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 '15 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 '15 at 23:42

11 Answers 11


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 '11 at 22:26
  • 7
    +1 though GUI <> rubbish. – Ulrich Gerhardt Nov 17 '11 at 13:27
  • @Ulrich You can use 7-Zip Theme Manager to paint it... – Apple II May 21 '13 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 '15 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 '16 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 '14 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.


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

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

bsdtar is available with tar in CMD and Powershell.

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