How to Unzip or Extract tar.gz Files on Windows

The.tar.gz format is used to compress and store a wide variety of files, including films, whole software packages, and many other types of data. Even though extracting data from a.tar.gz file isn't nearly as simple as decompressing a.zip archive, the process is still rather uncomplicated. This guide will provide the steps to or tar.gz files on , as well as a few helpful tips and tricks.

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What Are .tar and .tar.gz Files?

A “.tar” file is an archive that is a collection of files that have been compressed into a single file. Short for “Tape ARchive,” the name “TAR” is a throwback to when files were stored on magnetic tape drives. Thankfully, you don't need to be a 1960s computer technician to use and extract .tar files, nor do modern .tar files even have anything to do with old computers.

Just like the more well-known .zip files,.tar files compress large files into a single package. This makes it much simpler to store and send the files via email, servers, and other similar mediums. As a direct consequence of this, it has developed into a widespread file extension that is utilized by a variety of open-source software packages and other resources. But with .zip being the easier of the two to use, why use .tar in the first place? As we'll see later, .tar comes with a few extra features that make it the better compression format for certain files and applications.

How to Unzip/Extract .tar.gz Files on Windows

The Windows operating system does not natively support .tar.gz files, so you will need to install a third-party tool to extract them. We recommend 7-Zip, a free, open-source file archive utility that can handle .tar.gz files.

Step 1: Download and Install 7-Zip

The first step is to download and install 7-Zip. You can download the software from the official 7-Zip website. Once the download is complete, run the setup program to install 7-Zip on your system.

Step 2: Right-click on the

The next step is to right-click on the .tar.gz file you wish to extract and select 7-Zip from the context menu. This will open the 7-Zip File Manager window.

Step 3: Select “Extract”

In the 7-Zip File Manager window, select “Extract” from the toolbar. This will open the Extract window.

Step 4: Select the Destination Folder

The next step is to select the destination folder where you want to extract the files from the .tar.gz file. To do this, click the “Browse” button in the Extract window and select the destination folder.

Step 5: Click “OK.”

Once you have selected the destination folder, click “OK” to begin extracting the files. You will see a progress bar in the Extract window showing the extraction progress.

Step 6: View the Extracted Files

Once the extraction is complete, you can view the extracted files in the destination folder.


Extracting or unzipping .tar.gz files on Windows is a fairly straightforward process. With the help of a third-party tool like 7-Zip, you can easily extract the files in a few simple steps.

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