How to Convert ZIP Files to Alternative Archive Formats in Windows 11

ZIP is the archive format Windows natively supports. So, many users compress files with ZIP archives. Yet, there are numerous other archive formats, such as 7z, RAR, TAR, CAB, ARJ, and more besides. Formats like 7z (7-ZIP) and RAR have superior compression ratios to ZIP archives.

Windows 11 doesn’t include a built-in tool for creating any archives with formats other than ZIP. However, you can set up ZIP files on Windows; and then convert them to alternative formats with a third-party conversion tool. Here are three methods for converting ZIPs to different archive formats in Windows 11.

How to Convert ZIPs With ArcConvert

ArcConvert is a portable archive conversion tool you can utilize on any Windows platform. It enables you to convert ZIPs to 21 different archive formats. You can convert ZIPs to other archives with ArcConvert like this:

  1. Navigate to the ArcConvert page on Softpedia and download the file.
  2. Click with the right mouse button and select Extract All.
    The Extract All option
  3. To automatically open the program’s folder after extraction, select the Show extracted files when complete box.
    The Extract Compressed window
  4. Select Extract to view ArcConvert’s decompressed folder.
  5. Double-click the arc_convert.exe file.
  6. Press the Open Archive button in ArcConvert’s window.
    The ArcConvert window
  7. Select a ZIP you wish to convert.
  8. Click the Convert to drop-down menu to select a format. There you can select to convert ZIPs to 7-ZIP, CAB, TAR GZ, and ARJ among others.
    The Convert to drop-down menu
  9. Press the Convert button.
  10. Then a message will pop up asking to delete the original. Click Yes if you don’t need to retain the original archive.
    The delete archive dialog box

ArcConvert’s window shows original and new archive size details after the conversion. If you selected to convert a ZIP to a CAB or 7-ZIP format, then the new archive will probably be smaller. The 7-ZIP (7z) archive is one of the best for reducing file sizes.

Your converted archive will be in the same folder as its original ZIP. Bring up the directory in which the ZIP is saved inside File Explorer. Then you’ll find the converted archive there.

How to Convert ZIPs With PeaZip

PeaZip is freeware archive extraction and conversion software you can utilize on Windows platforms dating back to 2000. It’s more comprehensive software than ArcConvert since you can create, extract, and convert archives with it. You can also select to batch convert multiple archives at once in PeaZip. You can convert ZIPs to 7z, TAR, Gzip, UPX, and ARC formats, among others, with PeaZip in the following steps:

  1. Open the Windows PeaZip download page on the software’s website and download it.
  2. Double-click the peazip-8.9.0.WIN64.exe file to bring up PeaZip’s setup window.
  3. Select the I accept option for PeaZip’s license agreement.
  4. Keep clicking Next to install the software with its default setup settings.
  5. Select Install when you get to that option.
    The Install button for PeaZip
  6. Click the setup window’s Finish option.
  7. Double-click the PeaZip desktop shortcut.

Now it’s time to put PeaZip to work:

  1. Select a ZIP archive in PeaZip’s folder navigator.
  2. Click Convert on PeaZip’s toolbar.
    The Convert option in PeaZip
  3. Choose an archive format on the Type drop-down menu.
    The Type drop-down menu in ArcConvert
  4. Select New archive on the Function drop-down menu if that option isn’t already selected.
  5. Click Single volume on the Split drop-down menu.
  6. Press the ellipsis button for the Output bar to select a folder to include the converted archive.
  7. If you prefer not to retain the original ZIP, select the Delete files after archiving option. A dialog box will then pop up after the conversion in which you can click Yes to delete the original files.
  8. Click OK to convert the archive to your chosen format.
  9. You can find your converted archive in the selected output folder.

The Spilt option in PeaZip’s conversion tool can be useful for larger archives. Let’s suppose you need to attach an archive to a Gmail email that eclipses the 25 MB (megabyte) attachment limit. Converting a ZIP to an archive with a better compression ratio may not reduce the attachment’s size enough. Splitting an archive into two smaller ones, however, could be a solution in such a scenario.

You can split larger archives by selecting various options on the Split drop-down menu. That drop-down menu includes 25 and 10-MB attachment options to split archives for email attachments. Or you can select Custom size to set a value to split the archive by.

The Split drop-down menu

The Advanced tab includes more options for you to configure the archive conversion. There you can select different compression methods for the archive conversion. Click the Method drop-down menu to choose one of 15 different compression algorithms, such as LZMA, PPMD, Bzip 2, Brotli, etc.

The Method drop-down menu

PeaZip’s conversion tool also has a Set password option. You can select that option to apply a password to a converted archive. Click Set password on the Convert tab, input an archive password, and select OK.

How to Convert ZIPs With Cloudconvert in a Windows 11 Browser

There are numerous web apps for converting archives to different formats you can utilize in browser software. Cloudconvert is a web app with which you can convert ZIP files to 7Z, RAR, and TAR formats. Note that this web app restricts you to 10 conversion minutes a day if you don’t register an account on its site. This is how to convert a ZIP with the Cloudconvert web app:

  1. Open the Cloudconvert web app page.
  2. Press the Select File button.
  3. Select the From my Computer option.
    The From my Computer option
  4. Choose a ZIP to convert, and click the Open option.
  5. Click the Convert to drop-down menu to select one of five archive formats.
    Cloudconvert's archive format selection
  6. Select the Convert option.
    The Convert button
  7. Then click the green Download option. The new archive will be in whatever folder your browser downloads to.

Cloudconvert also enables you to password-protect a file on Windows. Click the spanner icon in the conversion tool. Then input a password for the archive in the text box and select Okay.

Convert ZIPs to Different Compressed Archive Formats on Windows 11

ZIP may be the most universal archive format, but it doesn’t have the best compression ratio. You can quickly and easily convert ZIPs to archives with better compression ratios with the CouldConvert, PeaZip, and ArcConvert tools in Windows 11. Note that you can also utilize those tools to convert other archive types into different formats.

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