WinZip is the traditional method of extracting .zip files, as well as the victims of many jokes. Despite the “timed” trial, WinZip works even after the trial expires. Even with its free functionality, there are many users who find WinZip cumbersome to use.
There are many free WinZip alternatives that work just as well as, if not better, than the original file extractor. The even better news is that there are options available for both Windows and Mac, so you won’t be limited by your platform choice.
The 5 Best Free WinZip Alternatives in 2022
If you are looking for an alternative to WinZip, try one of these programs.
7Zip is probably the most well-known alternative to WinZip, but for good reason. The program is open source and barely larger than 1 MB. It requires few resources and due to its open source nature it is one of the safest options to download.
7Zip does not provide you with a fancy user interface. Instead, you’ll be presented with a Windows Explorer-style window where you can drag and drop files into any folder you want. The intuitive nature of the program makes it easy to pick up and use, even for new users.
- Easy to use
- Supported by most file archiving sites
- Supports high compression levels
- Allows password protection of folders
You can download 7Zip for free from his website. There are versions for Windows, Mac and Linux. 7Zip receives continuous updates and has an active community making it one of the best choices for a WinZip alternative.
Ashampoo Zip Free has only a few options for free users: archive extraction, archive repair and archive creation. There are more advanced features, but they are locked behind a subscription. That said, the free options will meet the needs of most users.
Each function is clearly marked. Ashampoo Zip gives the impression that a user with no previous experience working with a file extraction program could launch it and use it with ease. During installation, you must enter a product key.
Ashampoo Zip asks for your email address. Once you provide it, you will receive the free activation code and you can start the program. However, you will receive marketing emails afterwards.
- Free archive repair tool
- beginner friendly
- Colorful interface
Ashampoo Zip Free can be downloaded from his website† It is only available for Windows 10, 8, 7 – no Mac versions are available.
Like 7Zip, WinRAR is another well-known tool that is simple and spartan. It doesn’t offer a huge, colorful interface, but instead focuses on a few basic functions: add, extract to, test, view and repair. It also offers a search function.
The test function allows you to check files for corruption and other errors. The View feature allows you to look inside folders before opening them and access other features, such as the ability to scan them for viruses. Add and Extract to are self-explanatory, allowing you to create new archives or extract existing ones.
One particularly useful feature is the Wizard feature, which is a guide for new users to walk them through the process of extracting files from a zipped folder, as well as using other tools. WinRAR is technically a paid program, but the free trial version won’t stop you from using it once it runs out. It just aggressively asks you to upgrade the paid version on startup.
- Fully featured free version
- Beginner’s Guide
- Powerful functionality
There is no Mac version of WinRAR, although there are Mac-focused options. You can download WinRAR directly from the . from the company website here†
PeaZip includes all the basic functionality that users expect from a file extractor, but it includes several features that set it apart. The first is the number of privacy options available. PeaZip offers strong encryption optionstwo-step verification and more.
Like many of the other options on this list, PeaZip is an open-source, volunteer-supported program. It works on different devices, although it doesn’t work for Mac. There is a Linux version available if users want one.
You can choose to compress files in more than ten different formats, and you can also choose whether you want the program to prioritize compression speed or efficiency. PeaZip offers a huge amount of functionality for absolutely no cost, and there are no features behind a paywall.
- Huge number of compression options
- open source
5. The Unarchiver
The Unarchiver is a simple, barebones file extraction program for Mac that doesn’t even have an interface. It integrates its extraction tools into the basic navigation, but it does provide a comprehensive list of compatible file types. It even works with Amiga packages. You will find it in the Mac App Store†
The program automatically detects the file type, but you can set confidence thresholds to further refine its functionality. In other words, you can set it as high or as low as you want to ensure it performs properly. You can also adjust other options in the Extract menu in the program.
While it lacks the advanced features of other programs, The Unarchiver is one of the best options for Mac users who need a simple, straightforward file extractor.
- Easy to use and install
- No interface
The best Mac file extractor is 7Zip by a wide margin. While there are two dozen or more different programs, few have the reputation and history that 7Zip offers. If you’re looking for a Mac-centric program, use 7Zip or The Unarchiver.
Choose the WinZip alternative that works for you
Everyone needs a good WinZip alternative once in a while. Some of the entries on this list may even be better options than WinZip – there are definitely choices with more features. Take the time to try out these programs (they’re free, after all) and pick the one you like the most.