Dylan's Advent of Cool Nerd Things Day 16: 7-Zip

I was working desktop support back in the days when email didn’t really work yet, and about once a week, somebody would call Helpdesk to say they couldn’t open an email attachment. By the time I eventually left that job, I knew more than you can possibly imagine about compression and archiving formats. ZIP, BZIP, GZIP, TAR, UUEncode, LZH, LZW… and those were just the ones we had back in 1997. These days, email has got a lot better, but once in while I’ll still get an attachment in a format I’ve not seen in a while. And now that almost everything is distributed online via the web, you’ll also find virtual CD and DVD images floating around in .ISO format, macOS installers baked into DMG files, VMDK files containing virtual hard drives, MSIs and CAB files containing software installers… isn’t progress wonderful?

That’s where 7-Zip comes in. 7-Zip is a free Windows application that will open just about any archive file format you can think of, as well as creating and managing archives in most popular formats. I’ve used it on every Windows computer I’ve run since Windows 2000, and found it absolutely indispensable – it’s one of the first things I install on any new machine I’m setting up, and one of the first things I notice is missing if I’m working on someone else’s PC and they don’t have it installed.


It’s free (GPL2), it’s incredibly useful, and it’s available at 7-zip.org - check it out.

Part of #Nerdvent: Dylan's Advent of Cool Nerd Things 2020