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How to Extract Gzip Files on Windows, Mac, and Linux

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| Published on: March 14, 2024 | Last updated on: May 20, 2024

Knowing how to extract gzip files is an essential skill for anyone working with compressed data archives. This guide will walk you through the process of unzipping .gz files on the three major operating systems: Windows, macOS, and Linux.

What is Gzip?

Before we dive into the extraction methods, let’s quickly go over what gzip is. Gzip is a popular file compression utility that helps reduce the size of files or archives, making them easier to transfer over the internet or store on your computer. It uses the Deflate compression algorithm to compress the data, resulting in files with the .gz extension.

Extracting Gzip Files on Windows

Windows does not natively support extracting gzip files out of the box. However, you can use free third-party utilities like 7-Zip or WinRAR to get the job done.

Using 7-Zip

  1. Download and install 7-Zip from https://www.7-zip.org/
  2. Right-click on the .gz file you want to extract
  3. Select “7-Zip” > “Extract Here”
  4. The contents will be extracted to the same directory as the original .gz file
extract gzip on windows with 7zip

Using WinRAR

  1. Download and install WinRAR from https://www.rarlab.com/
  2. Right-click on the .gz file
  3. Select “Extract Here”
  4. The contents will be extracted to the same directory

Extracting Gzip Files on macOS

macOS has built-in support for extracting gzip files, making the process incredibly straightforward.

Using the Graphical Interface

  1. Double-click on the .gz file
  2. A new file or folder with the extracted contents will be created in the same directory

Using the Terminal

If you prefer the command line, you can use the gunzip command to extract your gzip file:

Zsh
gunzip file.gz

This will extract the contents of file.gz and remove the .gz extension. If you want to keep the original .gz file, you can use:

Zsh
gunzip -c file.gz > unzipped_file

This will create a new file called unzipped_file with the extracted contents, while keeping the original file.gz intact.

Extracting Gzip Files on Linux

Linux users also have multiple options for extracting gzip files, including both graphical and command-line methods.

Using the Graphical Interface

Most modern Linux file managers (like Nautilus or Dolphin) support right-clicking on a .gz file and selecting “Extract Here” or a similar option.

Using the Terminal

Just like on macOS, you can use the gunzip command:

Bash
gunzip file.gz

Or, to extract while keeping the original .gz file:

Bash
gunzip -c file.gz > unzipped_file

With these simple steps, you’ll be able to extract gzip files with ease, no matter which operating system you’re using. Happy unzipping!

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