How to Open tar.gz Files in Windows 10

by Ross McKillop on August 11, 2015

This easy to follow guide will explain how to open and access the contents of a .tar.gz file in Windows 10.

Note: If you’re using Linux, the tutorial you’re looking for is How to Create and Extract tar.gz Files in Linux.

While the screenshots and steps are specific to Windows 10, if you’re using an earlier version of Windows you should have no trouble following along. It’s also worth noting that the (free) App used in this tutorial will also allow you to open many other file times, such as .RAR and .ARG files. You can even use this program to create tar and tar.gz files in Windows!

With that said, let’s go!

  1. Head over to the 7-Zip download page. This program is Open Source and completely free to use. Download version 15.06 beta (2015-08-09) for Windowsunless there’s been a more recent version created since the time this tutorial was published (ie. a version with a date after 8/9/15). You’re probably going to want to download the 64-bit x64 version based on the architecture of your PC (if it’s even 3 years old, 64bit is probably the one you want). Install the App by double-clicking the downloaded file and follow the typical steps.
  2. Now locate the .tar.gz file that you want to open and extract/copy the contents from. Double-click it.
  3. When you’re asked How do you want to open this file? – first place a check in the box labelled Always use this app to open .gz files, and then click More apps ↓
  4. Now click Look for another app on this PC
  5. At this point you’re going to have to navigate to a specific file. From the top menu, go to your Program Files (x86) folder and then look for (and select) the 7-Zip folder. If you don’t see either the Program Files (x86) or the 7-Zip folders, look inside of your Program Files folder – the one that doesn’t have (x86) in the name.

    Once you’re inside of the 7-Zip folder, select the 7zFM file (which might be listed as 7zFM.exe) and then click the Open button.

  6. click to enlarge

  7. Ta-da! You’re now looking at the contents of the .gz part of the file, and it’s the .tar part. Double-click the .tar file (as seen in the screenshot below).
  8. There’s what you’re after! Select everything from inside of the .tar file that you want to extract to your computer (in order to edit them etc), and then click the Extract button.
  9. Right away you’ll be prompted where you’d like to extract these files/folders to. Click the button (see screenshot below) and select the folder you want to extract the files to. In the example below, I opted for my Desktop. Then click OK
  10. You. Are. Done! All of the files that were inside of your original tar.gz file have been copied to your hard drive, ready for you to read, work on etc.