Using 7zip with file archives

From TOI-Pedia

This tutorial covers how to create file archives using 7-Zip.


File archives are also known as "zipfiles" or "compressed files" or "compressed archives". It's a generic name for files that contain a collection of files in them and often use compression to reduce file size. Well known archive formats include: zip, 7zip, rar, and tar (compressed tar: tar.gz and tar.bz2).

7-Zip is an open source file archiver. It's available from for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

This page uses abbreviations for the mouse buttons:

LMB: Left Mouse Button

MMB: Middle Mouse Button

RMB: Right Mouse Button

Extracting file archives

Windows has native support for zip archives, which means you can open and browse through them just like normal folders. Nevertheless it's recommended to extract archives before you start working with the files contained in the archive.

With a default installation of 7-Zip, you can RMB-click a file archive and extract the files through the 7-Zip context menu:

7Zip context menu, cascaded

The precise options that you'll see may vary, depending on the version and configuration. You can also configure 7-Zip to show the options directly in the main context menu and not in a 7-Zip sub-menu (not cascaded):

7Zip context menu

Choose either Extract Here to extract the files in the archive to the current folder, or Extract to "Folder name/" to extract the files into a sub folder with the name of the file archive.

Creating file archives

In your file explorer, select the file, folder or collection of files and folders and RMB-click the selection:

7Zip create archive context menu cascaded

The precise options that you'll see may vary, depending on the version and configuration. The options may not be shown in a sub menu, also depending on the configuration.

Choose either Add to archive... to add the files to a new archive, showing the 7Zip application window to set the options, or Add to "" to directly add the files into a zip archive using the default settings.

When you use Add to archive... the following window is shown to change the settings:

7Zip archive options

The most important option is the Archive format. Here you can select which type of archive to create. Sometimes a specific format may be required, for example when handing in files or exchanging data with others.

Configuring 7Zip

Find the 7-Zip program shortcut in your Start menu and click 7-Zip File Manager.

7Zip File Manager in start menu

Open the menu Tools and click Options:

7Zip plugin options

Select the 7-Zip plugin and click Options:

7Zip context menu shell integration

Here you can choose whether you want 7-Zip to use a cascaded context menu (sub menu) or not. You can also select which options to show in the context menu. The configuration above is just an example. It shows a practical minimum of options.

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