For a while, Windows didn't support most compression formats including RAR and 7Z.Unable to handle these compression formats, popular third-party tools such as WinRar and 7-Zip emerged as the most popular applications installed by users with the Windows operating system.
But Microsoft seems to want to reduce its reliance on these compressed file management tools. Windows 11 now includes options to manage other archive formats like RAR and TAR without the need for third-party applications.Here's how to enable and use it in Windows 11.
Does Windows require built-in archive format support?
For a long time, when downloading an archive (RAR, 11Z, TAR, or any other format) on Windows 7 or older, it simply wasn't possible to double-click to open the archive.Also, files cannot be extracted using File Explorer.
Some archive formats, such as ZIP files, can be viewed and extracted using File Explorer.But many archive formats remain inaccessible without third-party archive manager tools.
However, Microsoft changed that in Insider Dev build 23493.The update allows users to experiment with built-in support for various archive formats.So, you no longer need the trusty WinRar or 11-Zip applications when opening archives in Windows 7.
This Insider release extends support for multiple archive formats using the libarchive open source project.This means you can now view and extract the following formats in Windows 11 without any third-party applications:
However, the news is undoubtedly bad news for WinRar and other similar archive manager tools.Microsoft is actively working to introduce various features in Windows 11 to reduce reliance on third-party software when it comes to making trivial tweaks and changes.
The update also introduces dynamic lighting to Windows 11.This feature allows you to control all RGB lighting devices connected to your Windows PC without the need for third-party applications.
How to enable and use archive support in Windows 11
As of this writing, archive support is only available in build 23493 in the Windows Insider Dev channel.
To get this feature, you can update your Windows Insider PCs registered to the Developer Channel to build 23493.
Certain experimental features require ViVeTool to enable and use, but archive support in Windows 11 does not require ViVeTool.
After installing the latest Insider build, we downloaded three archive files (.rar, .7z, and .tar) and removed any archive management programs from our computer.File Explorer can now read these archive formats like ZIP format files.You can double-click the archive file to open it in a new window.From there, you can drag and drop the content to another location on your computer.
Alternatively, you can right-click the archive file and click the Extract All option from the right-click menu.
Then, choose a suitable location to extract the files and click the "Extract" button.alright!Archive content is now easily accessible without any third-party archive manager tools.
But that doesn't mean the end of third-party apps.If you want to compress files or folders into a format other than ZIP, you still need tools such as WinRar, because Windows can only compress files and folders into ZIP format.
You may experience performance issues when extracting content from newly supported archive formats.This is because the feature is still experimental and will be gradually refined before the preview and stable releases.
Handle other archive formats easily on Windows
The Windows operating system supports many common archive formats, which is a welcome new feature.It will definitely reduce the dependence on WinRar and other tools to some extent.But there are still many use cases for archive manager software, such as compressing files to other formats, adding passwords, choosing compression methods, and other options.
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