How to Unzip, Open, and Extract TGZ (tar.gz) Files in Windows

Learn how you can quickly unzip TGZ (tar.gz) compressed files from Unix systems on Windows using these step-by-step instructions.

Compressed files are a convenient way to store and share large amounts of data. They can significantly reduce file sizes, making them easier to transfer and store.

There are many different types of compressed files, each with its own unique characteristics and file extensions. TGZ or GZ files are made by compressing many files together on a Unix-based system. They have two different extensions like ".TAR.GZ" but can be shortened to ".TGZ" or ".GZ".

How to Unzip, Open, and Extract TGZ (tar.gz) Files in Windows

To open these files on a Windows 11/10 computer, you need specific software to extract or unzip them. In this article, we will explain how to properly unzip and open TGZ, GZ, and TAR.GZ files on your Windows 11/10 computer.

Table of Contents

  1. What is a TGZ File?
  2. How to Extract TGZ, GZ or TAR.GZ Files in Windows 11/10
  3. Open .tar.gz, .tgz, and .gz Files With 7-Zip
  4. Convert .tar.gz, .tgz, and .gz Files to Zip
  5. Open .tar.gz, .tgz, and .gz Files Using the ‘Tar’ Command

What is a TGZ File?

TGZ files are a staple in the UNIX and Linux systems for efficient file management. These files are essentially a TAR archive that has been compressed with Gnu Zip software, making it easier to distribute or back up collections of files.

In practical terms, TGZ files allow users to store a multitude of files in a single location, reducing the amount of time and storage space needed to keep track of individual files. While this compression may sound complex, the process is seamless and reliable, ensuring your files are safe and accessible whenever and wherever needed.

As technology evolves and the need for efficient file management increases, TGZ files will continue to play a vital role in simplifying the process of bundling and backing up files. If you're using a Windows computer and need to open a TGZ file, these step-by-step instructions will help guide you through the process.

How to Extract TGZ, GZ, or TAR.GZ Files in Windows 11/10

There are a few different approaches you can take when it comes to extracting TGZ, GZ, or TAR.GZ files on Windows 11 and Windows 10. Here, we will cover the most common methods and explain how to accomplish each one.

1. Open .tar.gz, .tgz, and .gz Files With 7-Zip

7-Zip is a free and open-source file archiver tool used to compress or extract files. It supports many different compression formats, including TGZ, GZ, and TAR.GZ. To extract the contents of a TGZ file using 7-Zip:

  1. Download and install 7-Zip from its official website.
  2. Right-click on the TGZ file you want to extract and select "7-Zip" from the context menu.
  3. Choose the "Extract files…" option to extract the files to the same folder as the TGZ file, or choose "Extract to" to extract the files to a specific folder.

By following these steps, you should be able to extract your TGZ file with ease. If you encounter any issues, make sure to check that you have installed the correct software and that the file is not corrupted or damaged.

2. Convert .tar.gz, .tgz, and .gz Files to Zip

An alternative way to extract TGZ, GZ, and TAR.GZ on Windows 11/10 is by converting the file to a ZIP file using a service or app that can convert between different file types.

Many online services allow you to upload your compressed files and convert them into a compatible format like ZIP. The process is simple, but it can take some time if the file is large. Once the conversion is complete, you can extract the contents of your .TGZ, .GZ, or .TAR.GZ file using the default Windows utility.

  1. Open your web browser and navigate to the Convertio web tool.
  2. Select "Choose Files" and import the TGZ archive you want to convert to ZIP. Find the file in the folder and click "Open" to add it to the online converter.
  3. Select the conversion type to "ZIP."
  4. Hit the "Convert" button to start the conversion process.
  5. Once the conversion is complete, click "Download" and save the new ZIP archive.
  6. Go to the downloaded files folder and double-click the downloaded ZIP file to open its "Extract" tab. Now, hit the “Extract all” button to open the window directly below.
  7. Select the destination where you want to extract the files and hit "Extract."

By following these steps, you should be able to easily convert and extract your TGZ files to the more widely recognized ZIP format. If you have any issues or concerns, make sure to check that you have selected the correct files and that the files are not corrupted or damaged.

3. Open .tar.gz, .tgz, and .gz Files Using the ‘tar’ Command

Windows 11/10 has native support for tar files, which can be extracted using Command Prompt. In addition, Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) brings native support for Ubuntu, Fedora, and SUSE, allowing you to access many Linux tools, including tar to extract content from tarballs.

Here are the steps to extract contents of a .tar.gz file using native tar commands on Windows 11/10 using Command Prompt:

  1. Open the Command Prompt as Administrator by typing "cmd" in the Start Menu search bar and selecting "Run as Administrator." Remember that you'll need access to a local administrator account to do this.
  2. Type the following command to use tar to extract the files and press Enter: tar -xvzf C:\PATH\TO\FILE\FILE-NAME.tar.gz -C C:\PATH\TO\FOLDER\EXTRACTION
  3. Make sure to update the syntax to include the source and destination paths. After completing these steps, all files and folders will be extracted to the specified destination.

Note: It's crucial to ensure the syntax is correct and that you have entered the correct source and destination paths. Otherwise, the files won't be extracted properly.


What software do I need to open .tar.gz files in Windows?

Windows 11/10 has native support for tar files that can be extracted using Command Prompt. It also has the Windows Subsystem for Linux which lets you use Linux tools, like tar, to get the contents of tarballs quickly.

Are .tar.gz files safe?

Generally, .tar.gz files are safe and commonly used to compress and archive files on Unix-based systems. However, as with any file, it is important to be cautious when downloading or opening .tar.gz files from unknown or suspicious sources.

Can WinRAR open .tar.gz files?

To open .tar.gz files in WinRAR, make sure to tick the GZ file extension checkbox in the WinRAR Integration panel.

Can I convert a .tar.gz file to a .zip file in Windows?

Yes, you can convert a .tar.gz file to a .zip file in Windows using various methods. One way is to use an online file converter like Convertio or CloudConvert, which can convert the file format for you.

What do I do if I encounter errors while extracting .tar.gz files in Windows?

If you encounter errors while extracting .tar.gz files in Windows, make sure that you are using the correct software to extract the file. If you are using the correct software, try downloading the file again in case it is corrupted. If the problem persists, try using a different extraction location or checking your disk space to make sure you have enough storage.


The .tar.gz file is a popular archive format for Linux users, and Windows 11/10 users can access them too with the right software. There are several ways to open, extract, or convert these files using native tools and third-party applications.

With the right tools, you can easily open and extract your .tar.gz files in Windows 11/10. 

We have outlined step-by-step instructions for using both native tools and third-party applications to open or convert these files. We hope this article helps you access all the files you need.

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