WinZip is the traditional method of extracting .zip files, and also the worst part of many jokes. Despite its “timed” trial, WinZip works even after the trial expires. Even with its free feature, many users find WinZip inconvenient to use.
There are many free alternatives to WinZip that work just as well, if not better, than the original file extractor. The best news is that there are options available for Windows and Mac, so you’re not limited by your choice of platform.
Top 5 Free WinZip Alternatives in 2022
If you are looking for an alternative to WinZip, try one of these programs.
7Zip is probably the best-known alternative to WinZip, but for good reason. The program is open source and just over 1MB in size. It requires few resources and due to its open source nature, it is one of the safest options to download.
7Zip does not provide you with a fancy user interface. Instead, you’re presented with a Windows Explorer-style window where you can drag and drop files into any folder you like. The intuitive nature of the program makes it easy to learn and use, even for new users.
- Easy to use
- Compatible with most file archive sites
- Supports high levels of compression
- Allows password protection of folders
You can download 7Zip for free from its website. There are versions for Windows, Mac and Linux. 7Zip receives continuous updates and has an active community that makes it one of the best options for a WinZip alternative.
of them. Free Ashampoo Zip
Ashampoo Zip Free only has a few options for free users: file extraction, file repair, and file creation. There are more advanced features, but they are locked by a subscription. That said, the free options meet the needs of most users.
Each function is clearly identified. Ashampoo Zip feels like a user with no prior experience with a file extraction program could easily launch and use it. During installation, you must enter a product code.
Ashampoo Zip asks for your email address. Once you provide it, you will receive the free activation code and can start the program. However, you will receive marketing emails later.
- Free file repair tool
- suitable for beginners
- colorful interface
Ashampoo Zip Free is available for download from their website. It is only available for Windows 10, 8, 7; no Mac version available.
Just like 7Zip, WinRAR is another well-known, simple and spartan tool. It does not provide a huge and colorful interface, but rather focuses on a few basic functions: Add, Extract, Test, View and Repair. It also provides a search function.
The test feature allows you to check files for corruption and other errors. The View feature lets you peek inside folders before opening them and opens up other features, such as the ability to scan them for viruses. Add and Extract To is self-explanatory, allowing you to create new archives or extract existing ones.
A particularly useful feature is the Wizard function, which is a guide for new users to walk them through the process of extracting files from a zipped folder, as well as using other tools. WinRAR is technically a paid program, but its free trial doesn’t prevent you from using it once it runs out. It only aggressively asks you to upgrade to the paid version on startup.
- Free version with all features
- Beginner’s Guide
- powerful functionality
There is no Mac version of WinRAR, although there are Mac-focused options. You can download WinRAR directly from the company’s website here.
PeaZip includes all the basic features that users expect from a file extractor, but it includes several features that set it apart. The first is the number of privacy options available. PeaZip offers strong encryption options, two-factor authentication, and more.
Like many other options on this list, PeaZip is an open source program supported by volunteer efforts. It works on a variety of devices, although it doesn’t work on Mac. There is a Linux version available if users want one.
You can choose to compress files in over ten different formats, as well as choose whether you want the program to prioritize compression speed or efficiency. PeaZip provides a host of features at no cost, and no feature is locked behind a paywall.
- Lots of compression options
- Focused on privacy
5. The unarchiver
Unarchiver is a simple and basic file extractor program for Mac that doesn’t even have an interface. It integrates its extraction tools into the base browser, but provides a full list of supported file types. It even works with Amiga packages. You can find it in the Mac App Store.
The program automatically detects the file type, but you can set confidence thresholds to further fine-tune the functionality. In other words, you can set it as high or as low as you want to make sure it works properly. You can also customize other options in the program’s Rip menu.
Although it lacks the advanced features of other programs, The Unarchiver is one of the best options for Mac users who need a simple and straightforward file extractor.
- Easy to use and install
- no interface
The best Mac only file extractor is 7Zip by far. Although there are at least two dozen different programs, few have the reputation and track record of 7Zip. If you’re looking for a Mac-focused program, use 7Zip or The Unarchiver.
Choose the WinZip alternative that’s right for you
Everyone needs a good alternative to WinZip sometimes. Some of the entries on this list might even be better options than WinZip; there are certainly options with more features. Take the time to try out these programs (after all, they’re free) and pick the one you like best.