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Open, extract ACE archives (unace)

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Work with ACE files, free opener and extractor utility

Manage ACE archives in PeaZip

PeaZip offers read-only support (open and extract / unizp ace files) for WinAce's ACE archive format, providing a free WinAce alternative utility to original closed source application for opening (list/browse content) and extracting .ace archives (unace) under Windows and Linux operating systems - including password protected ace archives.
The software can also convert ACE files to any other write-supported format (i.e. re-pack and convert existing ace file into zip, 7z, etc).

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PeaZip free unace utility supports extraction of ACE archives trough Unace.dll, provided by WinAce author as royalty free (but closed source) component - note for Linux users: UNACE is a 32 bit x86 executable, so on Linux 64 bit systems it requires ia32-libs to extract ACE files.

Due to the closed source nature of the unace tool, it is provided as separate add-on for PeaZip (other PeaZip project packages only feature Open Source software released under OSI approved licenses), please refer to UNACE Plugin page for instructions about downloading and installing the add-on.

ACE file format should no longer be employed

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On Windows platform UNACE plugin is based on abandoned closed source unacev2.dll, the last made officially available from WinAce team, which is known to be not longer safe to use due unpatched vulnerabilities.

Out of the box, PeaZip does not come with unacev2.dll (which requires separate manual download and installation from user) so it is immune to said vulnerabilities. No version of PeaZip will attempt to automatically download or install UNACE plugin, nor will use UNACE plugin (even if installed) to open ace files disguised for other formats.

UNACE plugin for Windows is offered as legacy component with the sole purpose of supporting trusted ace archives (with the recommendation of converting existing ace files to a better supported format); untrusted ace archives should not be opened using tools based on unacev2.dll.

Help > About screen reports if UNACE plugin is installed and features a button for quick removal of the plugin.

Create / update ACE files

PeaZip support for ACE files is read-only, the application cannot write to .ace file format to create a new archive or update an existing archive.
No royalty free Open Source archiving tool is known to implement creation or modification / update of existing ace files.

How to convert ACE files

As ACE format is proprietary, and not update in recent years, it is a good practice to convert legacy .ace archives in a mode modern, widely supported, and actively maintained format, possibly not encumbered by patents, like 7Z and ZIP.

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To convert ACE files to any write-supported archive format is possible using the integrated file conversion procedure, which extracts and then re-pack input archive files, optionally keeping or deleting original ace archives.

Work with encrypted ACE archives

To extract an encrypted .ace file, enter the password in PeaZip clicking the padlock icon in the status bar (in the file/archive browser) or below output address field (in extraction or archiving interfaces), or click Tools > Enter password / keyfile in main menu, or press F9 accelerator key.

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Encrypted archive content is marked by * sign after filename in PeaZip archive browser.

Open ACE files

Open ace files in PeaZip free archiver with double click, or context menu "Open as archive" entry, that will attempt to read any user provided file type regardless file extension associations.
Read more about how to open and browse archives with PeaZip.

Extract ACE files

Decompress ace files from the system

  • Context menu PeaZip > Extract... shows archive extraction screen, to set output path, password (if needed) and other decompression options

  • Select one or more archives and use context menu  Extract here or Extract here (to new folder) for quick extraction with no further confirmation

Decompress ace archives from PeaZip

  • Extract button shows archive extraction screen providing access to all decompression (unace) options

  • Extract all to... button starts simplified unpacking procedure, only asking for output path

  • As alternative, simply drag & drop from the application to the system the items you want to extract

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How to preview files in ACE archive
Doubleclick on an archived file to open it in preview mode, to inspect its content before real extraction.

How to extract spanned ACE archives
To browse or extract a spanned (split) ACE file, save all the parts in same directory, and open the first volume - usually .C00 or .C01 extension - with PeaZip free ace archive manager.
Read more about how to extract single or multiple archives at once and how to extract selected objects from archive.

What is an .ace file

ACE extension designates a file archiving and compression format developed by Marcel Lemke for WinAce, a shareware closed source software released as GUI program for Microsoft Windows platform only (unace de-compressor is available as command line tool both for Windows and Linux platforms) developed as early alternative to PKZip / WinZip ZIP format.

Features of .ace file format

ACE standard features a compression ratio higher than ZIP file format (similar but usually inferior compared to RAR format and 7Z format) and supports quite robust 160bit Blowfish encryption, implementation based on Bruce Schneier's Blowfish symmetric-key block cipher, developed by Schneier before AES process candidate finalist Twofish cipher.
Read more about .ace file type: WinAce softwarewinace wiki, Blowfish cypherBlowfish cypher wiki, and ACE file extensionACE format wiki Wikipedia pages.




Author Marcel Lemke

SPEED ace format features

Ace format features average speed. Compression and decompression are more computing intensive than in ZIP format.

COMPRESSION RATIO ace format specifications

Ace archives features an average compression ratio. Provides better compression than Deflate-based ZIP, but inferior to modern formats as 7Z and RAR.

ADVANCED OPTIONS ace format specs

Ace format features a reasonable choice of advanced options. Developed as capable all-around replacement for ZIP format, but not updated in recent years.

Synopsis: How to work with PeaZip free ace files opener and extractor. Freeware utility to open, extract ace files, WinAce archive format extension. Free unace software. Decompress ace archives free. How to convert legacy ace file format to modern formats, e.g. convert ace to 7z, ace to rar, ace to zip conversion. Specs and features of WinAce archive type.

Topics: open and extract ace files, convert ace archives to other formats. ace extension specs and security issues

PeaZip > FAQ > Open, extract ACE archives (unace)

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