What are the Different Types of Archive File Format?

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  • Published on
    December 23rd, 2013
  • Updated on
    March 16, 2022
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    5 minutes
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Summary:- e must have heard about file compression and compressed file formats. File compression is a process in which all the selected files become compressed in size. File compression is a very simple and safe process for compressing large-sized files. It safely reduces the size of files in terms of the number of bytes of data the files contain. Check out this blog to learn what are the different types of file formats.

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Advantages of Archive File Formats:

  • Archive takes less space than other files to be stored in the system hard drive.
  • It can be easily and quickly shared over the network from one side to another via email.
  • Compressed files provide more free space in the hard drive, therefore is no need to buy more hard drives or storage media.
  • Compressed files can be encrypted by applying passwords to them. The correct password is required to decompress an encrypted file.

These are some common features of file compression. A file or multiple files can be easily compressed by using any file compression utility. Sometimes most of the users get confused between a compressed file and an archive file format. Generally, both these file formats have quite similar functions. In a compressed file, all the files are combined in compressed form while in an archive file the files are only combined, i.e. no size difference between the original and combined files.

Types of Most Popular Compressed and Archive File Formats?

There are five compressed and archive file formats that are very common and popular among computer users.

1) ZIP or Zicxac Inline Pin

It is a very popular archive cum compressed file format that is commonly used for data compression. A ZIP file may contain one or multiple files in compressed form. It uses .zip as the file extension. A ZIP file can be created by using WinZip, WinRAR, and 7-Zip applications and only extracted by these applications. DEFLATE is the most common compression method used by ZIP files. Each file inside the ZIP file is stored separately therefore, it becomes easy to extract a particular file individually. It is widely used in all Windows Operating Systems as well as Mac and UNIX.

2) RAR or Roshal Archive

It is another archive cum compressed file format, which is more popular than the ZIP format. The RAR file format is also commonly used for data compression as well as error recovery and file spanning. It can easily store multiple files and should be unpacked to be used. It uses .rar as the file extension. A RAR file can be easily created by using the WinRAR application but it can be extracted by using WinRAR as well as WinZip application. It provides a better compression feature than ZIP. The RAR file format is highly supportable with multiple operating systems, such as Windows, Mac, etc.

3) TAR or Tape Archive

It is a popular archive format that is used to combine multiple files into a large archive file. This file format is commonly used for archiving and distribution of data. It also preserves all the information of the file systems, such as user and group permissions, dates, and directory structures. It uses .tar as the file extension. A TAR can only be created by using the TAR application. This format is mainly used in UNIX and Linux operating systems.


The file format is made up of TAR or Tape Archive and Gz or G-ZIP (GNU-ZIP). TAR is an archive file format while Gz is the most common and popular compression application. Therefore it is known as an archive cum compressed file format or a compressed TAR file. A TAR.GZ file contains a bundle of files, which are combined and stored in compressed form by using a file-based compression schema. It uses .tar.gz as the file extension. This file can be created and extracted by using TAR and the 7-Zip application. TAR.GZ file format is highly supportable with the operating systems of Windows, Mac, UNIX, and Linux.

5) 7Z Archive

is a popular compressed archive file format among computer users, which is commonly used for data compression and encryption. It offers a high compression ratio to users than another archive format therefore, it is the most preferred archive file format. It uses .7z as the file extension. The 7-ZIP application is mainly required to open, create and extract a 7Z file. This file format is highly supportable with all the major versions of Windows Operating systems.

Now, I think you must be familiar with different types of Archive File formats and I have only discussed the major ones which are in use these days. If you dig in more, you’ll find hundreds of archive file formats but they are only used once in a blue moon. The file formats which I have told you are the common ones and used universally for compressing a file or folder.

I have also heard about many corruption issues related to compressed files. So if in case you are going through any such problem then you can try the Archive file recovery software which will help you to extract data from the corrupt archive files. Download SysInfo Archive Recovery Software to solve corruption from archive formats; Zip, TAR, RAR, TAR.GZ, and 7Z.


Now, it is the time to wind up the things and at the drop of a hat, you can easily differentiate between several Archive file formats. I hope you have grabbed a sound knowledge about Archive files and learned how to repair if Archive file formats is corrupted.


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