How To: Open a 7z file

Have you just downloaded a .7z file? How do you open a .7z file under Windows?

What is a .7z file?

A .7z file is a compressed archive. An archive is a file that may contain one or more files, or even folders, bundled together as a single file for convenience and ease of storage or downloading. "Compressed" means that mathematical techniques have been used to reduce the amount of space occupied by each file, so that the size of the archive is much smaller than the total size of the files it contains. The .7z archive format uses several different compression methods in order to create smaller archives than the popular Zip format.

Open .7z files in Microsoft Windows recommends using BitZipper to open 7z files under Microsoft Windows. BitZipper is an archive manager that can open not only .7z files but just about every other popular compressed and encoded file format. It can also create archives using many of these formats, making it a very useful backup and storage management tool.

BitZipper has a friendly Wizard interface so you'll find it easy to use even if you have no previous experience of working with compressed files. There is a Classic interface for more experienced users, which is shown in the screenshot on the right.

BitZipper is a solid, stable and well-supported product. It runs on Windows 2000, XP and Vista.