You are still quite inexperienced about computer use, a friend has emailed you a compressed archive containing some documents and you have been trying to access its contents for hours, but without succeeding. In short, a very annoying situation, I would say. If only you had gods at your disposal decompress programs... most likely by now you have already solved!
How do you say? Would you like to know if I can give you a hand in this regard by recommending the best software in the category for Windows and macOS? Agree! Take a few minutes of free time all to yourself, make yourself comfortable and immediately start concentrating on reading this tutorial of mine, which is dedicated to the topic of your interest.
I can assure you that, in the end, ZIP, RAR etc. they will no longer be a problem for you. If, then, you need to unpack compressed archives even on the move, I will immediately tell you that there are ad hoc resources also for Android and iOS, and I will report them to you in the final part of this tutorial. But now just chat and let's take action. Happy reading and good work!
Programs to Decompress on Windows
You are using a PC with su installed Windows and you'd like to understand which ones decompress programs can you use it to intervene on the ZIP and RAR files you received? Then immediately test the special resources that I have reported to you below. I sincerely hope they can satisfy you.
Default Archive Manager
If you need to unpack (or create) archives in ZIP format, you can contact the archive manager already included in all versions of Windows without downloading or installing anything on the PC. Of course, it has a very basic functioning, but if you have no particular demands and / or needs it can be more than enough.
To use it, simply double click on the compressed archive you want to decompress, click on the button Extract everything located at the top of the window File Explorer that opens, specify the location where you want to save the files once extracted and press the button Extract. If the ZIP file is password protected, you will also be prompted to enter the password to finalize the operation.
In addition to the way I just explained to you, you can decompress compressed archives in Windows by right clicking on them, selecting the option Extract everything from the context menu and pressing the button Extract in the window that you will see later appear on the desktop.
Do you want to extract only some of the files in the archive? This can also be done. To do this, double-click on the ZIP file of reference, then drag the elements of your interest from the window you see appear on the screen to the output position and that's it.
If the default Windows compressed archive manager doesn't suit you, you can seriously consider using 7-Zip, what is considered by many to be the best free program for managing compressed archives.
Supports all major read compressed archive formats (7Z, ZIP, RAR, ARJ, CAB, CHM, CPIO, CramFS, DEB, DMG, FAT, HFS, ISO, LZH, LZMA, MBR, MSI, NSIS, NTFS, RAR , RPM, SquashFS, UDF, VHD, WIM, XAR etc.) and the formats 7z, XZ, BZIP2, GZIP, TAR, ZIP and WIM in the compression phase. In addition, it is extremely light and integrates into the context menu of File Explorer to intervene "on the fly" on files.
To download it to your PC, go to the program's website and click on the link Download located at the top, at the Windows version you are using (64 bit or 32 bit). Once the download is complete, open the file .exe obtained and, in the window you see appear on the desktop, click on the buttons Si e install and, to conclude the setup, on the button Close.
Once the installation is complete, to decompress a file with 7-Zip, right click on the reference element, select the item 7-Zip from the context menu and then that apri. In the window that opens, click on the button Extract, specify the location on your computer where you want to save the files once extracted and click on the button OK. If the archive is password protected, you will also be asked to enter the password.
As an alternative to what I have just indicated, you can extract the archives compressed with 7-Zip by right clicking on them, selecting, from the menu that opens, the item 7-Zip and choosing the option Extract here (to extract the files to the current location) or Extract the files (to indicate an exact location on your computer to extract the files to).
If, on the other hand, you want to extract only some files from the archive, right-click on them, select the items 7-Zip is that apri from the context menu. Afterwards, drag the files of your interest out of the displayed window and drop them in the location where you want to save them.
WinRAR it is one of those software that does not need any introduction: it is, in fact, one of the most popular programs for the management of compressed archives that, in fact, allows you to compress and decompress all the main compressed archive formats. It has a very refined user interface, integrates perfectly into the Windows shell and guarantees a very high processing speed.
The software is paid, but it is available in a free trial version that allows you to test all the functions for a limited period of time. Once the trial expires, it continues to work but with some limitations (eg the display of promotional banners and the inability to create encrypted RAR archives).
To download it to your computer, visit the WnRAR website and press the button Pick up che trovi in corrispondenza della dicitura WinRAR per Windows Xp/2003/Vista/2008/7/8/10 a 64 bit (if you use a 64-bit version of Windows) or on what you find next to the item WinRAR per Windows Xp/2003/Vista/2008/7/8/10 a 32 bit (if you are using 32-bit Windows). When the download is complete, open the file .exe obtained and, in the window that appears on the desktop, click, in sequence, on the buttons Si, Install, OK e Close.
Now you can start using WinRAR to decompress your files. How? Simple: right click on the compressed archive of your interest, select the item Extract the files from the menu that opens, indicate the desired output position in the appropriate field, define the update and overwrite mode by selecting the options you prefer on the left and click on the button OK located at the bottom. If the archive is password protected, you will also be prompted to enter the password.
Do you want to extract the files in the archive directly to the current location? Alloa right click on the file and select, from the context menu, the option Extract here. If, on the other hand, you select, again from the contextual menu, the item Apri with WinRAR, you can view the contents of the archive without extracting it, while choosing the option Extract files to [archive name] you can extract the contents of the archive into a folder with the same name as the latter.
Programs to Decompress on Mac
You are using an Apple branded computer and would like to find out which decompressing programs you can use on MacOS? Then try immediately the special resources that you find listed below: they are the ones that in my opinion are the best in the category.
Like Windows, macOS also includes a tool thanks to which it is possible to manage compressed archives without resorting to third-party software: it is Compression Utility which allows you to open the most common types of compressed archives (ZIP, TAR etc.) and allows you to create archives in ZIP format.
To use it to unzip a file, all you have to do is simply double-click the archive icon. The elements contained in it will subsequently be extracted to the current position. If the archive is protected by a password, you will also be asked to enter the password before proceeding.
In addition to what I have just indicated, you can decompress the files with the Compression Utility by right clicking on the compressed archive of your interest and choosing the option apri from the menu that opens. Easy, right?
iZip Archiver is a free application thanks to which it is possible to decompress the most common compressed file formats (ZIP, RAR etc.) on Mac. It differs from many other similar tools for the possibility it offers to view the contents of the archives without necessarily having to extract them before. Note that, apart from decompression, it also allows you to create ZIP files.
To download iZip Archiver to your computer, visit the relevant section of the Mac App Store Online, pig sul sul bottone See in the Mac App Store and, in the window of Mac App Store that appears on the desktop, click on the button Ottieni / Installa. If necessary, authorize the download by typing your Apple account password or using Touch ID (if you have a Mac equipped with this component). Afterwards, launch iZip Archiver by clicking the button apri appeared on screen.
At this point, close the application window to create new compressed archive that opened, click the button Open present at the top of the other window left on the desk, select the compressed archive on your Mac in relation to which you are interested in going to act and press the button Open bottom right.
Once this is done, you will be able to view the contents of the compressed archive through the new window that will be shown to you on the screen. To extract one or more files contained within it, drag them out and drop them in the desired output location. Keep in mind that if the archive is password protected, you will also be asked to enter the password before proceeding.
As an alternative to the above procedure, you can perform the decompression of the archives with iZip Archiver by right clicking on them, selecting the item apri from the context menu and then that iZip Archiver. Later, the files will be extracted to the same location where the compressed archive is located.
Another Mac decompress program that I want to suggest you try is Keka. It supports all major archive formats (7Z, ZIP, RAR, TAR, GZIP, BZIP2, DMG, ISO etc.) and opens them very quickly. It is open source in nature and is free of charge, but it is available in a paid version on the Mac App Store (costs 3,49 euros) thanks to which it is possible to support the work of developers.
To download the free version of Keka on your Mac, connect to the program website and click on the button Download. Once the download is complete, open the package .dmg just got it and drag theKeka icon in the folder Applications of macOS. Afterward, right click on it and select the item apri twice in a row, so as to open the program going around the limitations that Apple imposes on applications from non-certified developers (an operation that must be performed only at the first start).
Now that you see the program window on the screen, move it over, corresponding to the item Release here to extract, the compressed files you intend to extract, and wait for the extraction procedure to complete. The content will be extracted to the same location as the compressed archive. Also, if the archive is password protected, you will be prompted to type the password first.
App to Decompress
As anticipated at the beginning of the post, there are also a lot of app for smartphones and tablets that can be used to decompress compressed archives on the go. If this interests you, here below you will find therefore those that in my opinion represent the most useful solutions in the category. Put them to the test now, I'm sure they will satisfy you. Let it bet?
- WinZip (Android / iOS) - this is the mobile version of the popular software for creating and extracting compressed archives available for Windows and macOS. It allows you to extract files in ZIP, ZIPX, 7Z, RAR and CBZ format and to create archives in ZIP and ZIPX format. It's free, but some extra features can be unlocked, such as the ability to create encrypted archives, through in-app purchases (starting from 0,80 cents) on Android and switching to the paid version (costs 5,49 euros) on iOS .
- ZArchiver (Android) - renowned app for Android devices only thanks to which it is possible to compress and decompress files in ZIP, RAR, BZIP2, GZIP, XZ, ISO, TAR, ARJ format and many more. It's free and doesn't include any annoying banner ads.
- Zip (iOS) - “popular” application for iOS to create ZIP files and also extract archives in RAR, 7Z, ZIPX, TAR and GZIP format. It also supports cloud storage services and is free, but only allows you to work on files with a maximum weight of 5 MB. To get around this limitation, you need to proceed with in-app purchases (6,99 euros).