How to extract Zip, TAR, 7z, and RAR files on Windows 11

File Explorer is now capable to open and extract Zip, RAR, Tar, and 7-Zip archival containers start on Windows 11 23H2.

File Explorer extract zip, rar, 7p, and tar
File Explorer extract zip, rar, 7p, and tar

UPDATED 7/9/2024: 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. (You can use these instructions to create archival formats on Windows 11 24H2.)

Extract Zip, TAR, RAR, 7z 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:

  1. Open File Explorer on Windows 11.

  2. Browse to the folder with the compressed file location.

  3. 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.)

    File Explorer extract all option

  4. (Optional) Click the Browse button and select the folder to extract the files.

  5. Click the Extract button.

    Extract all zip, rar, tar, and 7p files

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:

  1. Open File Explorer.

  2. Browse to the folder with the Zip, RAR, 7z, or Tar file.

  3. Double-click the archival format to open it.

  4. Select the file(s) (“Ctrl + A” keyboard shortcut).

  5. Right-click the selection and choose the Copy option.

    File Explorer extract one file from zip, rar, tar, 7p

  6. Browse to the location to extract the files.

  7. 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.

Update July 9, 2024: This guide has been updated to ensure accuracy and reflect changes to the process.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 15 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 21 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].