Windows 11 will have native support for handling additional file formats such as RAR, which together with ZIP are the two most important in the group of file compressors .
A truly useful and direct news for all Windows 11 users , the support has been announced in BUILD 2023 and will be implemented in a future system update, but outside of the new ‘Moments 3’ version which has also been announced in the development conference and that has started to be deployed today.
To increase system compatibility with more file formats, Microsoft has taken the lead (and as with other components) has used available open source tools . For this case it will use the libarchive project as announced by product manager Panos Panay: “We have added native support for additional archive formats, including tar, 7-Zip, RAR, gz and many others that use the open source libarchive project… This way you will be able to get improved performance with these files in Windows .”
Say that Microsoft added support for ZIP in Windows 98. Surely it is the most widely used compressed file format , but there are other important ones that have not been supported by Windows and users have had to be using third-party applications, some closed source and / or paid.
Especially relevant is the arrival of native RAR support in Windows 11 . This format offers compression levels better than zip and using the default application to handle this format, WinRAR, very fast speeds when compressing or decompressing and a 128-bit AES encryption tool.
Also important is support for other file formats such as gz or TAR that are used predominantly in Linux. Few may be surprised after the declared ‘love’ of the free system with the Windows Subsystem for Linux and others. Libarchive supports other formats such as bzip2, lha, cab, xar or cpio that could potentially be added in the future.
Support for these file formats is a “work in progress” and will be rolled out for Windows 11 users in a future system update. It is welcome because it is a very useful novelty for managing files, which will avoid having to install third-party tools and can be managed from Windows Explorer.