How to extract a tar file (.tgz) in windows? Is this possible, or do I have to get into a linux environment and extract it?

  • ....a linux environment just to extract?
    – Pacerier
    May 16, 2015 at 3:36
  • I know the pain that goes behind this question: if you frequently download .tgz whats a shortcut way to extract the content of the .tar which is inside of the .tgz.??
    – Ahmed
    Dec 15, 2015 at 23:42

12 Answers 12


No, you don't need Linux, you can download a free tool like 7zip which is more than capable of extracting tar.gz/tgz content.

And, on the assumption that you're writing batch files to do this extraction (since this is a programming site rather than a general tools help forum), it has a nice command-line interface so that you don't have to worry about GUI rubbish.

  • 2
    7-zip also has a native windows x64 version.
    – Chuck
    Jan 18, 2011 at 22:26
  • 7
    +1 though GUI <> rubbish. Nov 17, 2011 at 13:27
  • @Ulrich You can use 7-Zip Theme Manager to paint it...
    – user79032
    May 21, 2013 at 2:46
  • @UlrichGerhardt, Real non-GUI is using cards. As long as there's a single pixel involved, it's GUI.
    – Pacerier
    May 16, 2015 at 3:40

Cygwin contains the necessary tools, of course. It's overkill just to unpack one tarball, but if you like the Linux command line tools, Cygwin is well worth installing.

Using Cygwin you can unpack a tgz (zipped tar) file like this:

tar -xzf foo.tgz

(which means extract zipped file)

You can also drag and drop the tgz file to the cygwin terminal window in order to get the path right. For drive C: it will look like this:

tar -xzf /cygdrive/c/the/path/to/your/file/foo.tgz
  • I have been trying to find a tar utility on windows that could extract Rocket.Chat tgz files and cygwin is the ONLY one capable of that. The archive features very long paths and links. I have tried all tools mentioned here except for WinRAR and Ch Shell and all except Cygwin's tar failed.
    – galmok
    Jun 9, 2016 at 9:12

You can also use WinRAR to extract .tgz and .tar.gz files however WinRAR is not a free software.

  • 1
    What is wrong with this answer?
    – Jon
    Oct 2, 2014 at 8:37

You can use PowerArchiver 6.1 (freeware) or 7-zip (freeware).


I'd go with the previously mentioned 7zip, but you can also use WinZIP.


I always have the UnxUtils GNU utilities in my PATH on a Windows box.

UnxUtils includes tar and gunzip programs, among other things one can't live without after getting used to a Unix shell.


Since Windows 10 version 1803 Windows includes bsdtar (see https://devblogs.microsoft.com/commandline/windows10v1803/.

bsdtar is available with tar in CMD and Powershell.


Windows has power shell.

Open power shell and type

tar -xzf filename.tgz

I use Ch Shell from SoftIntegration.


I use Universal Extractor I use that and 7-Zip for a lot of things.


You can check out the gow project. It provides a nice list of Unix utilities on Win32 system. Works quite well.


If you have git bash installed in your machine, then run the tar command to unzip the file

 tar -xzf kafka-1.0.2-src.tgz

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