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In a groundbreaking move, Microsoft has announced the integration of native support for 7-Zip (.7z), RAR (.rar), and gz (.gz) archives in its latest operating system, Windows 11. This development comes as welcome news to millions of Windows users who previously relied on third-party applications to manipulate these popular archive formats.


Microsoft Embraces Open Standards: Windows 11 Integrates 7-Zip, RAR, and GZ Archive Support Using Libarchive
Windows 11 Adds Native Support for Common Linux Archive Formats


  • Microsoft announces native support for 7-Zip, RAR, and GZ archives in Windows 11, eliminating the need for third-party applications.
  • The integration of common Linux archiving formats like gz and TAR in Windows 11 showcases the increasing integration between Windows and Linux systems.
  • Microsoft's use of the libarchive open-source project ensures compatibility, stability, and ongoing support for the newly supported archive formats.



Windows 11 Breaks Free from Third-Party Apps with Native Support for 7-Zip, RAR, and GZ Archives

Since Microsoft introduced support for ZIP archives in Windows back in 1998, users have had to install additional software to work with 7-Zip, RAR, and gz archives. This additional step often caused inconvenience and introduced compatibility issues. However, with the recent announcement made during the //BUILD/2023 conference, Microsoft has put an end to this limitation.


Panos Panay, Chief Product Officer at Microsoft, explained the reasoning behind this significant update in a blog post. We have added native support for additional archive formats, including tar, 7-Zip, RAR, gz, and many others using the libarchive open-source project, he stated. This move demonstrates Microsoft's commitment to enhancing the user experience by integrating essential features directly into its operating system.



While the gz archive format has been primarily associated with Linux systems through the GNU Zip (gzip) utility, as well as TAR archives, its inclusion in Windows 11 signifies the increasing integration between the two operating systems. The popularity of the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) has fostered a closer relationship between Windows and Linux, prompting Microsoft to embrace common Linux archiving formats.


The addition of native support for 7-Zip, RAR, and gz archives in Windows 11 brings several advantages to users. Firstly, it eliminates the need for third-party software, simplifying the archiving process and reducing the risk of compatibility issues. Users can now seamlessly handle these archive formats without relying on external tools, improving efficiency and productivity.



Moreover, this integration enhances cross-platform collaboration. With the proliferation of mixed Windows and Linux environments in today's computing landscape, the ability to work with gz and TAR archives directly in Windows allows for smoother data exchange between the two ecosystems.


Whether it's sharing files, collaborating on projects, or extracting compressed data, users can now seamlessly navigate between Windows and Linux systems without encountering archiving format obstacles.


Microsoft's decision to leverage the libarchive open-source project to provide native support for these archive formats demonstrates the company's commitment to open standards and collaboration with the developer community. By utilizing established open-source tools, Microsoft ensures compatibility, stability, and ongoing support for these formats.



As the next update of Windows 11 approaches its official release, users can anticipate a more seamless archiving experience and enjoy the benefits of native support for 7-Zip, RAR, and gz archives. Microsoft's progressive approach to meeting user demands and adapting to the evolving technology landscape sets the stage for a future where operating systems seamlessly integrate and empower users to work across platforms with ease.


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