Open archive files with Universal Extractor

runs on Windows
screenshot of Universal Extractor

How many different types of archive files do you suppose there are? The ability to take a bunch of files and either combine them all together so that they travel as a group (like TAR) or to squish them all into a compact little bundle (like ZIP files) is pretty handy. When you're presented with an archive file that you need to open up, hopefully it's in one of these, or some other commonly-recognized format. Unfortunately, there's a whole bunch of lesser-known (and used) formats out there than may not lend themselves to an easy unpacking job. For those, you may need a more robust tool, like Universal Extractor.

Universal Extractor might be likened to a Swiss Army knife, in that it's a tool of a thousand and one uses (or at least a couple dozen). You would probably have a hard time throwing an archive file at it that it didn't recognize, and having done so, it will dutifully extract the contents of that file for you to do with it what you will. What it won't do, however, is to create an archive file. This tool extracts files from an existing archive, but it won't create a new one where none previously existed. You can direct it to extract files to the directory where the archive file resides, or you can point it elsewhere to put your files in a more useful location. It integrates with the context (right click) menu of Windows Explorer, so you can drive it from there, rather than having to fire up a standalone app.

A free download, Universal Extractor is a Windows application.

Download Universal Extractor

2 Responses to “Open archive files with Universal Extractor”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Been using this for years. I’ve found it really useful if you want to extract raw drivers from the executable files that manufacturers distribute. It makes it a lot easier to slipstream them into a fresh Windows install.

  2. y0himba says:

    I have also been using this since WindowsXP days, and it is a necessary piece of software I install every time. I only wish it were updated a bit more.