Microsoft has introduced support for 11 additional archive formats in Windows 11 with the KB5031455 Preview cumulative update. Users will now find native support for formats like RAR, 7-Zip, Tar, GZ, and more.
However, the support for password-protected archives is not included in this update. Microsoft used the open-source libarchive project to implement these new formats, hinting at the potential addition of more formats like LZH and XAR in the future.
This update brings improved archive functionality to Windows 11, allowing users to work with a wider range of archive formats natively. Archive formats like ZIP, 7-Zip, and RAR are widely used on Windows, and while ZIP has been supported since 1998, third-party tools like 7-Zip and WinRAR were needed to handle formats like 7-Zip (.7z) and RAR (.rar).
The inclusion of formats such as GZ (.gz), typically associated with Linux, is becoming more relevant due to the growing popularity of the Windows Subsystem for Linux feature. The update also enables additional features, including an overhauled File Explorer, a new Backup app, a built-in Passkey Manager, and the AI-powered Copilot for Windows.
Microsoft’s effort to expand archive format support in Windows 11 aims to make the operating system more versatile for users who work with various archive formats, ensuring a smoother and more integrated experience for handling compressed files and archives.