5 Top-Notch Free Archivers for Windows
Archiving software is a necessity today. Downloaded files are generally archived and sharing files is often more easily and most quickly accomplished by compressing them first.
While Windows 10 has native support for file compression, there are a number of free archiving programs that may, in many cases, prove more convenient to use. More flexible with such capabilities as dragging and dropping files, multiple formats, and better security features, in addition to intuitive graphic user interfaces, make them easier to use. Whatever the circumstances, you’ll find these five top-notch free archivers are worth investigation.
Pack and unpack any compressed file including the revolutionary 7z format
7-Zip is currently one of the most popular free archivers for all versions of the Windows OS. It has the capacity to unzip just about any archived file format and can compress files in all the major formats, most importantly in 7z format.
In terms of free compression software, the ability to compress in 7z format is a great advantage. Its higher compression ratio – easily compressed files such as text formats, for example, will result in a file that is less than a tenth of the size of the original files. Additionally, AES-256 Encryption capacity makes it superior to the long-respected ZIP, more recognized RAR, and TAR formats.
7-Zip’s other chief advantage is the fact that you can edit files in the archive without decompressing the entire file. It is straightforward to use and can unpack just about any of the many compressed file formats available today.
Fully compatible with Windows Explorer and Outlook, 7-Zip also has all the features required in a file compression program including multi-volume support, batch compression, drag and drop, and the ability to create self-extracting files in 7z format.
While many of its options, and even its interface, are targeted to the more experienced user, 7-Zip has been developed to be used also by the less technically inclined. Incorporation of the F9 key function to access the more advanced options prevents confusion.
When security is your priority, PeaZip is the free compression software to use
Portable PeaZip has all the generally required compressing and decompressing functions accessible from a graphically attractive interface. In addition to archiving to ZIP and TAR formats, Pea Zip can create the 7z format and its own native PEA format.
The PEA format’s emphasis is on security for which it provides a range of functions, as well as on splitting and integrity checking. Very user-friendly, its interface has several customizable options. PeaZip is a convenient and easy to use, multi-function free archiver:
- Extracts 118 file types and formats
- Enables editing and saving, and restoring to original archive layout
- Provides various filtering functions
- Splits and joins archives
- Creates ZIP, TAR, UPX, 7Z, ARC, BZ2, GZ, *PAQ, QUAD/BALZ, and PEA
- Compares and checksum/hash
- Securely deletes
PeaZip supports all 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows including XP.
The compression software created for any level user
The clean, simple Bandizip interface is easy to use for the inexperienced, and fast and convenient for users more advanced in using file compression software.
Files can be dragged and dropped, or located and selected via the File menu, and context menus provide integration with Windows Explorer. The entire range of compressed file formats can be unpacked while there are lots of options for creating files. Language settings and default save-to folders can be easily customized.
When creating new archives, you have splitting and encryption options as well as options for compression levels, and can enable automatic deletion of the original files. Other configurable options for experienced users include setting file associations, integrating a context menu, and specific compression settings such as NTFS time information, Unicode support and selecting file locations.
Available to install as well as for portable use, the free archiver lets you test an archive’s integrity, edit files and filenames within the archive, and customize the interface. Bandizip is fast, provides multi-core compression, archive preview, file encryption, auto extraction, multi compressing and decompressing files, splitting archives, and the ability to create self-extracting files. It supports all versions of Windows.
Highly comprehensive, well arranged graphic user interface
Just install Zipware, adding it to the context menu in Windows Explorer and making it your default archiver. Launch the free compression software to the clean and nicely set out interface comprised of a menu bar, left-hand panel to display selected archives and right-hand panel displaying archive file contents and information including compression ratio, name, and size.
The extraction functions include a number of options for selecting and creating output folders, extracting specific files within the archive, renaming conventions if required, and the use of wildcards. Archives can be converted to other formats, split and encrypted. Compressed archives can be created to ZIP or 7z format and can be made self-extracting.
A unique feature of Zipware is online virus scanning with VirusTotal. Language settings can be changed, as can file associations. Compatible with all versions of Windows, the free archiver is nice and compact, and uses minimal resources.
Straightforward interface with large icons and optional touch mode
Ultra user-friendly Ashampoo Zip Free is the simple, free archiver with a well-presented interface that is super easy for the average user to navigate. It provides all the compression and decompression tools you need.
- Archive creation to ZIP, TAR, CAB, and 7z
- Extraction with file preview o more than 30 archive formats
- AES encryption support
- Archive repair
- Multi-volume creation
- Tile-based customizable design
- Progress bar
- Jump lists
- Self-extracting archive creation
- Windows Explorer integration
Ashampoo Zip Free has 5 different skins options, direct upload to cloud services, and fully integrates with Windows OS XP and up.
Interested in other Compression/Decompression tools? Visit our Free Compression Utilities section.