Is it not wise to run an executable from a zipped file without extracting first? Someone explained to me that there is no need to extract first.

He explained that zipped files are nothing more than compressed files and running an .exe from inside of a zip only makes the exe run slower, due to it needing to be decompressed first.

This is true? because then what would be the point of extracting?


Even if you run the executable without extracting it, the file will be temporarily copied somewhere before it is executed. So Windows will be extracting it anyway.

As for the point of extracting,

  • If you need to run the file multiple times, it's better to extract it once and run it multiple times rather than extract & run multiple times.
  • If you need a specific file from a list of files from the compressed file, you can extract that particular file and store it for your usage, rather than extracting again and again.
  • If I copy a file from the zip without extracting first, does this file then need to be extracted each time I use it or will the operating system extract it before I copy it? – Nate S. May 26 '14 at 14:50
  • 1
    Windows tries to make that process transparent by pretending the zip file to be a folder. When you copy it from that folder, that is an extraction process. I suppose Windows actually extracts the file you copy to a temp folder and then copies that to your chosen destination. – TheUser1024 May 26 '14 at 15:59

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