Windows 11 Enhances File Compression, Introducing Support for Tar and 7z Formats

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Windows 11 Enhances File Compression, Introducing Support for Tar and 7z Formats
(Image: Microsoft/Montage: Golem.de)

In a recent Insider Build 25992 for Windows 11, users may soon be able to compress archives in Tar and 7z formats directly from the context menu. While Windows 11 has been able to handle these archive formats for some time, the ability to compress files in these formats has been limited, requiring external tools like 7-Zip.

A screenshot of the context menu reveals a new selection list for the two file types, with the “Compress to Zip file” button renamed to “Compress in.” Hovering over the button presents three options on the right side.

Notably absent from the selection list is the Rar format. Rar, commonly opened and packed with Winrar, is popular, especially in older Windows systems and within the Windows ecosystem. There are indications that Windows 11 may include the capability to open Rar files in future versions, and the compression function for Rar files could potentially be added later.

The advantage of this new function is that archives can be compressed more efficiently using 7z and Tar, reducing the space required on storage media. This is particularly beneficial for limited email attachments.

However, compatibility remains a consideration, as recipients need the capability to unpack these file formats. Despite the potential for 7z and Tar to offer more efficient compression, Zip, being an older and widely supported archive format across various operating systems, is likely to remain the most commonly used format.

It’s important to note that these new options are currently in the testing phase, and it may take several weeks before they are rolled out to all Windows 11 systems.

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Mark Brannon
Tech journalist Mark Brannon explores the digital frontier, delivering engaging news and in-depth features on cutting-edge innovations and industry developments.