Table of Contents

In this blog, we will cover the following topics.

What is a 7z file?

7z is a file format primarily utilized for archiving and compressing files. It is renowned for its exceptional compression ratio, which enables significant reduction in file size while maintaining the integrity of their content. The 7z format possesses a wide array of features including data compression, encryption, and pre-processing algorithms. This flexibility allows users to encrypt data, compress them, and perform certain actions prior to compression.

Here is some key information about 7z file format.

Developer7z format initially implemented by Igor Pavlov through the 7-Zip archiver
Software7-Zip is a widely-used open-source file archiver software
LicenseDistributed under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL)
License TermsAllows free usage, modification, and distribution under specified conditions outlined in the license
Compression MechanismUtilizes the LZMA SDK (Software Development Kit) version 4.62 for compression
LZMA SDK VersionVersion 4.62 of the LZMA SDK, utilized for compression, entered the public domain in December 2008
Latest Stable VersionsBoth 7-Zip and LZMA SDK are currently at version 23.01
Release Year7z format was first released in 1999

Features of 7z

7z is a highly versatile file compression format and software developed by Igor Pavlov. Here are key features of 7z.

High Compression RatioUtilizes LZMA and LZMA2 compression algorithms for superior compression rates.
Open SourceBoth the format and software are open source, allowing for modification and distribution.
Cross-Platform CompatibilityAvailable for Windows, macOS, Linux, and other operating systems.
Support for Multiple Compression AlgorithmsOffers BZIP2, PPMd, and other compression methods for flexibility.
EncryptionSupports strong AES-256 encryption for data security.
Splitting ArchivesEnables splitting large files into smaller parts for easier transfer or storage.
Unicode SupportFully supports Unicode filenames for internationalization.
Archive Header CompressionCompresses file headers within archives to reduce overall size.
Integration with File ManagersIntegrates with file managers for convenient compression and decompression.
Solid CompressionOffers solid compression to treat multiple files as a single data block, improving efficiency.
Archive Integrity VerificationSupports file checksums to verify the integrity of compressed archives.

Compression Methods of 7z

In the following table, we have summarized the compression methods supported by 7-Zip.

Compression MethodDescription
LZMADefault method, offers high compression ratios but may be slower.
LZMA2Improved version of LZMA, with better multithreading support and improved compression speed.
PPMdBased on statistical models, provides excellent compression ratios, especially for text files.
BZip2Uses Burrows-Wheeler transform and Huffman coding, offering a balance between compression ratio and speed.
DeflateUsed in the ZIP format, provides moderate compression ratios and is relatively fast.
Delta filterCompresses data by encoding differences between adjacent bytes.
BCJUsed for executable files to improve compression ratios by replacing certain sequences of machine code instructions.

Comparison of 7z with other Compression Formats

In the comparison below, we highlight the key aspects of these formats — namely, 7z, Zip, and Gzip — that will be helpful for users in selecting the most suitable option for their specific needs.

Compression RatioHighestModerateModerate
Compression SpeedSlowerFasterModerate
Software SupportWidely supported by many toolsWidely supported by most platformsWidely supported in Unix/Linux envs
UsageArchiving large files, backupsGeneral-purpose file compressionSingle file compression, often for web
Openness and LicensingOpen-source under GNU LGPL licensePublic domainGNU GPL license

How to open a 7z file?

To open or extract contents of 7z file, you can follow these steps.

  1. Download a 7-Zip utility from the official website if you don’t have one already.
  2. Install the 7-Zip utility following the provided instructions.
  3. Locate the .7z file on your computer, typically in your Downloads folder or where you saved it.
  4. Right-click on the .7z file and select “Open with 7-Zip” or open 7-Zip and navigate to the .7z file.
  5. The .7z file will open in 7-Zip, displaying its contents.
  6. Select the files you want to extract and click the “Extract” button.
  7. Choose the location where you want to extract the files and click “OK” or “Extract”.
  8. Once the extraction is complete, navigate to the chosen location to access the extracted files.


Here are some FAQs about 7z that may come to mind.

  1. How do I open a .7z file?

    You can open .7z file using file compression software like 7-Zip, WinRAR, or PeaZip.

  2. What is a 7z file?

    A 7z file is a compressed archive format, similar to .zip or .rar files.

  3. Is 7z zip safe?

    Yes, 7z zip is generally safe for compressing and storing files.

  4. Is 7-Zip better than Zip?

    It depends on your needs, but 7-Zip offers higher compression ratios.

  5. Is 7-Zip free?

    Yes, 7-Zip is open-source software distributed under the GNU LGPL license.

  6. How to open 7z files without software?

    You can’t directly open 7z files without software, but you can extract them.

  7. Is 7z zip safe?

    Yes, 7z zip is generally safe for compressing and storing files.

  8. Is 7-Zip better than Zip?

    It depends on your needs, but 7-Zip offers higher compression ratios.

  9. Is 7z faster than Zip?

    In general, 7z compression tends to be faster than traditional zip compression.

  10. Is 7-Zip faster than WinRAR?

    It can be, depending on the specific files being compressed and your settings.

  11. What is 7-zip used for?

    7-Zip is used for compressing and decompressing files, similar to WinRAR or Zip.

  12. Is 7-Zip open source?

    Yes, 7-Zip is open-source software distributed under the GNU LGPL license.


In this blog post, we’ve explored the features of 7z, its compression methods, and compared it with other popular compression formats. Additionally, we’ve provided insights into how to open 7z files and addressed common FAQs surrounding this format. Whether you’re archiving documents, sharing multimedia files, or simply looking to optimize storage space, 7z proves to be a reliable solution for your compression needs.