How to Unzip a GZ File on Any Platform: 7 Easy Methods

How to Unzip a GZ File on Any Platform: 7 Easy Methods

how to unzip gz file in windows

Thankfully, unless you’re somehow missing your tar or gzip utility, most common errors are very easy to fix. If the command line isn’t your thing, there are plenty of user-friendly tools available to unzip tar.gz files. Usually, tar files are more common with Ubuntu (other Linux distros) and macOS users for data archival and backups. However, Windows 10 users may also come across these files, which is a reason to have a way to extract their contents. A file using .tar.gz format is a file that has been created using the Unix-based archival application tar and then compressed using the gzip compression.

how to unzip gz file in windows

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What’s The Difference Between .tar and .tar.gz Files?

In other words, .zip files are a collection of compressed files, while .tar files are a compressed collection of files. While every tar.gz file is a .tar archive, not every .gz is a .tar file. The .gz extension represents the gzip compression format, which can be applied to almost any file format to compress data and save space. However, Windows 10 includes native support for tar files, and you can use Command Prompt to extract these files. Or you can even use the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) that includes native support for Ubuntu, Fedora, SUSE, and many other distros.

  1. In the command, we start the path with /mnt/c/ since this is Linux, not Windows.
  2. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology.
  3. Some common examples include .tar.bz2 (bzip2), (Brotli), and .tar.zst (zstd), among many others.
  4. Simply add a space-separated list of the files you want to extract.

Jean-loup Gailly and Mark Adler created the GZ file extension in the early 90s to improve compression in Unix. Today we’ll be going through everything you need to know on how to open, create, encrypt, use, and convert your GZ files. It’s important to note that Microsoft is building native support for TAR, GZ, 7-Zip, RAR, and many other archival formats to File Explorer. The support is expected to arrive with the release of Windows 11 23H2.

You will now be able to access Command Prompt with Administrator rights. With WinZip, password protecting your GZ files has never been easier. The Unzip to…option opens up another window with extra settings.

Extract .tar.gz, .tgz, .gz tarballs on Windows 11 using Linux tar

As a result, one isn’t necessarily better than the other — it’s all a matter of application. You can open most .tar.gz files using the tar command built in to Linux, macOS, and Windows 10. If you’re not comfortable with the terminal or command line, third-party tools such as 7-Zip offer a more user-friendly alternative.

Also, we skipped some options that are usually useful to preserve permissions since they are not required on  Windows 11. Once you complete the steps, the files and folders will extract to the specified destination. It is very easy to unzip a GZ file on Windows 10 using Command Prompt, also known as cmd. It is a built-in app which allows you to communicate with the OS through commands. Once you’ve followed these steps, the file’s content should now be extracted in the location of your choosing.

The following text outlines the process of extracting a .tar.gz file in a Windows environment. This error usually occurs when a .tar has been saved as a .gz despite having never been compressed using the gzip utility. Unlike Windows’ convenient graphical user interface (GUI) for unzipping .zip files, you’ll need to use the tar utility through the command line. However, there are also many third-party tools you can install for a more user-friendly experience. Most Linux distributions and macOS include built-in tools for zipping and unzipping .tar and .tar.gz files.

You first have to install a distro using the Windows Subsystem for Linux before you can extract tarballs on Linux. Choose whether to unzip to one of the offered locations or define one with the Unzip to… option. Choose Extract Here to extract the file to your current location.

how to unzip gz file in windows

One downside to GZ is that it can’t compress multiple files into one. However, the GZ file format is often combined with TAR archives to archive multiple files. Unfortunately, this combination does not support compression. The GZ file format is commonly used as a compression format for Linux and Unix operating systems. So as a Windows or Mac user, you might not be entirely familiar with what the GZ file format is. This tutorial will show you how to extract .tar.gz files in a Windows environment.

List Contents of .tar.gz File in Linux

It’s easy to get confused when navigating between .tar, .tar.gz, and .gz – not to mention zipping and unzipping them. Here are a few frequently asked questions we commonly hear from users working with .tar.gz files. This command will extract (-x) the file (-f) specified (in this case, filename.tar.gz) to the current directory. Note that this command also works with other common compression formats such as .tar.bz2. For sending and storing, both .zip and .tar.gz files will allow you to send relatively large packages as a single file. However, there are some pretty major differences when it comes to accessing data within the files and the compression efficiency.

Therefore, you can also access many Linux tools, including tar, to quickly extract content from tarballs. Like many archive and compression formats, .tar.gz is an effective way to save storage space and make it easier to send large amounts of data. If you plan to distribute and store .tar.gz files on your website, Kinsta’s managed hosting services can help make the most of your space. With the command prompt open, use the appropriate commands to change the current working directory (cd) to the location of the .tar.gz file you want to unzip. Alternatively, you can also specify a source and destination file path when using the tar utility.

You can create your own compressed .tar files using compression utilities such as gzip. Gzip is one of the most popular and available options, especially since it comes built in to most Linux distributions and macOS. Since Windows doesn’t natively support .tar.gz files, extracting involves third-party tools or non-native commands.

Is .tar.gz The Same As .zip?

From videos to entire software packages, many files are compressed and stored using the .tar.gz format. While extracting a .tar.gz file isn’t quite as easy as unzipping a .zip, it’s still pretty straightforward. GZ files are compressed files that typically contain multiple files and/or folders. To access the files inside, you’ll need to extract them similar to how you’d unzip a ZIP file. This wikiHow article will teach you how to extract files from compressed GZ archives on Windows, Mac, Linux, iPhone, and iPad. Although tar files are usually more common on Linux distros (for example, Ubuntu) and macOS for backups and archival, you may also come across these files on Windows 11.

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