How to Unzip a Cab File

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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.


Step 1

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

Step 2

Click that icon to open the "Command" window.

Step 3

Type the following command:

expand -f:* C:\targetFolder


Replace "" 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 "" to a folder named "Test" on your "C" drive, type the following:

expand -f* C:\Test

Step 4

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


You can also expand a folder containing multiple cab files by entering "expand C:\sourceFolder -f:* C:\targetFolder" (without the quotes). Replace "C:\sourceFolder" with the name of the folder containing the cab files, and "C:\targetFolder" with the name of the destination folder.


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