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What is 7-Zip and Why You Need It on Windows 10/11


7-Zip Download for Windows 10: How to Install and Use It




If you work with a lot of files on your computer, you may need a tool that can help you compress and extract them easily. One of the best tools for this purpose is 7-Zip, a free and open-source file archiver and compressor that offers high compression ratio and supports various formats. In this article, we will show you how to download, install, and use 7-Zip on your Windows 10 PC.


What is 7-Zip and Why You Need It




7-Zip is a software that allows you to create and open compressed files, also known as archives. Archives are useful for reducing the size of files, saving disk space, and transferring files faster. You can also use archives to store multiple files in one container, making them easier to organize and manage.




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7-Zip Features and Benefits




Some of the features and benefits of using 7-Zip are:


  • It is free and open-source software. You can use it on any computer without paying or registering.



  • It has a simple and intuitive user interface that integrates with Windows Shell. You can access 7-Zip functions from the right-click menu or the file manager.



  • It supports many formats, including ZIP, RAR, TAR, GZIP, BZIP2, XZ, ISO, DMG, CAB, ARJ, LZH, LZMA, MSI, NSIS, NTFS, QCOW2, RAR5, RPM, UDF, VHD, WIM, XAR, Z, and more.



  • It provides strong AES-256 encryption in 7z and ZIP formats. You can password protect your files and hide their names in archives.



  • It has a powerful command line version that allows you to automate tasks and use advanced options.



  • It has a plugin for FAR Manager, a file manager for Windows.



  • It has localizations for 87 languages.



7-Zip Supported Formats and Compression Ratio




The default format that 7-Zip uses is 7z, which has a high compression ratio with LZMA and LZMA2 compression algorithms. The compression ratio is the percentage of the original size that the compressed file occupies. The higher the compression ratio, the smaller the compressed file.


According to the official website, for ZIP and GZIP formats, 7-Zip provides a compression ratio that is 2-10% better than the ratio provided by PKZip and WinZip. For example, in a test with Mozilla Firefox and Google Earth files, 7-Zip compressed them to 39 MB, while WinRAR compressed them to 42 MB.


The compression ratio depends on the data used for the compression. For some data, such as text files, the compression ratio can be very high, while for others, such as images or videos, the compression ratio can be low or even negative.


Here is a table that shows the compression ratio of 7z format with different compression levels and methods:


Compression level


Compression method


Compression ratio


Fastest


LZMA


37%


Fast


LZMA


38%


Normal


LZMA


39%


Maximum


LZMA


40%


Ultra


LZMA


40%


Ultra


LZMA2


41%


Ultra


BZip2


31%


Ultra


Ppmd


37%


[assistant](#message) As you can see, the 7z format with LZMA2 compression method provides the best compression ratio among the options. However, you can also choose other formats and methods depending on your needs and preferences.


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How to Download and Install 7-Zip for Windows 10




If you want to use 7-Zip on your Windows 10 PC, you need to download and install it first. Here are the steps to do so:


Downloading 7-Zip from the Official Website




The first step is to download the 7-Zip installer from the official website. You can choose between the 32-bit and 64-bit versions depending on your system type. To check your system type, you can go to Settings > System > About > System type.


The file size of the installer is about 1.5 MB. You can save it to any location on your PC, such as your Downloads folder.


Installing 7-Zip on Your PC




The next step is to run the installer and follow the instructions. You can customize some options, such as the installation directory, the file associations, and the context menu items. The installation process should take only a few seconds.


After the installation is complete, you can launch 7-Zip from the Start menu or the desktop shortcut. You can also access it from the right-click menu or the file manager.


How to Use 7-Zip to Compress and Extract Files




Now that you have installed 7-Zip on your PC, you can use it to compress and extract files easily. Here are some examples of how to do so:


Compressing Files with 7-Zip




To compress files with 7-Zip, you can follow these steps:



  • Select the files or folders that you want to compress. You can select multiple items by holding down the Ctrl key while clicking.



  • Right-click on the selection and choose 7-Zip > Add to archive.... This will open a dialog box where you can configure the compression options.



  • In the dialog box, you can choose the archive format, such as 7z, ZIP, TAR, etc. You can also choose the compression level, such as Fastest, Normal, Maximum, etc. You can also set a password and encryption method if you want to protect your files.



  • Click on OK. This will create a compressed archive in the same location as the original files. The archive name will be based on the first file or folder in the selection.



  • You can also rename or move the archive as you wish.

Extracting Files with 7-Zip




To extract files with 7-Zip, you can follow these steps:



  • Locate the archive that you want to extract. You can use the file manager or the search function to find it.



  • Right-click on the archive and choose 7-Zip > Extract Here. This will extract the files to the same location as the archive.



  • If the archive is password protected, you will be prompted to enter the password. If you don't know the password, you won't be able to extract the files.



  • You can also choose other options, such as Extract to "folder name", which will create a new folder with the same name as the archive and extract the files there, or Extract files..., which will open a dialog box where you can choose the destination folder and other options.



  • You can also drag and drop the archive to any folder or drive that you want to extract it to.



How to Encrypt and Decrypt Files with 7-Zip




Another useful feature of 7-Zip is that it can encrypt and decrypt files with AES-256 encryption, which is one of the strongest encryption methods available. This can help you protect your sensitive or confidential files from unauthorized access. Here are some examples of how to do so:


Encrypting Files with 7-Zip




To encrypt files with 7-Zip, you can follow these steps:



  • Select the files or folders that you want to encrypt. You can select multiple items by holding down the Ctrl key while clicking.



  • Right-click on the selection and choose 7-Zip > Add to archive.... This will open a dialog box where you can configure the encryption options.



  • In the dialog box, you can choose the archive format, such as 7z or ZIP. You can also choose the compression level, such as Fastest, Normal, Maximum, etc.



  • In the Encryption section, enter a password that you want to use for your files. Make sure that it is strong and memorable. You can also check the Show password box to see what you are typing.



  • You can also choose the encryption method, such as AES-256 or ZipCrypto. AES-256 is more secure and recommended, but ZipCrypto is more compatible with other software.



  • You can also check the Encrypt file names box if you want to hide the names of your files in the archive. This will make it harder for anyone to guess what is inside.



  • Click on OK. This will create an encrypted archive in the same location as the original files. The archive name will be based on the first file or folder in the selection.



  • You can also rename or move the archive as you wish.



Decrypting Files with 7-Zip




To decrypt files with 7-Zip, you can follow these steps:



  • Locate the encrypted archive that you want to decrypt. You can use the file manager or the search function to find it.



  • Right-click on the archive and choose 7-Zip > Extract Here. This will prompt you to enter the password that you used for encryption.



  • If you enter the correct password, the files will be extracted to the same location as the archive. If you enter an incorrect password, you will get an error message and nothing will be extracted.



  • If you checked the Encrypt file names box when creating the archive, you will also need to enter the password to see the names of your files in the archive. Otherwise, you will only see random characters.



  • You can also choose other options, such as Extract to "folder name", which will create a new folder with the same name as the archive and extract the files there, or Extract files..., which will open a dialog box where you can choose the destination folder and other options.



  • You can also drag and drop the archive to any folder or drive that you want to extract it to.



7-Zip Alternatives and Comparisons




7-Zip is not the only file archiver and compressor available for Windows 10. There are other popular software that offer similar or different features and functions. Here are some of them and how they compare to 7-Zip:


Other Popular File Archivers and Compressors




Some of the other popular file archivers and compressors for Windows 10 are:


  • WinRAR: A commercial software that supports RAR, ZIP, and many other formats. It has a graphical user interface and a command line version. It also provides encryption, recovery, and split options.



  • WinZip: A commercial software that supports ZIP, RAR, and many other formats. It has a graphical user interface and a command line version. It also provides encryption, cloud integration, and backup options.



  • PeaZip: A free and open-source software that supports 7z, ZIP, RAR, and many other formats. It has a graphical user interface and a command line version. It also provides encryption, secure deletion, and checksum options.



  • Bandizip: A free software that supports 7z, ZIP, RAR, and many other formats. It has a graphical user interface and a command line version. It also provides encryption, split, and repair options.



How 7-Zip Compares to Them




Here is a table that shows how 7-Zip compares to the other file archivers and compressors in terms of some key features:



Software


Price


Supported Formats


Compression Ratio


Encryption


Command Line


Plugin for FAR Manager


Localizations


7-Zip


Free and open-source


ZIP, RAR, TAR, GZIP, BZIP2, XZ, ISO, DMG, CAB, ARJ, LZH, LZMA, MSI, NSIS, NTFS, QCOW2, RAR5, RPM, UDF, VHD, WIM, XAR, Z, etc.


High (7z with LZMA2)


AES-256 (7z and ZIP)


Yes


Yes


87


WinRAR


$29 (40-day trial)


ZIP, RAR, TAR, GZIP, BZIP2, XZ, ISO, DMG, CAB, ARJ, LZH, ACE, UUE, Z, etc.


Moderate (RAR5)


AES-256 (RAR5)


Yes


No


48



[assistant](#message) WinZip


$35.95 (21-day trial)


ZIP, RAR, TAR, GZIP, BZIP2, XZ, ISO, DMG, CAB, LZH, 7z, etc.


Moderate (ZIP)


AES-256 (ZIP)


Yes


No


16


PeaZip


Free and open-source


ZIP, RAR, TAR, GZIP, BZIP2, XZ, ISO, DMG, CAB, ARJ, LZH, 7z, ACE, ARC, BROTLI, BR, BZ2, GZ, PAQ/LPAQ/ZPAQ/P7ZIP, PEA, QUAD/BALZ/TAR, UPX, WIM, XZ, ZSTANDARD, ZIPX, ZOO, etc.


High (7z with LZMA2)


AES-256 (7z and ZIP)


Yes


No


29


Bandizip


Free


ZIP, RAR, TAR, GZIP, BZIP2, XZ, ISO, DMG, CAB, LZH, 7z, ACE, ALZ, APK, ARJ, BH, BIN, BZ, BZ2, EGG, GZ, IMG, J2J, JAR, LHA, LZMA, LZMA2, LZO, MTZ, PMA, RAR4/RAR5/SFX/EXE/MULTI-VOLUME/SPLITTED RAR FILES/ENCRYPTED RAR FILES/UNICODE RAR FILES/RECOVERY RECORDS/LOCKED RAR FILES/SOLID RAR FILES/OLD TO NEW VERSION CONVERSION OF RAR FILES/RAR COMMENT/RAR AUTHENTICATION INFORMATION/RAR QUICK OPEN INFORMATION/RAR RECOVERY VOLUME SETS/RAR SFX MODULES/RAR VOLUME SETS/RAR ARCHIVE PROPERTIES/RAR ARCHIVE HASHES/RAR ARCHIVE TEST/RAR ARCHIVE REPAIR/RAR ARCHIVE LOCK/UNLOCK/RAR ARCHIVE PROTECT/UNPROTECT/RAR ARCHIVE SPLIT/MERGE/RAR ARCHIVE ADD/DELETE/EXTRACT/VIEW FILES AND FOLDERS/RAR ARCHIVE ADD/DELETE/EXTRACT/VIEW COMMENTS/RAR ARCHIVE ADD/DELETE/EXTRACT/VIEW AUTHENTICATION INFORMATION/RAR ARCHIVE ADD/DELETE/EXTRACT/VIEW RECOVERY RECORDS/RAR ARCHIVE ADD/DELETE/EXTRACT/VIEW QUICK OPEN INFORMATION/RAR ARCHIVE ADD/DELETE/EXTRACT/VIEW SFX MODULES/RAR ARCHIVE ADD/DELETE/EXTRACT/VIEW VOLUME SETS/RAR ARCHIVE CHANGE PASSWORD/RAR ARCHIVE CHANGE COMPRESSION METHOD/RAR ARCHIVE CHANGE COMPRESSION LEVEL/RAR ARCHIVE CHANGE SOLID OPTION/RAR ARCHIVE CHANGE ENCRYPTION METHOD/RAR ARCHIVE CHANGE ENCRYPTION ALGORITHM/RAR ARCHIVE CHANGE ENCRYPTION KEY SIZE/RAR ARCHIVE CHANGE ENCRYPTION PASSWORD LENGTH/RAR ARCHIVE CHANGE ENCRYPTION PASSWORD CHARACTER SET/RAR ARCHIVE CHANGE ENCRYPTION PASSWORD GENERATION METHOD/RAR ARCHIVE CHANGE ENCRYPTION PASSWORD GENERATION SEED VALUE /RAR ARCHIVE CHANGE ENCRYPTION PASSWORD CHECKSUM/RAR ARCHIVE CHANGE ENCRYPTION PASSWORD SALT/RAR ARCHIVE CHANGE ENCRYPTION PASSWORD ITERATIONS/RAR ARCHIVE CHANGE ENCRYPTION PASSWORD COMPRESSION/RAR ARCHIVE CHANGE ENCRYPTION PASSWORD ENCODING/RAR ARCHIVE CHANGE ENCRYPTION PASSWORD HASHING/RAR ARCHIVE CHANGE ENCRYPTION PASSWORD PADDING/RAR ARCHIVE CHANGE ENCRYPTION PASSWORD MASKING/RAR ARCHIVE CHANGE ENCRYPTION PASSWORD SCRAMBLING/RAR ARCHIVE CHANGE ENCRYPTION PASSWORD STEALING/RAR ARCHIVE CHANGE ENCRYPTION PASSWORD STORING/RAR ARCHIVE CHANGE ENCRYPTION PASSWORD VERIFYING/RAR ARCHIVE CHANGE RECOVERY RECORD PERCENTAGE/RAR ARCHIVE CHANGE RECOVERY RECORD SIZE/RAR ARCHIVE CHANGE RECOVERY RECORD NUMBER/RAR ARCHIVE CHANGE RECOVERY RECORD CHECKSUM/RAR ARCHIVE CHANGE RECOVERY RECORD COMPRESSION/RAR ARCHIVE CHANGE RECOVERY RECORD ENCODING/RAR ARCHIVE CHANGE RECOVERY RECORD HASHING/RAR ARCHIVE CHANGE RECOVERY RECORD PADDING/RAR ARCHIVE CHANGE RECOVERY RECORD MASKING/RAR ARCHIVE CHANGE RECOVERY RECORD SCRAMBLING/RAR ARCHIVE CHANGE RECOVERY RECORD STEALING/RAR ARCHIVE CHANGE RECOVERY RECORD STORING/RAR ARCHIVE CHANGE RECOVERY RECORD VERIFYING , etc.


High (7z with LZMA2)


AES-256 (7z and ZIP)


Yes


No


30


As you can see, 7-Zip has some advantages over the other software, such as being free and open-source, supporting more formats, providing higher compression ratio, and having a plugin for FAR Manager. However, the other software may also have some features that 7-Zip does not have, such as cloud integration, backup options, or recovery options. Therefore, you can choose the software that suits your needs and preferences best.


Conclusion




In this article, we have shown you how to download, install, and use 7-Zip on your Windows 10 PC. We have also explained what 7-Zip is and why you need it, what are its features and benefits, what are its supported formats and compression ratio, how to encrypt and decrypt files with it, and how it compares to other file archivers and compressors. We hope that you have found this article helpful and informative.


If you have any questions or feedback about 7-Zip or this article, please feel free to leave a comment below. We would love to hear from you.


FAQs




Here are some frequently asked questions about 7-Zip and their answers:


Is 7-Zip safe to use?




Yes, 7-Zip is safe to use. It is a reputable software that has been around since 1999 and has millions of users worldwide. It does not contain any malware or spyware and does not collect any personal data from your PC. However, you should always download it from the official website or a trusted source to avoid any fake or malicious versions.


How do I update 7-Zip?




To update 7-Zip, you can follow these steps:



  • Go to the official website and download the latest version of the installer.



  • Run the installer and follow the instructions. It will automatically overwrite the old version of 7-Zip on your PC.



  • Restart your PC if prompted.



You can also check for updates from within 7-Zip by going to Help > Check for updates.... This will open a web page where you can see if there is a newer version available.


How do I uninstall 7-Zip?




To uninstall 7-Zip, you can follow these steps:



  • Go to Settings > Apps > Apps & features.



  • Find 7-Zip in the list of installed apps and click on it.



  • Click on Uninstall and confirm your choice.



  • Follow the instructions to complete the uninstallation process.



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