PeaZip the free alternative to pricey file archivers

This article was modified on 2012-08-25 16:44:33

If you`re looking for a free archiver, PeaZip is one of the best choice and this is a good place to start. You can consider this a PeaZip review, intro, quick-guide or short tutorial.

Short Introduction: PeaZip is a free, open-source software designed to: create, compress, extract and manage all kind of archive formats. The main difference between this utility and other similar tools is the concept of his main interface: select file(s) and choose action. That`s quite novice-friendly but if you require more advanced features such as encryption, you have them too. Let`s take a closer look.

After reading this article, go to PeaZip homepage and download the program. Install PeaZip and be careful which option you choose – read the following note.

Note: You may want to choose a ``Custom Installation`` and uncheck the ``AVG toolbar and homepage`` - I already have a toolbar installed and I don`t want a second one. I`ve noticed that several websites rate this as adware – however, since we`re talking about AVG Products that`s not true. If you don`t want the toolbar or homepage, just uncheck them when you install PeaZip in Windows or Linux.

PeaZip Custom Installation - Unchecking AVG Toolbar

Great, if the installation process was successful, locate and open PeaZip icon, it should look like this:

PeaZip Desktop Icon

That`s how it looks on my computer, this is PeaZip interface, it looks easy enough.

PeaZip interface

What`s the main purpose of a file archiver ? To create and extract all kind of files. That`s what I am going to show, how easy is to create an archive. Therefore, I will navigate ( browse ) to location where the files can be found. As you can see, I went to ``My Documents`` and selected ``2012 Documents`` folder. Once I did this - ``Convert`` button will take me further.

Convert folder using PeaZip

Here is the window that just opened after I clicked on ``Convert`` button. Take a good look and we will move on as I feel that I need to explain a couple of things here.

Preview Zip archive in PeaZip

If you`re a novice, you would probably want to create the archive and select an ``Output`` folder ( the location where the archive will be created ) and second to choose a popular format - let`s say - ZIP. This is the default file format as you can see but you can also choose another if you don`t like ZIP :

Note: In this picture you can see the other formats that can be selected when you want to create an archive. You can extract a lot more files in different formats but that`s another different thing - we will get to that part soon.

Select output folder and file format to Zip

I also add passwords to my archives in order to protect them from viruses or any other reason. I imagine that you might also feel the same so here`s how to add a password to an archive using PeaZip. Perform a ``right-click`` on selected file or folder and go to ``Enter Password``.

Add Password to zip archive in PeaZip

A new window will open. You will have to type the password twice and you can also encrypt the file names ( for advanced users ) if it`s supported by the format. Once you`re ready click ``OK``.

Confirm password
As you can see, you are being warned that you have added a password to this archive - take a look at the bottom of this interface.

Password is set confirmation message
So I selected the output folder, the file format that I wanted and I also added a password. I am 1 step away from creating my first archive with PeaZip. All I need to do is to click on ``OK`` button.

Ready to create zip archive

This is a confirmation window - select ``YES`` if you wish to continue.

Continue with compression stage to finalize the conversion
Now, depending on how big is the archive you will see a small ``compression`` window. Since my archive had 1.4 MB ( small ) it took less than a second to compress. All I am saying is that if you will create a big archive you will see this window, otherwise for small files there is a high chance to see only a blink.

Compression completed
As you can see, I have successfully created my first ZIP archive using PeaZip. There is a new file named ``2012``.

Zip archive has been created
This was a short guide for beginners, you`ve seen how to create, compress a file using PeaZip but what about extracting files ? Like any other file archiver, you cannot compress files in all archiving formats. Some of them, such as RAR, is a proprietary file format and it can be created only by WinRAR. But that doesn`t mean that it can`t extract RAR files. In this example I included a RAR file created using WinRAR that contains several pics. The archive is in the same folder ``My Documents``. Perform a ``right-click`` and choose ``Extract``.

Extract RAR files using PeaZip

When you choose ``Extract`` the process is familiar, you just have to be careful at the output folder ( in this example it`s in My Documents ).

Select output folder for RAR file

If you click ``OK`` the files will be extracted. For small files, this will happen instantly, for larger files you will be able to see the extracting process. If everything went well and the archive was not damaged the files will be extracted. Here it is, a new folder was created with the files extracted from the RAR archive.

Rar archive successfully extracted
Conclusion: PeaZip is a free file archiver that allows you to create, extract, split, encrypt all kind of file formats. It works on Microsoft Windows 32bit and 64bit edition as well as on Linux. Try it, and if it suits your needs - consider a donation.

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