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Need to break a large file down into chunks? These tools will help you do just that.
There are more ways than ever before to transfer large files from one system to another. However, sometimes it’s more convenient to break that down into smaller parts and then merge it back together at its destination.
Various different tools will help you carry out this operation, and choosing the right one depends on your needs. Are you looking for a light utility that can run from a USB drive without installation? Or would you prefer a more in-depth program that offers tighter control over the process?
The applications below will give you a few different options that should cater to most usage cases. Choose one that fits and you’ll have your large file split into manageable chunks in no time.
1. HJ Split [No Longer Available]
HJ Split has long been the go-to utility for splitting and merging large files. It’s free and it can run as an EXE without the need for an install process, which makes it particularly convenient if you flit between various different systems.
The tool is incredibly simple to use. Upon startup, you’ll see an option labeled Split on the menu.
This will take you to the Split menu, which is again very simple. There’s an Input field where you can select the file you’re looking to split up and an Output field where you can specify the folder it’ll end up in. There’s also a Split file size option where you can customize how large the chunks will be.
Click Start and the splitting process will begin. Then, you simply need to select the Join option from the main menu to reassemble it.
The utility’s developer, Freebyte, also offers a tool called HP Join. It’s got an even smaller footprint, which is handy when you only need to reassemble files, rather than split them up.
GSplit is a freeware utility along the same lines as HJ Split, but it offers some more in-depth customization options. For instance, files can be split into blocks of a particular size, a particular amount of blocks, or split into sizes auto-calculated by the program for maximum storage space efficiency.
There’s also the option to create a small standalone executable that merges all the pieces of a file together when necessary, without the need for the GSplit program. This is particularly useful if you’re splitting up files and then sharing them with other users.
The interface is broadly similar to HJ Split but with more options.
The first step is to use the Browse button under the File to Split field to select the desired file. Next, click Destination Folder in the General menu to set where you want to split files to end up.
This screen is fairly self-explanatory: just pick your preferred destination. Next, click Split File! to finalize your settings.
Here, you can just click Split! to start the process. Of course, if you want to customize how big the pieces of your split file are, or take advantage of the automatic merging functionality described above, you can look at the Pieces and Self-Uniting options in the menu on the left.
It’s not unusual to need to merge or split a PDF file, and a general-purpose file splitting tool isn’t the best implement for the job. PDFsam allows users to tinker with their PDFs in a variety of ways, so it’s a good utility to have on hand if you work with these documents often.
The Basic version of the program is free and contains all the basic functionality you’ll need for a simple merge of split. Enhanced and Visual versions are available and offer advanced features, but they require a paid license.
Split and Merge are the two basic functions of PDFsam, with the other options offering minor variations on this functionality. Both work in much the same way.
To split a PDF, users need to drag and drop the file into the highlighted box at the top of the screen. Then, they can make any necessary adjustments to the settings below, and click the Run button to start the process.
To merge, it’s a case of dropping multiple files into the area at the top, then specifying how they’re to be collated. Again, the Run button gets the process underway.
The popular compression utility is also capable of splitting files into parts, so long as you know where to look.
First, create an archive as normal with the Add button.
On the Add to Archive screen, use the Split to volumes, bytes field to specify how large you want your chunks to be. The dropdown menu offers a few options, but you can type in a specific size if you need something more bespoke. Click OK and your file will be compressed down into its component parts. When you need to merge them back together, just make sure you start with the first in the series.
The Right Time to Split
The tools above should help you deal with most scenarios when you might need to split a file. However, it’s worth remembering that online file transfer services have come a long way in recent years.
You may be able to send a large file over the internet without splitting it beforehand. Services like WeTransfer and Send Anywhere provide easy, reliable methods of getting files that are larger than 1 GB where they need to go. Sometimes, splitting a file is the right answer — but make sure you’re aware of all the options that are available to you!
Do you have a question about one of the utilities in this article? Or do you have another tool that you want to recommend? Either way, why not join the conversation in the comments section below?
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