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Free TAR utility: create, open, extract TAR files

How to create open extract TAR files.
Work with TBZ TGZ TXZ format, extraction decompression unizp untar utility






Work with TAR file format, archiving and extraction (UNTAR)

Manage TAR archives with PeaZip

PeaZip free archiver offers full read / write support (create, open and extract tar) for uncompressed and compressed TAR archives - TAR.GZ archives (same as TGZ extension), TAR.BZ2 archives (alternative file extensions TBZ, TB2, TBZ2), TAR.BR, TAR.ZST / TZST, TAZ, TZ, TAR.Z, TLZ, TAR.LZ, TAR.LZMA, TXZ, TAR.XZ, etc...

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Create TAR archive

To add files / folders to a new archive, or into an existing .tar file:

Create tar file from the system's file explorer

  • Select files and folders and use context menu entry PeaZip, Add to archive for archive creation screen, allowing to set output destination and other options.

Create tar file from PeaZip free archiving utility

  • Select files and folders, and use Add button (or application's context menu entry of same name) to be prompted archive creation screen

  • Drag and drop files / folders from the system to PeaZip; if you are browsing an existing archive you will be asked if to add files to the archive or create a new one

tar files opener

Compress TAR files

Tar format does not natively implement compression methods, and needs to rely on extrenal compressor tools.
Simplest tar compression method: when adding folders or multiple files to single file compressors, in example selecting BZip2, Brotli BR, GZip, XZ, or Zstandard ZST format, PeaZip automatically switches on "Tar before" switch, applying compression to tar files.
Alternatively, compression can be achieved creating tar file first, then compressing it in a second separate step, selecting any of the write-supported formats - 7z, arc, pea, zip...

Read more about how to compress files with Brotli, compress files with BZip2, compress files with GZip, compress files to 7-Zip's XZ format, and how to compress files with Zstandard.

Update existing TAR archive

To update a compressed Tar file (TGZ, TBZ, TXZ, TAR.GZ...) it must be decompressed before.

Easiest way to edit an uncompressed TAR is opening it with PeaZip utility and dragging files/folders to it, which will automatically activate update mode - can be changed into add mode in advanced tab.
To remove (delete) data from the archive, select items and press cancel or "Delete from archive" button. Deleted items will not be recoverable from recycle bin.

How to convert TAR files

Convert button extracts and re-pack input TAR archive files into any write-supported format (7z, arc, pea, zip...) - optionally keeping or discarding original archives - or convert any existing read-supported archive (7z, ace, rar, zip, zipx...) to TAR format.
Directly, single-step, converting archive file into a compressed tar archive is currently not supported.

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Convert compressed TAR archives in a single step
Depending on user's needs, compressed TAR archives (TGZ, TBZ, TXZ, etc) can optionally de-compressed before being converted, so individual archived files gets re-compressed in the new format, otherwise existing .tar archive will be simply re-compressed as a whole (solid compression).

This behavior can be set from "Auto-extract TAR archives from compressed .TAR.* files / CONVERT" in Options > Settings > Archive manager tab (unchecked by default).
If tar auto-extraction option is enabled for the conversion procedure, compressed tar archives will be uncompressed and unarchived in a single step atomic untar operation.

Open TAR files

To view archive's content, open tar file in PeaZip with double click (if file extension is associated with the application), or using system context menu "Open as archive" entry, that will attempt to read any user provided file type regardless file type associations - this option is also available in PeaZip's context menu.
Read more about how to open and browse archives

Extract TAR files (untar)

UNTAR from Windows system context menu

  • Use context menu entry "Extract..." for extraction screen where to set output path and other tar extraction options

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

UNTAR within PeaZip free archiver
  • Extract button shows archive extraction screen providing access to all tar extractor options (set output path, open output path after extraction, keep or delete original archives, etc)

  • Extract all to... button activate a simplified procedure only asking for output path where to "unzip" content

  • As simpler alternative, drag & drop extract from tar the desired objects, from the application to the system

tar extraction utility

Extract compressed TAR archives in a single step

PeaZip will extract compressed tar archives in a single step as atomic operation by default.
This apply to "classic" compressed tar containers (TGZ, TAR.BR, TAR.BZ2, TAR.GZ, TAR.ZST, TBZ, TXZ...), and also to compressed archives in any format (7Z, ZIP, ZPAQ...) containing a single TAR archive.
Performing atomic TAR extraction PeaZip will firstly de-compress the TAR archive in temporary work path, and then unarchive the content of the tar container.

Extract compressed TAR archives in two steps
Optionally, unchecking "Auto-extract TAR archives from compressed .TAR.* files" in Options > Settings > Archive manager tab, will disable atomic tar extraction procedure, so compressed tar files will be simply uncompressed and the user will be able to separately decide if the tar container needs to be unpacked too.

Read more about how to extract entire archive(s) and how to extract selected files from archive.

How to extract a spanned TAR archive
To extract a spanned (split) TAR file, save all the parts in the same directory, then open as usual the first volume of the archive, which has .TAR.001 extension - subsequent volumes have progressively numbered file extensions (002, 003 etc).
Read more about how to manage spanned (split) archive files.

Tarbomb term designates a malicious .tar package built to purposely spam the extraction path with a large number of files. Tarbomb can be easily avoided decompressing the tar file using "extract to new folder" option.

Apply encryption to TAR archives

Tar standard does not implement file encryption, but an existing TAR package can be made password protected compressing it in 7Z, ARC, PEA, or ZIP format, all supporting encryption.
This operation can be performed with PeaZip utility in a single pass using "TAR before" option and chosing a final archive format supporting encryption.

Synopsis: Freeware TAR archiving, extraction software online help. How to create, open, extract TAR archives on Windows and Linux. Atomic tar extraction, auto extract compressed tar files in a single step. How to use PeaZip as TAR files opener and extractor.

Topics: open tar files on windows, extract tar files, create tar archives, convert tar files, update existing tar packages

PeaZip > FAQ > Free TAR utility, create, open, extract TAR files


Create, open, extract 7Z files

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PEA: Pack Encrypt Authenticate

Open and extract RAR files

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Create, open, extract ZIPX files

Create, open, extract Zstandard files

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