7-Zip, one of the most popular archiving tool, finally has a new version 15.12 released just a couple days ago on Nov. 19, 2015. Believe it or not, the last stable version 9.20 was released on Nov. 18, 2010. That’s a full 5 year gap in between these 2 versions. And that’s how long we’ve been waiting too.
I am a huge fan of this awesome open-source WinZip/WinRAR alternative. It’s basically my go-to tool for all my zipping, compressing and archiving needs. And I am glad finally seeing a new version coming out with a lot of new features and improvements.
One of the important improvements is that it’s now able to unpack a much wider range of format files than before, including
- RAR5 archive files that previous version wasn’t able to deal with.
- Ext2, Ext3, Ext4, and multivolume VMDK images
- GPT images and single file QCOW2, VMDK, and VDI images.
- Solid WIM archives with LZMS compression.
- ZipX (WinZip) archives that use xz compression.
- UEFI BIOS files.
Here are some other new improvements since the last stable version:
- A lot of new command line switches added, such as -rn to rename files in archives, -h to calculate hash values, -SPF to store full file paths including drive letter to achieve, etc.
- Supports files larger than 5GiB in ISO archives.
- Uses progress indicator displayed on a taskbar button under Windows 7.
- Much improved 7-Zip File Manager, such as using RAM buffers instead of temp files to open nested archives, moving files to archives, etc.
The minimum supported system is Windows 2000. Both 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems are fully supported. You can download the latest release of 7-Zip on its official website.
If you are using 7-Zip today, you should upgrade it to the latest version. If you haven’t started using it, it’s time to use it now.