On Windows 11 23H2, it’s possible to open and extract files from Zip, RAR, Tar, and 7-Zip archival containers natively through File Explorer without third-party applications, and in this guide, you will learn how.
Although the operating system has included the ability to unzip files for a long time, you had to use third-party tools (such as 7Zip and WSL) for other archival formats, such as RAR and 7-Zip. However, on version 23H2 and higher releases, Windows 11 is integrating the libarchive open-source project to bring support for many archival formats, including (but not limited to) “.tar,” .tar.gz,” “.tar.bz2,” “.tar.zst,” “.tar.xz,” “.tgz,” .tbz2,” “.tzst,” .txz,” .rar,” and “.7z”.
The new support integrates seamlessly with the new version of File Explorer, and the files will appear with the same zipped folder icon as the icon for “.zip” files.
This guide will teach you the easy steps to open and extract Zip, RAR, and 7-Zip containers on Windows 11 23H2 through File Explorer.
Extract Zip, RAR, 7z, Tar files on Windows 11
On Windows 11 23H2, you can extract files from a “.zip,” “.tar,” .tar.gz,” “.tar.bz2,” “.tar.zst,” “.tar.xz,” “.tgz,” .tbz2,” “.tzst,” .txz,” .rar,” and “.7z” container in two ways. You can extract all or each item individually, and the instructions below will show you how.
Extract all files from File Explorer
To extract all the files from a Zip, RAR, 7z, or Tar container on Windows 11, use these steps:
Open File Explorer on Windows 11.
Browse to the folder with the compressed file location.
Right-click the Zip, RAR, 7z, Tar file and select the Extract All option. (You can also select the file and click the “Extract all” button from the command bar.)
(Optional) Click the Browse button and select the folder to extract the files.
Click the Extract button.
Once you complete the steps, the files will be extracted to the selected folder on Windows 11 23H2.
Extract a single file from File Explorer
To open a Zip, RAR, 7z, or Tar container and extract a single file, use these steps:
Open File Explorer.
Browse to the folder with the Zip, RAR, 7z, or Tar file.
Double-click the archival format to open it.
Select the file(s) (“Ctrl + A” keyboard shortcut).
Right-click the selection and choose the Copy option.
Browse to the location to extract the files.
Right-click inside the folder and choose the Paste option.
After you complete the steps, a copy of the files will be extracted to the specified folder on Windows 11.
Windows 11 has also included support for “.tar” containers for a long time, but it was only available through Command Prompt. The new integration has more support for additional archival formats and is available through File Explorer.
Microsoft is also working on enabling the ability to create archival formats, but it’s a feature that will arrive in a future update. However, as previously available, you can create zip files through File Explorer.
Also, the integration only works for archival without encryption. If the container is using an encryption password, you will receive the “Connot Complete the Archive Extraction Wizard. This archive contains encrypted data. Encryption is not currently supported.” message, and you won’t be able to open it through the integration.