7-Zip is a file archiver with a high compression ratio.

Download 7-Zip 22.01 (2022-07-15) for Windows:

Link Type Windows Size Download .exe 64-bit x64 1.5 MB Download .exe 32-bit x86 1.2 MB Download .exe 64-bit ARM64 1.5 MB


7-Zip is free software with open source. The most of the code is under the GNU LGPL license. Some parts of the code are under the BSD 3-clause License. Also there is unRAR license restriction for some parts of the code. Read 7-Zip License information.

You can use 7-Zip on any computer, including a computer in a commercial organization. You don’t need to register or pay for 7-Zip.

The main features of 7-Zip

  • High compression ratio in 7z format with LZMA and LZMA2 compression
  • Supported formats:
    • Packing / unpacking: 7z, XZ, BZIP2, GZIP, TAR, ZIP and WIM
  • For ZIP and GZIP formats, 7-Zip provides a compression ratio that is 2-10 % better than the ratio provided by PKZip and WinZip
  • Strong AES-256 encryption in 7z and ZIP formats
  • Self-extracting capability for 7z format
  • Integration with Windows Shell
  • Powerful File Manager
  • Powerful command line version
  • Plugin for FAR Manager
  • Localizations for 87 languages

7-Zip works in Windows 10 / 8 / 7 / Vista / XP / 2019 / 2016 / 2012 / 2008 / 2003 / 2000.

p7zip – the port of the command line version of 7-Zip to Linux/Posix.

On 7-Zip’s SourceForge Page you can find a forum, bug reports, and feature request systems.

Compression ratio

We compared 7-Zip with WinRAR 5.20.

FILE SETS: Mozilla Firefox 34.0.5 for Windows and Google Earth for Windows.

Archiver Mozilla Firefox Google Earth 65 files
85 280 391 bytes 483 files
110 700 519 bytes Compressed size Ratio Compressed size Ratio 7-Zip 9.35
39 357 375 100% 15 964 369 100% WinRAR 5.20
-m5 -s -ma5 -md128m 41 789 543 106% 17 035 432 107%

Compression ratio results are very dependent upon the data used for the tests. Usually, 7-Zip compresses to 7z format 30-70% better than to zip format. And 7-Zip compresses to zip format 2-10% better than most of other zip compatible programs.

A 7Z file is an archive file created by 7-Zip. Like ZIP and RAR files, 7Z files can be used to compress files so they take up less space. They support encryption, too. To open a 7Z file, install 7-Zip, then double-click the 7Z file. Many other file extraction programs can open 7Z files, too.

You have almost certainly encountered archived files at some point—ZIP, RAR, and so on. They look like a single file, but act a lot more like a package, letting people bundle and compress multiple files and folders into a single, smaller file. 7Z files work the same way, and are particular to the popular 7-Zip compression tool.

What Is a 7Z file?

7Z is the file extension used for an archived file created using 7-Zip, a free, open-source file compression tool. 7Z is similar to other archived formats, such as ZIP, RAR, and ISO, but uses a higher compression ratio, along with AES-256 encryption.

RELATED: How to Password Protect Files and Folders With Encryption

7Z files make it easy to send and download files from the internet and help free up space on your hard drive with their high compression rate used when archiving. They also support ridiculous file sizes—theoretically up to 16 billion GB!

7-Zip is one of the more popular compression tools out there, but most people use it to open or create ZIP files rather than using the more proprietary 7Z files. The main reason for this is compatibility. Pretty much every system out there has a way to open ZIP files, and using 7Z files means people actually need to install 7-Zip or another third-party app that supports them to work with the files.

Still, it’s a solid compression format.

RELATED: What Is A File Extension?

How Do I Open a 7Z file?

While most operating systems have a built-in way to work with ZIP files (and some other compression formats, like ISO), they don’t have a built-in option for 7Z files.

If you’re using Windows, the best way to open one you’ve received is to use the free, open-source 7-Zip tool. It also happens to be our favorite compression tool on Windows, even if you’re just using it for ZIP, ISO, RAR, or other compression formats.

On macOS, The Unarchiver is a great tool (also free) that handles lots of compression formats, including 7Z.

RELATED: How to Open 7z and Other Archive Files on OS X

On Linux, you can find various 7-Zip packages for various distros at the bottom of the main 7-Zip download page.

And if these tools don’t suit you, there are many other third-party apps that can handle 7Z files for both macOS and Windows.

Opening a 7Z File Using 7-Zip in Windows

We’re going to look at opening 7Z files on Windows here, but if you’re running macOS, you can check out our full guide on opening 7Z and other archive files on macOS.

Opening a file using 7-Zip is extremely easy and can be completed in as little as two steps.

After downloading and installing 7-Zip, navigate to the file you want to open. Right-click the file, point to the “7-Zip” submenu, and then click the “Open Archive” command.

This opens 7-zip and displays the contents of the archive. From here, you can extract the contents to another location on your hard drive using the “Extract” button at the top. Or, if there are only a few files you need from the archive, you can just drag and drop them into a File Explorer window.

Choose a new location for the file(s) to go and click “OK”.

Extract 7Z Files Using A Web App

If you only have a couple archives to extract, downloading software might not be for you. Luckily, there’s a good online service you can use. They don’t store any of your files, and delete them within minutes of extracting them.

Head to B1 Free Archiver, and on the home page, click the big “Click Here” button.

In the popup window, navigate to the 7Z file on your computer, and then click the “Open” button.

The site starts the extraction.

After extraction is complete, you’ll see a list of all the files and folders inside the 7Z file. You can download any of the files to your computer and view any images from the website using the icons to the right.

Whatever OS you’re using, 7Z files are able to be extracted with many third-party software choices or using online applications.

File TypesExtensionDAT · 7Z · XML · RTF · XLSX · WEBP · EPUB · MP4 · AVI · MOBI · SVG · MP3 · REG · PHP · LOG · PPTX · PDF · MPEG · WMA · M4V · AZW · LIT

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 WinZip for RAR files and 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.

Written by Jane