Windows 11 Is Getting Native RAR, 7-ZIP, TAR, GZ File Compression Support

Adding the open-source librarz libarchive will eliminate the need for third-party software such as 7-ZIP or WinRAR for these tasks.

Windows 11 is set to receive native support for additional archive formats, including tar, 7-zip, rar, gz, and many others, announced yesterday alongside the upcoming Windows Copilot integration the company revealed during its Build 2023 event.

The improved file compression support is made possible through the integration of the libarchive open-source project, which will significantly improve the performance of archive functionality during compression and decompression on .

Support for a Variety of Archive and Compression Formats

The libarchive project is a multi-format archive and compression library that supports a variety of archive and compression formats. Its robust automatic format detection includes archive/compression combinations such as tar.gz. Library's zero-copy internal architecture ensures high performance, while its streaming architecture eliminates all size limits on the archive. The library is designed to work on most POSIX-like systems, including FreeBSD, Linux, Solaris, and also supports Windows, including Cygwin, MinGW, and Visual Studio. Integrating libarchinve into Windows will make the manual installation of the library obsolete.

Libarchive is highly modular, designed from the beginning to make it relatively easy to add new archive formats and compression algorithms. Each program that uses libarchive chooses which formats it wants to use, so support in libarchive does not guarantee support in any particular program. However, the bsdtar and bsdcpio programs included in the libarchive distribution do enable all libarchive formats by default.

Integration into Windows 11

The integration of libarchive into represents a significant step forward in the operating system's native file handling capabilities. This move will provide users with improved performance and versatility when working with a variety of compressed file formats, eliminating the need for third-party such as 7-ZIP or WinRAR for the previously unsupported formats. How the integration will happen is unclear. Microsoft might add it just under the hood for easy use of applications or via Windows PowerShell. Ideally there also would be a new clickable option to use other compression formats than ZIP in Windows File Explorer.

Adding of native support for these archive formats will undoubtedly be welcomed by users who regularly work with compressed files. It will simplify the process of file compression and decompression, making it more efficient and user-friendly.