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PeaZip is a free cross-platform file compression utility that provides an unified portable GUI for many Open Source technologies like 7-Zip, FreeArc, PAQ, UPX... free alternative to WinRar, WinZip and similar proprietary software.
- Create 7Z, ARC, BZ2, GZ, *PAQ, PEA, QUAD/BALZ, TAR, UPX, WIM, XZ, ZIP files
- Open and extract ACE, ARJ, CAB, DMG, ISO, LHA, RAR, UDF, ZIPX files and more,
over 180 archive types supported
Features of PeaZip includes:
arc archives opener and extractor, batch creation and extraction of multiple archives at once, convert files, create self-extracting archives, split and join files, strong encryption with two factor authentication, encrypted password manager, secure deletion, find duplicate files, calculate hash and checksum, export job definition as script.

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How to create, open, extract ARC files



how to open arc files free


Work with ARC file format, compression and extraction


PeaZip provides full read-write support (create, open and extract arc files) for FreeARC ARC/WRC format on Linux and Windows using FreeArc as backend compression / extraction executable - please note SEA ARC is a separate, non compatible archive format.

work with arc files on windows and linux


Compress to ARC format

To add files/folders to a new archive or into an existing .arc file

  • Compress to ARC from system file explorer

    • Context menu entry PeaZip > Add to archive, shows archive creation screen, to set compression settings, output destination, encryption (password protection), and other archiving options.

  • Create arc files from PeaZip

    • Use Add button (or Add context menu entry) to show archive creation screen

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

create arc files

From archive creation screen it is also possible to apply encryption (Blowfish, Twofish, AES, and Serpent cyphers are supported) to password-protect the archive, create recovery records (which allows to recover mildly corrupted archives), and to split file - create multiple volumes smaller than desired maximum output size. From "Advanced" tab, it is possible to further fine-tune compression settings.
Learn more about how to create arc, tar, zip archive files

Update existing ARC archives


Easiest way to update an existing ARC archive is opening it in PeaZip and dragging files/folders to it, read more about how to update existing archives.

Press cancel or "Delete from archive" button to remove items already in archive, view also: add or delete data from archive.

Converting existing archives from / to .arc format is possible using Convert button, which extracts and then re-pack input archive files, view faq about how to convert arc, rar, zip files

arc files



Open ARC files


Open arc files in PeaZip with double click, or context menu "Open as archive" entry, that will attempt to read any user provided file type regardless file extension associations

Extract ARC files


Decompress ARC files from the system

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

Extract ARC files from PeaZip application
  • Extract button shows archive extraction screen providing access to all decompression 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

arc files extraction

Doubleclick on an archived file to open it in preview mode, to inspect its content before real extraction
To browse or extract a spanned (split) ARC file, save all the parts in same directory, open the first volume (.ARC.001 extension).

Work with encrypted ARC files


To create or extract an encrypted .arc file, enter the password from the padlock icon, alternatively click Tools > Enter password / keyfile in main menu, or F9 accelerator key.

unzip arc files

Password protected items are marked by * sign after filename.
ARC ecryption algorithm can be changed in Advanced tab, supported cyphers are Blowfish (448bit cypher with 64 bit blocks), Twofish256, AES256 (default), Serpent256.
Read more about how to create encrypted archives and how to extract encrypted archives


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FAQ > How to > Create, open, extract ARC files

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