Windows is Finally Getting Built-in Support for RAR and ZIP Files

In an upcoming version of Windows 11, anticipated to be released this week, Microsoft is introducing built-in support for RAR, 7-Zip, and GZ archives.

During the Build 2023 conference, Microsoft made several announcements, including the upcoming Windows 11 Moment 3 update and the introduction of the AI-driven Windows Copilot.

Microsoft’s Chief Product Officer Panos Panay shared details about these exciting features and their expected availability to the general public in a recent blog post.

As initially discovered by The Verge, a section highlighting a new Windows 11 developer feature called Dev Home revealed that native support for RAR, 7-Zip, and GZ archives would soon be incorporated into Windows 11.

Panay explained:

We have added native support for additional archive formats, including tar, 7-Zip, RAR, gz and many others using the libarchive open-source project. You now can get improved performance of archive functionality during compression on Windows.

ZIP, 7-Zip, and RAR are all popular archive formats on Windows, with ZIP being the most commonly utilized among them. While Microsoft introduced native support for ZIP archives in Windows back in 1998, handling 7-Zip (.7z), RAR (.rar), or gz (.gz) archives typically required the installation of third-party applications.

Despite 7-Zip being freely available as open-source software and WinRar offering a 40-day trial that’s functionally unlimited, being a meme in the tech community for the longest time, the addition of native support for these file formats will prove highly beneficial for Windows users.

Microsoft’s decision to utilize the open-source libarchive project to incorporate these formats suggests that we can anticipate native support for additional widely used archive formats, such as TAR and bzip2, in the future.

The company has confirmed that support for these archive formats will gradually be made available to Windows 11 users through a ‘work-in-progress’ update over the upcoming days.

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