I recently discovered that you can rename an .msg email file to .zip and then extract it to view it's contents.

rename .msg to .zip

test.zip unzipped

This brought me to wonder, what other file types can you unzip?

A quick Google search returned nothing.

This is more of a random just for fun question, If this is the wrong place to post it I apologise.


There are many files that are secretly zips!

  • MSG, DOCX, XLSX, PPTX, VSDX - Microsoft Office Formats
  • XPI & CRX - Chrome and Firefox extensions
  • JAR - Java Archive File
  • APK - Android Appliation
  • ODT,ODS,ODP - Open Document Formats
  • XPS - XML Paper Specification (Like a PDF)

Loads of files open in 7-zip. Even some installer EXEs.

You should setup the following context menu to easily enable you to open files as archives:

Context Menu

To do this:

  1. Open 7-Zip
  2. Go to Tools-> Options
  3. Select the 7-Zip Tab
  4. Tick Open Archive
  5. Click OK


You can also click the 'info' button in 7-Zip to see what file type it is.



  • Wow thanks for this answer, great to learn about that Context menu with 7-zip! – Panomosh Sep 20 '16 at 9:07

Office documents ending in x like .docx or .xlsx are renamed zip files too.

  • Voted the answer up. No reason this answer should have negative votes, although I would choose to not answer the question at all, given that its off-topic for SuperUser. – LPChip Sep 19 '16 at 16:12

.apk files for Android and .ipa files for iOS can be unzipped after changing the extensions to .zip

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