7-Zip is an incredibly popular piece of software used to extract and open certain files.
However, the software has also come under scrutiny, which may cause you to wonder is 7-Zip safe, and can you trust it?
Thankfully, a lot of research has been done in order to find out the truth.
In this article, we’ll cover everything that you need to know!
Is 7-Zip Safe?
Yes, 7-Zip is completely safe to download and use. Having been trusted for over 20 years now, 7-Zip contains no malware or spyware, and will not cause any harm to your machine.
However, 7-Zip is a tool used to extract a large number of file types. It is possible that it can be used to open harmful files without you realizing it.
Therefore, you should only use 7-Zip to extract files that you know are safe, and came from reputable sources.
7-Zip is open source software, meaning that anybody can inspect its code. We know with absolutely certainty that 7-Zip is completely safe to use on your computer, as long as you download it from its official website, 7-Zip.org.
What Is 7-Zip?
7-Zip is software that is designed for extracting compressed file types, such as .7Z and .ZIP, among many others. These are often referred to as archive files.
Archive files are very unique, and make it easy to not only save space on your computer, but share a large number of files at once.
Essentially, they can be seen kind of like a folder – if you open them up, you will have access to all of the files contained inside of that archive.
This is best illustrated with an example.
Let’s say that you had 100 photos that you needed to share with someone over the internet. As you can imagine, sending all 100 of them would take quite some time! For the other person, downloading 100 individual files could quickly become frustrating.
Instead, using software like 7-Zip, you could add all of the photos to one single archive file. Then, all you’d have to do is send over the 1 archive. When the other person receives it, they can then extract the archive using software like 7-Zip, and have all 100 photos immediately available to them.
In addition to adding multiple files to one single archive, software like 7-Zip also does something called compression. This essentially makes the file take up less space, meaning it’s quicker to upload and download as well.
As you can see, software like 7-Zip can be quite useful! This is why compressed file formats like .7Z, .ZIP and .RAR are so popular in the modern age.
What Are Some Alternatives To 7-Zip?
If for whatever reason you don’t want to install 7-Zip, there are several alternatives available online.
These alternative pieces of software can open many different types of compressed archive files, such as .7Z, .ZIP, .RAR, and .TAR.GZ files, among many others.
- The Unarchiver
- B1 Free Archiver
Is 7z Exe A Virus?
Generally speaking, it’s likely that files named 7Z.exe are indeed viruses unless they are downloaded from reputable sources.
This is because .exe files are known as executable files – files that run as programs on your computer. While most .exe files are safe, they are also one of the primary file types used to install spyware, viruses and other malware.
A file named 7z.exe may be dangerous, because it may be attempting to disguise itself as a legitimate .7Z (or archive) file, rather than an executable program.
Note however that the official release is an exception.
Files from 7-Zip’s official website 7-Zip.org may follow a similar format. For example, the most recent release for 7-Zip at the time of writing is 7z2107-x64.exe, and this file is completely safe.
If you are unsure, you can always scan the file with an antivirus or upload it to a website like VirusTotal.com – just make sure not to open it by accident before you know that it’s safe!
Thankfully, 7-Zip is completely safe to use. The software has been around for over two decades now, and is trusted by millions of people from around the world.
However, the specific archives you extract with 7-Zip may contain malware. Therefore, you should always be careful to only open files from reputable sources, that you can trust.
I hope that you’ve found this article helpful. If you have any other questions about 7-Zip, please ask them using the comment form below.
Wishing you the best,
– James McAllister