How to Use 7-Zip to Unzip

By Justin H. Pot

Learning new software can be daunting, but it doesn't have to be overwhelming. Learning to unzip archives with 7-Zip is easy enough. 7-Zip--and programs like it--is designed to open and create archives, files that serve two purposes: to compress and combine. Compression means files take up less space; combined means multiple files become a single file. 7-Zip can open most archived files and is absolutely free.

Step 1

Install 7-Zip if you haven't already. Download the program from the 7-Zip website (see "Resources," below) and run the installer.

Step 2

Set 7-Zip as the default program to open archives. There are a number of different archive file formats. 7-Zip can open most of them, including its native .7z format, .zip files, .rar files and more. It will be a lot easier to use if you set 7-Zip as default for all the formats it's capable of. After installing 7-Zip, open the program, click "Tools" and choose "Options." On the "System" tab, check all formats. You can now open any compressed file by double-clicking them in Windows Explorer.

Step 3

Extract your files. There are two main ways of doing this. The first is to right-click the files and choose "Extract Here," which will allow you to upzip a file completely without opening the file. The other method is to double-click the file to open it within 7-Zip, and then click the "Extract" button on the toolbar. You will then be asked where you would like to extract the given files to.