How to open 7z files

To open a ZIP archive in 7z file format, it needs the 7-Zip packing program or other unpacking programs like WinZip or WinRAR. We’ll show you how to easily open a 7z file.

What is the file type 7z?

If you need to send large or many files or if you need to download them, then you may already be familiar with the common file extensions .zip and .rar. The 7-Zip file format with the .7z file extension is also one of the strongest data compression formats. 7z files are created with a 7-Zip packing program. The resulting archive files can combine different file formats (compressed and uncompressed) and also encrypt them. 7-Zip has one of the highest compression rates and can reduce original files to about 85 percent of their storage size.

What are the benefits of 7-Zip?

The advantage of the free, open-source packing program 7-Zip is that it is very extensive in its functions. Not only does it let you compress files – it also lets you encrypt them. In addition, it supports numerous formats such as ZIP, TAR, WIM, XZ, GZ, BZ2, APK, DOCX, JAR, RPM, ISO, DMG, FLV, SWF, and DEB for packing and unpacking, as well as RAR, ARJ, CPIO, LZH, LHA, MSI CAB, and EXE for unpacking only. If you want to use the program, you have the choice between an installed and a portable version of 7-Zip.

Two major strengths of 7-Zip: you can create disassembled and self-extracting 7z archives, as well as encrypted archives. The ability to split 7z files into sub-archives ensures even faster transfers. The self-extracting feature can be used by saving the files as EXE files. You can access the contents immediately with a double-click. In turn, the AES encryption with 256-bit cipher key length for 7z and ZIP including password protection ensures high security. This is a particularly intuitive and clear method thanks to the file manager and its graphical interface.

Opening the file type 7z: here’s how

Unpacking a 7z file is easiest with the 7-Zip packing program. Since it supports the most common file formats, it’s suitable both for creating ZIP files and for unpacking the most diverse archive files. 7-Zip is therefore particularly powerful and versatile. Since the program is not integrated into Windows, the first step is to download and install the software from a reputable source. After installation, you can unzip 7z files of your choice simply by right-clicking on “Open with” and selecting “7-Zip” from the available programs.

How else can you open a 7z file?

To open 7z files, you can also use other popular packing programs, for example:

  • WinZip for Windows
  • WinRAR for Windows
  • WinZip Mac Edition
  • The Unarchiver for Mac
  • TAR for Linux

In our dedicated articles, we present more WinZip alternatives and WinRAR alternatives.

How to open a 7z file online

If you rarely deal with archive files, but urgently want to extract a 7-Zip file without software, you can simply use online tools such as or to get the job done. The online unpackers are websites that allow you to upload and extract archive files in 7z format as well. Depending on the tool, you can choose whether you want to pack or unpack files. You can also specify the destination format and location. This way, you’ll be able to unpack your archive file without much effort and, most importantly, without additional programs.


You don’t know much about compressed file formats like .zip and .7z? Read the Digital Guide to learn how to create a zip file, how to encrypt a zip file, and how to open zip files.

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