How to Open a CAB File

By Craig Witt

Cabinet (CAB) files give you the ability to combine multiple files into a single, compressed archive that is smaller and more efficient to distribute than sending each individual file on its own. CAB is the native compressed archive format for the Microsoft Windows operating system, and it works in a similar manner to the ubiquitous Zip format. As a result, most applications capable of working with Zip files can handle CAB files, as well. Windows Explorer, WinZip and WinRAR each allow you to open CAB archives and view their contents with just a few clicks.

Windows Explorer

Step 1

Navigate to the folder containing the CAB file you want to open.

Step 2

Right-click the CAB file icon.

Step 3

Select "Open." The contents of the file appear in a folder on your screen immediately. To extract the contents of the archive, highlight all of the files, right-click a highlighted file and select "Copy," and then click "Paste" in the folder where you want the files transferred.

WinZip

Step 1

Open WinZip.

Step 2

Click "File" in the top menu bar and select "Open."

Step 3

Locate the CAB file in the resulting window and select it by double-clicking its icon. The contents of the file appear in a folder on your screen immediately. To extract the contents of the archive, click the "Extract" button near the top of the window, select the folder where you want to place the files, select the "All Files" option and then click "Extract."

WinRAR

Step 1

Open WinRAR.

Step 2

Click "File" in the top menu bar and select "Open archive."

Step 3

Locate the CAB file in the resulting window and select it by double-clicking its icon. The contents of the file appear in a folder on your screen immediately. To extract the contents of the archive, click the "Extract To" button near the top of the window, select the folder where you want to place the files and then click "OK."