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I need a software to compress files in my Windows system. It should -

  • be light weight,
  • compress any type of files,
  • fast,
  • free,
  • allow the maximum compression.

Which is a good one of my needs ?

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marked as duplicate by ProgramFOX, Franck Dernoncourt, Seth, Nick Wilde, danijelc Apr 23 at 17:26

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

The number one answer is most likely: 7-Zip.

  • Packing / unpacking: 7z, XZ, BZIP2, GZIP, TAR, ZIP and WIM
  • Unpacking only: ARJ, CAB, CHM, CPIO, CramFS, DEB, DMG, FAT, HFS, ISO, LZH, LZMA, MBR, MSI, NSIS, NTFS, RAR, RPM, SquashFS, UDF, VHD, WIM, XAR and Z.

Its own file format - .7z - offers "high compression ratio with LZMA and LZMA2 compression".
You can also secure your .zip and .7z archives with AES-265 - if necessary.
Besides:

  • It's fast (compressing and extracting)
  • It's (mostly) open-source
  • It supports 79 languages
  • It integrates with Windows Explorer
  • You can make self-extracting archives (.exe containing the archive)

Downloadable here: Download (latest stable version is 9.20) Latest stable version is 9.22, website was not updated to reflect those changes

I'll try to add other software for compressing files and folders later

Another option is:

ZPAQ

From its website:

zpaq is a free and open source (GPL v3) incremental, journaling command-line archiver for Windows, Linux and Mac OS/X. Incremental means that when you back up your hard drive, for example:

zpaq add e:backup.zpaq c:\*

then only those files whose last-modified date has changed since the previous backup are added. For 100 GB of files, this typically takes about a minute, vs. an hour to create the first version. Journaling means that the archive is append-only. When you add files or directories to the archive, both the old and new versions are saved. You can recover old versions by specifying the date or version number, for example:

zpaq extract e:backup.zpaq c:\Users\Bob -to tmp -until 2013-10-30

will extract all the files and directories in c:\Users\Bob as of the last backup on or before Oct. 30, 2013 and put them in a directory named tmp.

zpaq is faster and compresses better than most other popular archivers and backup programs, especially for realistic backups that have a lot of duplicate files and a lot of already compressed files.

I also found this picture: 10GB benchmark results

zpaq doesn't have a windows GUI by default, but you can download one here: Winzpaq - zpaq archiver GUI for Windows

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A very good opensource compression software is 7-Zip.

High compression ratio in 7z format with LZMA and LZMA2 compression

Supported formats:

Packing / unpacking: 7z, XZ, BZIP2, GZIP, TAR, ZIP and WIM

Unpacking only: ARJ, CAB, CHM, CPIO, CramFS, DEB, DMG, FAT, HFS, ISO, LZH, LZMA, MBR, MSI, NSIS, NTFS, RAR, RPM, SquashFS, UDF, VHD, WIM, XAR and Z.

For ZIP and GZIP formats, 7-Zip provides a compression ratio that is 2-10 % better than the ratio provided by PKZip and WinZip

From http://www.7-zip.org/

It is based on LZMA algorithm.

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7-Zip

@tom's HARDWARE:

7-Zip is the only one of our four archiving and compression tools that’s free. It’s open source and offered under the GNU Lesser General Public License. 7-Zip fully supports the following seven compression formats: 7z, bzip2, GZIP, TAR, WIM, XZ, and ZIP. Additionally, 7-Zip can extract an additional 24 formats: ARJ, CAB, CHM, cpio, cramfs, DEB, DMG, FAT, HFS, ISO, LZH, LZMA, MBR, MSI, NSIS, NTFS, RAR, RPM, SquashFS, UDF, VHD, WIM, XAR, and Z.

If you're running a 64-Bit version of Windows, and want a 7-Zip right-click context menu, make sure to download the 64-Bit version on Sourceforge. The default download (in the summary tab) is a 32-Bit version.

(Compression performance/benchmark also @tom's HARDWARE)

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