I have a few EAR/WAR files which are Java archives and I would like Windows 7 to open these files the way it opens a file with extension zip.

So I open this war file and in the list of softwares available with "Open" I see MS Word, Notepad etc but nothing about CompressedFolderView.

I also tried manually specifying the location of exe (I thought this was expand.exe) but that does not work. Does someone know if I can make this work? Or should I use Winzip or some such utilities?


7zip will work, simply associate the ear/war extension with it.

  • 1
    Thanks DHayes. I can indeed use Winzip or 7zip but I would prefer to use the windows-7 viewer if possible. If there isnt a solution posted in say 3 days I will fall back to this solution :) – Calm Storm Apr 21 '10 at 14:56

If you tell Windows that JAR, WAR and EAR files are compressed folders, Explorer will show you what is inside without having to rename them to ZIP. Very helpful when there is a JAR inside a WAR.

Run this in an Administrative Command Prompt window:

assoc .jar=CompressedFolder
assoc .war=CompressedFolder
assoc .ear=CompressedFolder

(Better late than never)

  • @LMSingh there's also ftype.. assoc works with that. So if you type assoc<ENTER> you see relevant stuff.. if you type ftype<ENTER> you'll see for example what CompressedFolder links to – barlop Mar 13 '17 at 11:56

Try this one: Jar Explorer
Apart from browsing WAR,EAR,JAR,ZIP,APK files you can see content of file, decompile java classes and even edit some files without unpacking.
click to see screenshot


The Simplest Way is download JD- GUI (Java Decompiler). Select the .ear file and open it from decompiler which will show all the internal files.

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