Say Goodbye to Third-Party Tools: Windows 11 Now Supports 7-Zip and TAR Archives

compress folder files

Great news for Windows users! You’ll no longer need to install extra software to open and create 7-Zip and TAR archives on Windows 11.

Microsoft is finally adding a feature that should have been built in years ago. Starting with Windows 11, build 24H2, you can natively create 7-Zip and TAR archives directly from File Explorer.

You no longer need to rely on third-party archiving tools like Winzip, 7-Zip, or Peazip to compress your files into your archive of choice. In addition to the main formats like 7-Zip and TAR, Microsoft notes that it also supports using gzip or bzip2 compression methods.

The new feature will also allow you to change compression levels and the types of data stored in each archive. This is quite a development for Windows users tired of installing third-party utilities.

What Are 7-Zip and TAR Archive Formats?

Both are file-archiving formats you can use to manage multiple files. For instance, you may put several photos in a 7-Zip archive to email the compressed file to someone. While Windows has always included the ability to zip files and folders, 7-Zip is more efficient.

TAR is short for “Tape Archive” and has been the archiving option of choice for Unix systems for decades. You can also use built-in individualized compression for each TAR archive.

Your compression type will depend on what you need to do with the file. For example, you may want to share a TAR archive from Windows with a Mac or Linux computer.

Am I Running Windows 11 Build 24H2?

Before starting, you must ensure your system is running build 24H2 or higher to use the new built-in compression feature. If you don’t have it, the feature will be absent. Luckily, checking your version is straightforward using the following steps.

  1. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run dialog box.
  2. Type winver in the Run line and click OK or press Enter.Type Winver run dialog box
  3. When the About Windows screen appears, look next to the Version entry, verify that it’s 24H2 or above, and click OK.About-Windows-11-version-running-on-pc
  4. If you don’t have 24H2 or higher, run Windows Update to get the latest version on your PC.Run Windows Update

Creating 7-Zip and TAR Files on Windows 11

Creating an archive on Windows 11 from File Explorer is straightforward using the following steps.

  1. Open the folder containing the files you want to archive in File Explorer.
  2. Hold Ctrl or Shift and highlight the files you files folder file explorer
  3. Once you have highlighted the files you want to archive, right-click and select Compress to from the context menu that appears.compress to context menu
  4. You can choose the type of compression you want to use from the dropdown menu, such as 7z, TAR, Zip, or Additional options.choose compression format
  5. Give your compressed archive a name and email, share, or store it for compressed file
  6. To get more options, click Additional options from the dropdown menu and choose the Archive format, compression method like bzip2, and compression level.Choose Compression Options for 7-zip and TAR archives
  7. To open a TAR or 7z compressed file, double-click it and choose File Explorer to open it and access its content.Open 7-zip and TAR compressed file with file explorer

Note: It’s important to mention that WinRAR is a proprietary compression format, but you can learn about opening RAR files on Windows 11. Also, you can still use third-party compression utilities to manage TAR and 7z files created with Windows.

Using Compression on Windows 11

The ability to natively create and open TAR, 7z, and other compression methods is a welcome feature for Windows users. The ease of use and availability make managing your data a snap. The compression feature will allow users to transfer large files between machines in a snap. Extra software is no longer required.

Compression makes it easier to share files and lets you archive large files to save storage space on your internal, external, and cloud-based storage options.

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