Open Any Compressed File with Universal Extractor

Mark O'Neill 22-08-2007

Today’s recommended tool is one which I have been using for only a week but I am already hooked because it is a tool which I have been looking for for a long time and it works extremely well. I was convinced for a long time that such a tool was out there somewhere and I finally found it, courtesy of the great StumbleUpon.


Universal Extractor is a freeware open-source tool which can extract files quickly and efficiently from any type of archive. It can be something as simple as a “zip” file or “rar” file, or perhaps you want to study the contents of an “exe” set-up file or a Microsoft “msi” installer file. By using Universal Extractor, all the files will be brought out of the chosen archive and placed in a folder for you to peruse. This is especially good if you want to examine the source code of a program but it is tucked away inside an executable “exe” program. UE can get it out for you.

As the program creator himself points out on his webpage, this is not meant to be a replacement for more conventional archiving programs such as WinRAR or WinZip. You can’t compress files with Universal Extractor as you could with something like 7-Zip. All you can do with UE is “un-compress” and extract the files. But that in itself is magnificent as these days, the number of compressed file formats are increasing. ISO files seem to be getting more and more popular as well as “tar”, “gz”, “jar” and especially Mozilla Firefox’s “xpi” format which is used for browser extensions.

Instead of having several programs for several file formats, you can now scrap them all and have the one program to open all your compressed files – Universal Extractor.

What I particularly like is that it integrates itself into the Windows Explorer right-click menu so just by right-clicking on the relevant file, you can immediately fire up the UE program.

After only a week, I can already tell this program is a keeper. It works like it’s supposed to, doesn’t cause any problems and its usefulness factor is sky-high. I’m sure you’ll like it too.


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  1. Aibek
    September 8, 2007 at 2:19 am

    I really liked the program as well. Thanks Mark. ;-)

  2. Mike
    September 7, 2007 at 11:41 pm

    sorry - had a capital in my email address - now corrected

  3. Mike
    September 7, 2007 at 11:40 pm

    Had a major problem extracting a file from a zip. The original file was created in 2003. The file could be seen in my normal zip program but it refused to extract it - simply reported an error.
    Following your recommendation for Universal Extractor I downloaded the bianries, ran it and voila! Extracted without a hiccup. Absolutely delighted thanks.