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Max file size limitations for 7Z RAR TAR ZIP archive formats




Max file size limitations for 7Z RAR TAR ZIP archive formats


Max file size and input files number limit for 7Z RAR TAR ZIP archives
FAT, ISO, NTFS specs

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With ever increasing size of disks and ever increasing number (and size) of files, some archiving formats specs hit built-in standard limitations, when 16 bit or 32 bit variables where used by some designs for indexing archive content (number of files inside the archive, total archive size) or the compressed or uncompressed size of single input files.

maximum rar file size

2^16 files (64 K, or 32 K for bogus implementations using a signed short integer) specification was common for variables representing maximum number of files contained in the archive, i.e. in ZIP format, with most standards recently switching to 2^32 (4 billions files, 2 billions for implementations using a signed integer), i.e. ZIP64 revision, exceeding needs of most personal and professional users.
With 2^32 bytes variables, 4 GB (2 GB for implementations using a signed integer) was a common limit for maximum filesize, both size of single input files (compressed, uncompressed size fields) and for total size of the archive, as the 4 GB limit was a builtin restriction in most common contemporary filesystems (like FAT32, and ISO).

max number of files in zip archive

With increasing demand for larger multimedia and database files, and 32 bit size limitations being removed in modern filesystems revisions, most archive formats specifications switched to 64 bit size variables for filesizes, allowing (theoretically) up to 16 EB (exabyte) -sized files / archives, 8 exabyte for implementation using a signed 64 bit integer, exceeding foreseeable needs of personal and professional users, and exceeding capabilities of most of current operating systems and filesystem standards (or software implementations).

Format

Maximum number of files per archive

Maximum size of input file

Maximum total size of the entire archive

7Z

7-Zip

2^32, max 4 billions files per 7z archive

2^64, maximum 16 EB for each input file

2^64, 16 EB as max 7z file size limit

ARC
FreeArc

2^31, max 2 billions files per archive

2^63, maximum 8 EB for each input file

2^63, 8 EB maximum archive size

CAB
Microsoft

-

2^31, maximum 2 GB for each input file
* file/archive size limits of Microsoft CAB format were removed in new WIM Windows imaging format specs

2^31, size up to 2 GB per part; multipart cab files allows up to 2^16 64K parts

PEA
current format rev. PEA1.1

no max input files number limit by design

2^64, maximum 16 exabyte per each file

no maximum archive size limit by design

RAR

current specs revision RAR5

2^31, max 2 billions files per rar archive

2^63, maximum 8 EB for each input file

2^63, 8 EB maximum rar file size limit

TAR 

current specs revision POSIX.1 2001

-

-

No tar file size limit under current POSIX.1 2001 revision specifications
**8 GB maximum tar archive size for older POSIX.1 1988 standard

ZIP

original PKZIP file format specs

2^16, max 64 K files in a single zip archive
** 2^15 32 K files number limit for some bogus software implementations of zip format specs

2^32, maximum 4 GB for each input file
** 2^31 2 GB input file size limit in some bogus implementations of zip specifications

2^32, 4 GB max zip file size limit
** 2^31 2 GB zip archive size limit in some bogus software implementations

ZIP64

PKWARE extension of zip format specs

2^32, max 4 billions files in zip archive

2^64, maximum 16 EB for each input file

2^64, 16 EB max zip archive size limit

ZIPX

WINZIP revision of zip standard

2^32, max 4 billions files in zipx archive

2^64, maximum 16 EB for each input file

2^64, 16 EB max zipx archive size limit

Table1: comparison of known maximum file size and maximum file number limitations of common archive formats

Please note that sfx self extracting archives, regardless the archive format employed (PeaZip supports creation of .7z and .arc sfx archives) will be limited by the specifications of the executable format itself.
Notably, Windows' .exe executables needs to be smaller than 2 GB, due to signed integers (max 2^32 / 2 bytes) being historically employed in the implementation of the format - PE and 64 bit Windows binaries can address over 2 / 4 GB of memory, but max binaries size limitat still applies to modern .exe implementation.

To work with very large files as allowed by modern archive formats specification, it needs the underlying operating system and filesystem to support same or higher limitations.
With modern filesystems designs, usually allowing theoretical 64 bit file size (16 exabyte), the limitation is often in software implementation of max file size and max volume size rather than in format design itself - but unlike older 32 bit variables based designs, filesystem limitations usually exceeds user's needs.
Common filesystem are for example NTFS, default for modern Microsoft Windows systems, FAT32 for legacy Windows systems, exFAT for USB flash drives and SD cards (FAT32 and exFAT are popular on media that needs to be shared between Windows, Linux, and Apple operating systems), ISO and UDF for CD, DVD, Blu-Ray and other disk formats.

Format

Maximum supported file size

Maximum allowed volume size

exFAT

Microsoft

2^64, theoretically 16 EB, practically 128 PB in current exFAT implementations

128 PB limit by format design, max 512 TB recommended for exFAT volumes

FAT32

Microsoft

2^32, maximum 4 GB file size in FAT32 filesystem

up to 2 TB maximum size for FAT32 volumes

ISO

ISO 9660

2^32, maximum 4 GB for each input file
* 2^31 2 GB file size limit in some bogus implementations
** 8 TB max file size for ISO 9660 level 3 revision

2^32, 4 GB maximum size
* 2^31 2 GB volume size limit in some bogus implementations
** 8 TB max volume size for ISO 9660 level 3 revision

NTFS

Microsoft

2^64, maximum 16 EB file size in NTFS filesystem
16 TB max file size on Windows 7 NTFS implementation
256 TB max file size on Windows 8
NTFS implementation
8 PB max file size on Windows 10
NTFS implementation

2^64 clusters limit by NTFS format design
256 TB max size on Windows 7, 8 and 10 1703 NTFS implementations
8 PB max size on Windows 10 1709 and later NTFS implementations

UDF

ISO 13346

2^64, maximum 16 EB file size in UDF filesystem

2 TB to 16 TB maximum size (depending on sector size)

Table2: comparison of known file size limitations of common filesystems

PeaZip free archiver utility can read / write ZIP files with newer ZIP64 specifications meant to transparently expand zip format features, as well as powerful formats like 7Z, PEA, and TAR, designed for managing large files compression and archiving.
PeaZip also supports extraction of RAR files and of ZIPX files, which are equally desiged to work on large files (over 2^32 4 GB / 2GB limit).
In any case handling such large files with any software utility, and under any Operating System, requires working on a suitable filesystem, like as NTFS or exFAT.

Alongsize archive / file size limitations and maximum input items number limitations, learn more about how different archive formats compares in terms of features, and how archive files work.

Synopsis: 7Z, RAR, TAR, ZIP archive format limitations. Specs in terms of max size and item number. Maximum number of files and folders allowed in a single archive. Maximum size of file in archive. Maximum total size for the archive. Filesystems limitatiosn for size and number of files.

Topics: maximum number of items per archive, maximum size of files in archive, maximum total size of archive for 7z, rar, tar, zip formats

PeaZip > FAQ > Max file size limitations for 7Z RAR TAR ZIP archive formats

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