How to Unzip a Cab File

Cabinet files, like Zip files, contain compressed data. Microsoft uses cab files to package software programs. When you install one of these programs, the installer extracts the cab files to your hard drive. Microsoft originally created cabs to work with floppy disks that could not hold much data. You can view the contents of a cab file by unzipping it and extracting its contents to a folder.

Businesswomen in lunchroom looking at laptop
credit: Tom Ackerman/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Step

Click the Windows "Start" menu button and type "cmd." The "cmd.exe" icon will appear in the list of search results.

Step

Click that icon to open the "Command" window.

Step

Type the following command:

Step

expand xyz.cab -f:* C:\targetFolder

Step

Replace "xyz.cab" with the name of your cab file. Replace "C:\targetFolder" with the name of the destination folder. For example, to unzip a cab file named "mycab.cab" to a folder named "Test" on your "C" drive, type the following:

Step

expand mycab.cab -f* C:\Test

Step

Press "Enter." Windows will extract the cab files and place them in the destination folder.