I just got 64 bit Vista system after being on Windows XP. I'm trying to get all my useful programs up to date, and I've recently had a problem extracting files into the 32-bit program files directory (Program Files (x86)).

I'm using 7zip to extract the eclipse-SDK-3.5-win32.zip directory into C:\Program Files (x86)

Unfortunately, every time I've tried to do this, 7Zip reports

can not open output file C:\Program Files (x86)\eclipse\...

I've been able to extract it to C:\ and then move it, I'm assuming there's some protection on the Program Files directory that is causing some problems.

Any suggestions?

6 Answers 6


UAC protects the Program Files folders in both 32Bit and 64Bit. The only way around this is the method you've mentioned, or alternatively to disable UAC. The latter I do not suggest.

  • 1
    Can't you just run the 7-zip program with elevated privileges for that unzip operation? Commented Jul 17, 2009 at 14:07
  • Thanks Lasse, I should have thought to do this, I just tried and running 7-zip as administrator works great, just annoying that I can't access it through right clicking the file.
    – Evan
    Commented Jul 17, 2009 at 14:11
  • 3
    @Evan. You can kind of. Right click on the 7Zip excutable and under compatibile set it to always run as administrator. Commented Jul 17, 2009 at 14:14
  • @Lasse Nice - I can't belief I forgot about that Commented Jul 17, 2009 at 14:15
  • @BinaryMisfit keep in mind that this will disable the ability to drag and drop files into a 7zip archive.
    – user440147
    Commented Sep 16, 2016 at 10:46

Do you need to have eclipse in your program files? If you put it in any other folder, (except c:\windows) UAC won't be an issue.

  • It was basically just convenience, I was more curious why it was happening
    – Evan
    Commented Jul 17, 2009 at 14:35
  • Yeah, I'd think it should be convenient to put it there too, no idea why MS makes it so inconvenient. Commented Jul 17, 2009 at 18:40

The access control list for C:\Program Files (x86) does not grant any write permissions to standard users. To see this for yourself, right-click on the folder in Explorer, select "Properties" from the context menu, and select the "Security" tab.

Explorer in Windows Vista handles permission failures by attempting to elevate to Administrator privileges, hence the UAC prompt when you drag a folder into C:\Program Files (x86).

7-Zip does not handle permission failures by attempting to elevate to Administrator privileges. If you want to run 7-Zip as an Administrator account in order to install software into the Program Files directories, find the icon for "7-Zip File Manager" in the Start Menu, right-click on it, and select "Run as administrator". Now you can pick up anything.

What you're already doing is also perfectly reasonable: extract archives as a standard user and move the extracted files into Program Files, taking advantage of Explorer's UAC prompts.


Go to the folder where you installed 7Zip or WinRAR (for WinRAR: C:\Program Files\WinRAR or C:\Program Files (x86)\WinRAR), right click WinRAR.exe or 7zip.exe -> Properties -> click the Compatibility tab and check the "Run this program as an administrator" option


Another answer would be to run 7-Zip without themes enabled (ala win2k). If you do that, then you might just wind up with Eclipse in your own user folder even though you think you're putting it in the program files folder.


I have the same problem with WinRar. However when dragging the files into an Explorer window from the main WinRar window a prompt appears that you canauthorize this action to have the files extracted in that location.

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