I have a bunch of files like this:


I just want to know how to keep the folder structure while archiving. This is more important than the duplicate thing, to know how to solve that, would be a bonus.

@Lamb "Do you want to archive only selective files (not the whole folder content) from the G1 and G2 folders?"

That almost says it all, but I'll try to improve: Not only do I want to move only some selected files to an archive. I also have a list of these files, including path-names to each file.

So, in SubDir1 there might be 10 files, of which I want to zip three, and in SubDir1\sub2 there might be five files, of which I want to zip all five. The files that I need to archive are in a listfile.

There might be duplicate files, so my hope is that with subdirectories added, 7-Zip does NOT see them as duplicates.

And I like to do it on the command line.

I've tried a batch file like this:

7z a -r MyArchive.7z C:\G\G1\35antique-shop.mp3
7z a -r MyArchive.7z C:\G\G2\35antique-shop.mp3
7z a -r MyArchive.7z C:\G\G1\09saguri.mp3
7z a -r MyArchive.7z C:\G\G2\09saguri.mp3

This also means that files 01antique-shop.mp3, 02antique-shop.mp3, ...., til 33antique-shop.mp3 and 34antique-shop.mp3, should NOT be archived.

The foldernames (=subdirectories) weren't added to MyArchive.7z, and this is the problem.

Obviously, I'd like to use just one commando with a listfile, but that doesn't work either.

I've tried:

7z a -mx0 -tzip C:\$$-edrive\F-G-H.zip @fgh.txt

which actually works pretty fine as far as the selecting goes, but it does NOT keep the directory structure. Sadly.

How do I do this?

  • Do you want to archive only selective files (not the whole folder content) from the G1 and G2 folders ?
    – Ankit
    Feb 2, 2013 at 16:45

6 Answers 6


The latest stable version of 7-Zip (15.14) has the switch -spf that enables the absolute path storage.

For example, if the file list.txt is


the command 7z a p.7z -spf @list.txt will produce an archive storing the absolute paths as is in the list. Alternatively, the command 7z a p.7z -spf2 @list.txt will remove the drive letter:


If the file list.txt is


the command 7z a p.7z @list.txt will store the relative paths as is in the list, in both versions 9.20 and 15.14.

I did more tests with the switch -spf. The results are here.


I got it to archive a directory with subdirectories using the following:

7z.exe a - t7z NewArchivePath PathOfFolderToArchive
  • I can't find a direct link to the 7zA.exe anywhere (as per your link), is it obsolete and replaced by 7z.exe? Feb 2, 2013 at 18:26
  • @user194767: 7za.exe is the command-line version.
    – Karan
    Feb 2, 2013 at 19:50
  • and, I'd like to use it, but I can't find a like to it on that page, 7-zip.org/download.html. So, just to be clear: with "can't find a direct link to the 7zA.exe anywhere" I really meant: "Please give me a direct link to this free software!" Thank you! Feb 2, 2013 at 20:34
  • 1
    @user194767: Ok, here's the current version, but are you telling me you couldn't spot 7-Zip Command Line Version anywhere on that page?!
    – Karan
    Feb 2, 2013 at 20:51
  • I couldn't 7zA.exe so tried using 7z.exe and it worked. I'm not sure what the -r flag is used for but it is not needed to archive subdirectories.
    – Eric Roper
    Feb 2, 2013 at 21:55

Try this instead:

cd /d C:\
7z a MyArchive.7z G\G1\35antique-shop.mp3
7z a MyArchive.7z G\G2\35antique-shop.mp3
7z a MyArchive.7z G\G1\09saguri.mp3
7z a MyArchive.7z G\G2\09saguri.mp3

The problem seems to be that people have been requesting for years for proper path storage options (just as they have for the ability to modify multi-volume archives), but the author doesn't seem to be interested. That's part of the reason why I started using WinRAR so much.

If you have a listfile, 7-Zip will not store paths if the files to be archived do not share a single top-level directory. For example if you have Input.txt containing the following:

C:\path to\file1.ext
D:\path to\file1.ext
E:\path to\file1.ext

If you run 7z a MyArchive.7z @Input.txt, you'll see that the paths have been stripped completely, which seems completely backwards to me (OTOH rar a MyArchive.rar @Input.txt does the job just fine).

So to overcome 7-Zip's deficiency, you can use a batch file as follows:

for /f "tokens=1* delims=\" %%i in (Input.txt) do (
    pushd %%i\
    7z a D:\MyArchive.7z "%%j"

Note: Replace D:\MyArchive.7z with the proper path to your destination archive. Also, the batch file should work irrespective of whether you have quoted paths in your listfile or not.

Edit: If your listfile looks like:

"C:\$$-edrive\G\Antique Shop.mp3"


"\$$-edrive\G\Antique Shop.mp3"

then edit it to look like this instead:

"$$-edrive\G\Antique Shop.mp3"

Now assuming all files to be archived are under C:\$$-edrive, navigate to C:\ and run 7z a C:\MyArchive.7z @C:\Input.txt. Using a listfile the paths will be saved only if no drive letters are present, no initial backslashes are there and if the top-level (root) directory is the same for all files. Also, for best results I advise you not to create MyArchive.7z in C:\$$-edrive.

  • Well, the answer was 3/4 ok. RAR worked super,but batch file worked soso. Here's the output, and it only added ONE file to my archive, the one without spaces in the filename___ C:\Programs\zippers\7-Zip>( pushd "C:\ c:\Programs\zippers\7-Zip\7z.exe a c:\$$-edrive\FGH.7z "$$-edrive\G\gattaca_7mp 3_zefen\gattaca - 03 the one moment.mp3" " popd ) 7-Zip 4.65 Copyright (c) 1999-2009 Igor Pavlov 2009 Scanning Updating archive c:\$$-edrive\FGH.7z Error: Can not open file FGH.7z.tmp Access denied. System error: undefined error===== Most important is perhaps the access denied error? Feb 3, 2013 at 2:04
  • Can you add a few sample lines (with spaces and without) from your actual listfile to your question above?
    – Karan
    Feb 3, 2013 at 2:14
  • okay, so I replaced all the spaces with dots in the filenames, but not in the pathnames, which I will try now. output is still: C:\Programs\zippers\7-Zip>(______ pushd c:_______ c:\Programs\zippers\7-Zip\7z.exe a c:\$$-edrive\FGH.7z "$$-edrive\F\filmmusic_14mp3_foretean\starcraft.-.starcraft.vs.south.park.mp3"_______ popd________ )________ Scanning Updating archive c:\$$-edrive\FGH.7z Error: Can not open file FGH.7z.tmp Access denied. System error: undefined error Feb 3, 2013 at 2:28
  • "I replaced all the spaces with dots in the filenames" - Meaning you renamed the actual files, or just edited the listfile? Spaces in both filenames and paths should be fine, see my edit above (i.e. from your listfile remove C:\ and place quotes around all paths). Now you should be able to use 7z directly instead of my batch file workaround.
    – Karan
    Feb 3, 2013 at 2:34
  • 1. I renamed both = = = = = = 2. I've made your changes, but it still doesn't work with 7z = = = = = =3. $$-edrive\ is indeed the only top directory. = = = = = 4. Error messages = = = = = WARNINGS for files: = = = = = $$-edrive : The system can't find that file. = = = = = = = = = = "$$-edrive : The system can't find that file. = = = = = = = = = = WARNING: Cannot find 2 files = = = = = C:\Programs\zippers\7-Zip> = = = = = note that there are two warnings, and the second one starts with one double quote... Odd? Feb 3, 2013 at 2:51

I have created a bat script to use with totalcmd "tot-zip.bat":

@echo off

set "TOP_DIR="D:\Grabovsky""
set "archname="%TOP_DIR%\arch.zip""
set "filelist= "
cd %TOP_DIR%
for %%A in (%*) do (
    set ondisk_path="%%~dpnxA"
    set inarch_path=!ondisk_path:%TOP_DIR%\=!
    echo Putting !ondisk_path! to !inarch_path!.
    set "filelist=!filelist! !inarch_path!"
echo filelist: %filelist%

7z.exe a -tzip %archname% %filelist% > NUL

Then in totalcmd create a shortcut for it: enter image description here

Then when you want to zip some files/folders and preserve folder structure relative to %TOP_DIR% you just select the files needed (somewhere inside %TOP_DIR%) and press the button.


7-Zip will see them as duplicates regardless, and skip them. If there's any way to get around that, I've never found it - I always just break the job up into several archives.

  • 1
    do you know how to KEEP the folder structure while zipping files INTO an archive? They say that's the default, but it's NOT. Feb 2, 2013 at 10:01
  • @user194767 - I use a command line like this: %ZDIR%\7z a -t7z -r -mx=1 %ZIP%\mydocu "c:\My Documents\*.*" -wc:\temp where ZDIR is the path to 7-Zip and ZIP is the destination drive.
    – MT_Head
    Feb 2, 2013 at 18:12

Not sure how to help with duplicates. However, I think a more convenient system than a batch with a full command per would be to create a listfile.txt:

 MyArchive.7z C:\G\G1\09saguri.mp3
 MyArchive.7z C:\G\G2\09saguri.mp3

And then compress them all with 7z a -r -tzip archive.zip @listfile.txt

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