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PeaZip, free archiver utility, Open Source WinRar / WinZip alternative for Windows and Linux.
Compress to 7Z, ARC, BZ2, GZip, PAQ, PEA, self-extracting archives, TAR, WIM, XZ, ZIP files.
Open 150+ file types, including ACE, CAB, DMG, ISO, RAR, UDF, ZIPX format.
Extract, create and convert archives, split / join files, strong encryption, encrypted password manager, secure delete, find duplicate files, compute hash, export job definition as script to automate backup / restore.

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unpack tar on windows

TAR files (.tar.gz/.bz/.xz, tgz, tbz packages)

How to create and extract TAR format archives, untar

How to create and extract TAR format archives, untar

What is TAR file extension

TARuntar package is a popular archiving format, mainstream for data backup and distribution purpose on Unix and Unix-like systems, as BSD, Linux and derivates. In use since early Unix versions, predating integrated archiving and compression formats like zip and rar, it was later standardized by POSIX-1.1988 and POSIX.1-2001.

TAR file format.tar archive extension doesn't feature native data compression, so TAR archives are often compressed with an external utility like, but not only, GZipGzip tool, BZip2bzip compressor, XZ (using 7-Zip/p7zip LZMA/LZMA2 compression algorithms), and similar tools to reduce archive's size, i.e. for more compact backup, or smaller software distribution package.
TAR also does not natively support cryptography, but it is possible to compress the TAR package with a compression format providing encryption features such as zip, 7z, arc, pea.

PeaZip, both on Microsoft Windows and Linux systems, can:
  • read (open, browse, search, test and extract) uncompressed TAR as well as compressed TAR files: TGZ, TAR.GZ, TBZ2, TBZ, TB2, TAR.BZ2, TAZ, TZ, TAR.Z, TLZ, TAR.LZ, TAR.LZMA, TXZ, TAR.XZ, etc... Hint: learn more about files with double extension
  • write (create new archives, update existing files) TAR files, uncompressed or compressed in any featured compression format (7Z, BZ2, GZ, LPAQ, PAQ etc...)

Open a TAR file

Opening a compressed TAR file (i.e. with aforementioned TGZ or TBZ extension) in PeaZip will show the underlying TAR package as content of the compressed file, so in those case de-compressing and untar steps will not proceed as atomic operation.

You can doubleclick the uncompressed TAR file in PeaZip archive browser to launch another instance of the program which will display the actual content of the TAR archive, otherwise you can simply extract the TAR archive from the compressed container (i.e. drag & drop it to the desktop, but more extraction procedures are described in details below) and then open it with PeaZip again if you actually want to unpack (untar) its content.

tar for windows

Extract TAR files (untar)

To extract (unpack) a TAR archive, PeaZip provides following ways:
  • System's context menu
    • "Extract here" immediately unpack the whole archive in current directory without asking other interaction
    • "Extract here (to new folder)" creates a new empty directory in current path to extract the data in, preventing naming conflicts (files with same name exists in the output path)
    • "Extract..." shows extraction from providing more options, as custom output path, password (if needed), skip, rename or overwrite existing files, etc
  • Double-click the archive to open it in PeaZip (on MS Windows by default tar filename extension is associated to PeaZip after installation), or open it from PeaZips file/archive navigator:
    • "Extract" button shows full option extraction screen described before
    • "Extract all to..." only asks for output path
    • "Extract" submenu in applications' context menu features option to extract all, displayed (only files/folders in current path or search result), or selected content
    • drag & drop extracts selected items

Create a TAR archive

To create a TAR package with PeaZip:
  • Drag&drop data to the application, or within a PeaZip instance select files / dirs and click Add button (or "Add" from context menu)
    • archiving form is displayed, allowing to chose output archive name, path, and other options (more are featured in Advanced tab)
  • In Windows, from file explorer select files / folders, rightclick and select Add to archive to display archive creation form, then chose TAR in archive format dropdown menu (below output field).
  • When adding folders or multiple files to single file compressors, in example selecting BZIP2 or GZ format in aforementioned archive format picker, PeaZip automatically switches on "Tar before" switch. This option (that, however, is available for all formats) consolidate input data into a tar archive before actual compression, providing
    • a way to save and preserve Unix/Linux file metadata which might not be supported by the final format
    • input consolidation provides solid compression regardless the format
Both in extraction and archiving screens, Console tab is meant as an user friendly tool to convert the task defined in GUI into a command line script, bridging the gap between console flexibility and graphical application ease of use, and a convenient way to learn PeaZip's backend 7-Zip's / p7Zip tar command line by examples.
Schedule tab (available only on MS Windows systems, Vista or more recent) allows to easily automate the task (i.e. for backup / restore at fixed hours, days of the week or of the month).

Topics: create tar file, free tar file opener / viewer, extract TAR archives, untar file, tar command examples, unzip TAR on Windows and Linux, download TAR files extractor utility, manage tar format, browse, explore, view, unpack tar file extensions, handle tar.bz2, tar.gz, tar.lzma, tar.lz, tar.xz, tar.z, extract taz, tb2, navigate tbz, tbz2 player, hanlde tgz, tlz, txz, tz, convert tar file.

Related articles:  7-Zip 7Z format, BZip2 files, GZip files, CAB files, Extract RAR archives, Zip/Unzip, Open encrypted file, What is solid compression?

FAQ > Archive management > Handle TAR files on Microsoft Windows and Linux

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