Today, the size that the documents we create with our favorite applications can reach is really important, so much so that on many occasions it limits the way in which we can share these files with colleagues and friends or family. Although there are ways to send large files to other people, the truth is that they are not always available and they are invariably more difficult services to use than simply copying the file to a USB stick or other storage medium.
That is why applications to compress files, that is, software that helps us to reduce the size of our files, are tools that will always be in the arsenal of any user as a first step to make everything related to data more comfortable. handling of large files. But not only that, since they offer us other advantages such as the possibility of packaging a set of files so that they behave as one.
If you are new to computing, and you are not very clear about what applications such as WinRAR, WinZip or 7-Zip are for, in this post you will learn everything about them, which will be really useful to solve any problem with sending or storing large files .
Before starting to learn how to decompress ZIP or RAR files, the first thing we will have to do is learn about the main differences between these two types of compressed files.
What are RAR and ZIP files?
RAR or ZIP files are basically the same, file formats that contain an image, video or any other type of document that has been reduced in size in order to make it more convenient to store or send by mail or courier.
Although there are technical differences between one format and another, they are transparent to the user, that is, the compression methods used by one format or the other do not affect the end user at all, who only wants to reduce the size of a file. certain file and will achieve it through any of these compression formats.
The most important difference, and also the most visible one, is that a compressed RAR file can only be created with the proprietary application of the format, WinRAR. However, we can decompress a RAR file with practically any software to open compressed files, such as WinZIP, 7-Zip, PeaZip or with many free decompression tools that we can find on the Internet.
In other words, to create a RAR file we will need WinRAR, but not to be able to open a file in RAR format. If we want to create a RAR file, we must buy WinRAR, but the truth is that for most users they will not notice the difference between both types of compressed file when working with them.
If you wish, you can download WinRAR by clicking on this link. WinRAR is presented as a free version, but it will only serve us in this way for a few days, after that period we will have to buy a license to continue using it.
On the other hand, we have WinZIP, an application that has to offer additional options such as managing ZIP files in a kind of catalog to convince potential customers, since compressing and decompressing ZIP files can be done by any compressed file software in the market, all of them free. Even Windows allows us to compress and decompress ZIP files with its own tools, located in the context menu when we click on a compressed file of this type.
Also the operating system of Apple computers offers free of charge the possibility of compressing and decompressing ZIP files without having to resort to third-party applications.
If you wish, you can try to download WinZIP by clicking on this link. In this case, the same conditions as for WinRAR run, we use it for free for a while, and then we have to pay to continue using it.
Leaving aside any technical considerations in relation to the speed with which it is compressed, or the compression ratio, that is, to how much a file can be compressed, the algorithms that use RAR or ZIP are indifferent to users, which most likely is Most of us never need those milliseconds less of performance differences between one type of compressed file and another.
Finally, if we are in doubt about what format to use to compress our files, the best option in this case would be ZIP, since it is compatible with all operating systems, including Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and others. This offers us the security that our compressed files can be opened without compatibility problems in any circumstance and workplace.
We can also do it without spending a penny, since there are completely free file compression applications that could even be said to be better than WinRAR or WinZIP, as is the case with 7-Zip, a fantastic file compression and decompression tool that even allows us to decompress RAR files as if we were doing it with the native application.
Unzip RAR and ZIP archives with 7-zip
Arguably, having to pay to compress or decompress files is not an issue that should be thought about or discussed too exhaustively, especially when these applications do not offer other important features that fully justify their price, and even more so when there is so much software. free that performs the same actions and even better. The compression and decompression of files does not escape from this reality.
In this sense, 7-Zip is perhaps the most complete and efficient tool to compress and decompress files that we can find, since it offers very interesting advantages such as not being in any way invasive like WinRAR or WinZIP, using few computer resources system, offer a portable version, be easy to use, be able to work with many different formats of compressed files and many other options. It is also totally free, what more can we ask for?
7-Zip is a file compression and decompression application that comes from the world of Open Source, that is to say that in addition to being free we can access its source code to be able to improve it or even make modifications, of course, for that we need to have knowledge of programming.
Among the many advantages that 7-Zip offers, in addition to its ease of use and transparency, is the possibility of compressing files with a high compression rate, which can even reach up to 30 or 50 percent more than the ZIP format. , especially if we use compression formats like “7z”. In the case of the ZIP format, the compression rate can be up to 10% higher than in other popular apps of this type such as PKZip and WinZip.
In addition to a simple but really effective graphical interface, which makes it ideal to avoid distractions when working with compressed files, good speed when extracting files and high compression rate, 7-Zip offers support, that is, it allows compressing and decompressing files , to multiple compression formats such as 7z, ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2, TAR, RAR, CAB, ISO, ARJ, LZH, CHM, Z, CPIO, RPM, DEB and NSIS.
Other features of 7-Zip are the ability to create self-extracting compressed files, full integration with the Windows context menu, and it is compatible with Linux as well as Windows.
To compress or decompress files with 7-Zip
The first thing we have to do is download 7-Zip, which we can achieve by accessing its website by clicking on this link.
After that, we install it in the standard way for any application. At this point we can select some of the characteristics such as that 7-Zip is associated with all types of compressed files.
To compress files or folders with 7-Zip
Once we do these steps, we are ready to use 7-Zip.
To compress a file with 7-Zip we have two options available. The first one is to select the folder with the files that we want to compress and then select, with the right button of the mouse, the option “7-Zip> Add to “Name of folder.7z”. Once 7-Zip has finished, we will have our compressed file ready.
The other available way is to do it directly from the program interface. For this we execute “7-Zip File Manager”.
When the program interface appears, we move to the folder that we want to compress using the navigation bar. When we are there, we select the folders or files and click on the “Add” button.
We select the location and other pertinent options and then to finish, click on the “Accept” button.
To unzip files or folders with 7-Zip
Click on the compressed file with the right mouse button and select the option “7-Zip> Extract files in Folder name \”
Once we have finished that step, the compressed file or folders will already be available to be used in the selected location. As in compression, to decompress a file with 7-Zip we can also use the program’s interface. To do this, we follow the same steps as for compression, that is, we run “7-Zip File Manager” and others.
After that, we move to the location of the compressed files that we want to decompress. We select them and then click on the “Extract” button. At this point a window will appear where we can select some options such as the location where we want to store the file and others. To finish, click on the “Accept” button.
Unzip RAR and ZIP archives with WinRAR
One of the main characteristics of WinRAR is that it is a really simple application to use, and therefore decompressing a compressed RAR or ZIP file using WinRAR is really a very simple task, which consists of a few simple steps.
We move to the location where we have the ZIP or RAR compressed files that we want to decompress.
After that, we click on the compressed RAR or ZIP file and then double-click on it. In the case that in the WinRAR preferences we have set that the RAR or ZIP files open automatically with WinRAR, the app will open immediately.
In the event that the compressed RAR or ZIP files are not registered to be opened by WinRAR, we can always click on the compressed RAR or ZIP file with the right mouse button and select the option “Open with WinRAR”.
If we want WinRAR to be able to open all compressed files, all we have to do is associate the file extensions, which we can do in the “Options” > “Settings” menu and finally clicking on the “Change all” button in the “Integration” tab .
Once we have done all the steps, all that remains is to select the location to extract the compressed file, and wait for the system to finish, which will depend on the size of the compressed files.
Unzip RAR and ZIP archives with WinZIP
WinZIP is a good file compression and decompression tool, and as such it is easy to use, although sometimes it can make us a bit dizzy with the appearance of its interface. If we want to unzip ZP or RAR files with WinZIP, then we must follow the instructions detailed below.
We move to the folder that contains the compressed RAR or ZIP files. There we click on them with the right button of the mouse and select the option “WinZip”, an action that will immediately appear a submenu from which we can choose the decompression option that best suits us, the most used being “Unzip to …” or ” Unzip here”.
The first option allows us to choose a different location from where the compressed file is located, while the second option unzips the file in the same location.
In the case of having selected the second decompression option, a window will appear in which we can select the destination of the files that we are going to decompress with WinZIP.
To finish, click on the “Unzip” button.