

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Free File Compression and Archiving Tools


7-Zip is a file archiver that compresses / packs to the .7z format with LZMA compression. It can also compress to the ZIP format, GZIP, BZIP2, XZ, WIM and TAR. It has the ability to decompress or unpack to RAR, CAB, ISO, ARJ, LZH, CHM, Z, CPIO, RPM, DEB, NSIS, etc. For Windows versions, it integrates with the Windows shell (explorer), so (for example) you can right click any file to pack or unpack it. Supported systems include Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, macOS, and BeOS. 7-zip is released under the LGPL (Lesser General Public License).


PeaZip is an file and archive manager that handles the 7Z (7-zip), ARC, BZ2, GZ, PAQ/LPAQ, PEA, QUAD/BALZ, TAR, UPX and ZIP archive formats. It can also extract files from ACE, ARJ, CAB, DMG/HFS, ISO, LHA, RAR, UDF, ISO, LHA, JAR/EAR/WAR, DEB, RPM, NSIS, PAK/P3/PK4, Z/TZ, etc, archives. Other features include secure deletion, the ability to verify file checksums and hashes, two-factor authentication (password and keyfile), encryption, etc. Versions are available for Windows and Linux. The program is open source and licensed under the GNU LGPL (which means that the program's source code is available and can be modified).


IZArc is an archive utility that supports the following archive formats: 7-ZIP, A, ACE, ARC, ARJ, B64, BH, BIN, BZ2, BZA, C2D, CAB, CDI, CPIO, DEB, ENC, GCA, GZ, GZA, HA, IMG, ISO, JAR, LHA, LIB, LZH, MDF, MBF, MIM, NRG, PAK, PDI, PK3, RAR, RPM, TAR, TAZ, TBZ, TGZ, TZ, UUE, WAR, XXE, YZ1, Z, ZIP, and ZOO. It has Windows shell integration, can create multiple archives spanning disks as well as self-extracting archives. It also has the ability to repair damaged zip archives, convert archives from one type to another, view and write comments, etc. Supported systems include Windows 9x, ME, NT, 2000, XP and 2003.


Info-ZIP provides both command line zip and unzip utilities as well as graphical front-ends (GUI shells) to run those tools. Ports of this open source software are available for a variety of operating systems, including Windows 9x/ME/NT/2000/XP/CE/etc (even Windows 3.x), Linux, MSDOS, FreeDOS, Mac OS, Mac OS X, Amiga, Atari, BeOS, FlexOS, Human68K (X68000), MVS / OS/390 Open Edition, Novell Netware, OS/2, QDOS / SMSQ, RISC OS, Tandem NSK, AIX, CLIX, Convex, Digital Unix (OSF/1, Tru64), Unix, FreeBSD, HP-UX / MPE/iX, NetBSD, QNX, SCO Unix, SGI Irix, Solaris / SunOS, VM/CMS, VMS, etc. The tools zip, unzip and WiZ (the graphical front-end), as their names suggest, only handle the zip archive format.


TUGZip is an archiving utility for Windows with Windows Explorer integration (drag and drop, shell context menu) that can extract files from ZIP, 7-ZIP, A, ACE, ARC, ARJ, BH, BZ2, CAB, CPIO, DEB, GCA, GZ, IMP, JAR, LHA (LZH), LIB, RAR, RPM, SQX, TAR, TGZ, TBZ, TAZ, YZ1 and ZOO archives, BIN, C2D, IMG, ISO and NRG disc-images. It can create 7-ZIP, BH, BZ2, CAB, JAR, LHA (LZH), SQX, TAR, TGZ, YZ1 and ZIP archives. It is able to repair damaged ZIP and SQX archives and create encrypted archives using algorithms like Blowfish (128-bit), DES (56-bit), Triple DES (168-bit) and Rijndael (128-bit, 192-bit and 256-bit). It is able to create self-extracting archives.


ZipGenius is a free Windows utility that allows you to create compressed archives. It supports a variety of compressed archive formats as well as CD/DVD-ROM images (ISO files). Note that the site is in Italian.


Bzip2 is an open source file compressor. You can find binary (executable) ports of the command line tool for Linux, Windows, Sparc Solaris, OpenBSD, OS/2, Digital Unix, IRIX, AIX, Amiga, etc.

FreeArc Archiver

[Update (6 March 2017): the domain that previously had the FreeArc software appears to have expired. For the record, the site used to be at] FreeArc is a general purpose archiver (which means it handles all sorts of files and is not a specialized compression program like an audio compression utility, etc), that boasts of fast compression times, recovery of corrupted archive files, the ability to create self extracting executable archives (SFX) and installers, the ability to create encrypted archives, etc. It is also able to directly list and extract files from the internet (that is, it will download the file for you and allow you to list it or extract its contents). As far as I can tell, FreeArc uses its own file format (that is, not zip or the like). The program is free and is released under an open source licence.

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