I use 7Zip to extract compressed files.

I am currently working with a compressed 7GB RAR file that expands to 55.6GB.

I understand the time it takes to unzip the file, but then I have to sit and wait while the file "copies" from a temp folder (e.g. D:\Users\Ray\AppData\Local\Temp) to an extraction folder (D:\MyBackupFolder).

enter image description here

Since this is essentially just a move, I would think this would almost be instantaneous.

As noted above by my directories above, the folders are on the same Drive (1TB HDD), but my OS is installed on an 80GB SSD (if that matters).

Can this copying process be sped up somehow?

  • 3
    Something odd is going on. The copy should be just a move and should be instantaneous. Are you sure you don't have any reparse points or something weird like that? May 9, 2012 at 6:41
  • 1
    Agreed. What exact program/set of commands are you using to perform the extraction?
    – Zac B
    May 9, 2012 at 13:46
  • @DavidSchwartz I can say I haven't intentionally set Reparse Points. After I installed Windows 7, I did change my Users folder from my SSD to my larger HDD. After the copy completed, just to see what would happen, I cut and pasted from the extraction folder back to D:\Users\Ray\AppData\Local\Temp and that happened instantly. Thus, I don't think it's an issue with folder properties; but it's definitely confusing.
    – ray023
    May 9, 2012 at 14:02
  • @ZacB Whatever the default drag/drop settings are in the 7zip GUI is what I'm using. In options, the "Working Folder" is the "System Temp Folder" which I have intentionally changed to %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Temp ...well, maybe that's the default now that I think about it....but I have changed my UserProfile folder to be on Drive D:
    – ray023
    May 9, 2012 at 14:08
  • @DavidSchwartz, Not if there's a million files in that folder?
    – Pacerier
    Jul 29, 2017 at 12:57

2 Answers 2


When all else fails, read the FAQ:

Why does drag-and-drop archive extraction from 7-Zip to Explorer use temp files?

7-Zip doesn't know folder path of drop target. Only Windows Explorer knows exact drop target. And Windows Explorer needs files (drag source) as decompressed files on disk. So 7-Zip extracts files from archive to temp folder and then 7-Zip notifies Windows Explorer about paths of these temp files. Then Windows Explorer copies these files to drop target folder.

> To avoid temp file usage, you can use Extract command of 7-Zip or drag-and-drop from 7-Zip to 7-Zip.

I just tested it and, instead of "Drag & Drop", I can use "Extract Here" from the context menu and there's no delay after extraction:

enter image description here

  • 2
    Yes, but it's still a bug, since it should MOVE the files through explorer. The fact that they refuse to fix this is why I tell people not to use 7zip.
    – trlkly
    Jun 3, 2014 at 20:55
  • This is an excuse. There is a fix for it that 7zip is not using: archive.is/ahJly#selection-679.393-679.592
    – Pacerier
    Jul 29, 2017 at 13:04

You're talking about moving a 55.6 GIGABYTE file. There's no way that will be instantaneous, even on the fastest of SSD's. The mechanical hard disk probably is the biggest bottleneck in this case, with either reads or writes at 33.2 MB/s (or a combination thereof). Do the math and that is indeed around 30+ minutes to transfer.

  • I don't need to do any math. I can manually move a large file from one folder to another on the same hard drive and it happens instantly. IMHO, the SSD should have nothing to do with the problem because all action should be taking place on D:.
    – ray023
    May 9, 2012 at 14:55
  • 1
    The move is within the same file system. It should be almost instantaneous.
    – iglvzx
    May 9, 2012 at 15:53
  • Just to clarify, a file move is like a file rename; it's just a file system change. Physically moving it on the hard disk would be wasteful, which is why it's not the case with Windows file systems.
    – Sam
    Nov 22, 2012 at 9:13

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