Any idea how to exclude a wild-carded path(s) from a command-line 7zip command?

I'm doing something like this:

7z.exe a -t7z archive.7z FolderToArchive\ -mx0

and would like to exclude any \bin\*.* or \obj\*.* folders found underneath "FolderToArchive".

To exclude files, you can use the -x parameter. The help file gives this example for using -x:

7z a -tzip archive.zip *.txt -x!temp.*

That's great for excluding a file. But, again, I would like to exclude a wildcard-specified folder. Under my "FolderToArchive" there are multiple folders, under those folders there may or may not be bin\ and obj\ folders. I would like to not include these in the archive.

I've tried patterns like


None seem to exclude the bin\ folder. Is this simply a limitation of 7zip?

3 Answers 3


To exclude the bin and obj folders recursively you can use the command:

7z.exe a -t7z archive.7z FolderToArchive\ -mx0 -xr!bin -xr!obj
  • 11
    For everyone else: if you want to ignore only the files in the root directory, use -xr0!*.zip - at least I couldn't get it to work without the r0.
    – Oliver
    Commented Feb 23, 2013 at 9:46
  • 10
    Also, if this is in a Linux/Unix command line, you may need to enclose in single quotes, to not add pre-processing by the shell, e.g. '-x!$RECYCLE.BIN' to exclude the Recycle bin of an external drive.
    – thanosa75
    Commented Apr 3, 2017 at 11:29
  • 4
    what is -mx0 good for?
    – ESP32
    Commented Oct 30, 2019 at 17:12
  • 4
    What does -mx0 mean, and what is the ! after -x mean?
    – user324747
    Commented Mar 23, 2020 at 17:42
  • 2
    Windows batch files with SETLOCAL ENABLEDELAYEDEXPANSION require the ! to be escaped with ^ like -xr^^!skip_this_dir
    – JimB
    Commented Jan 13, 2021 at 10:33

To avoid bug, use -r or -xr carefully.

suppose you have directories like:


and run the command:

7z a -t7z archive.7z .\path1\path2 .\path3\path4\path5 -xr!bin

what you got in archive.7z:


That is, the .\path2\ and .\path5\ became the top folder in archive.7z, and both bin directories were excluded.

-x only support path/filename relative to the top folder in archive.

So, if you only want to exclude .\path1\path2\bin, but to include all the other 'bin' directories, the command should be like this:

7z a -t7z archive.7z .\path1\path2 .\path3\path4\path5 -x!path2\bin

I tried to use absolute path in -x, but never succeed.


There is an option -spf in 7z for Linux which works with absolute path.

According to Marco, -spf is also available on Windows from 7-zip 15.14

  • 3
    Note: At least on Ubuntu you are best advised to put all those -x terms in single quotes '-x!path2\bin' to not run into shell substitution... (getting you a much longer, syntactically incorrect “command”...)
    – Frank N
    Commented Sep 18, 2017 at 8:45
  • To refer to @FrankNocke 's comment, you can also do this on windows to allow dots in folder names: '-xr!\.foo'
    – DonBecker
    Commented May 11, 2018 at 18:06

Based on @zhazha's answer and make it more clear about how to exclude sub folders exactly. On Windows 10, to backup a Visual Studio solution root folder:



//goto the parent of the root folder first which make thing clearer
//not sure what will happen if you go into the root folder
cd D:\VS2019
"<path-of-7z>\7z.exe" a -tzip -mx0 Sln1_backup.zip Sln1 -x!Sln1\.vs -x!Sln1\Debug -x!Sln1\Release -x!Sln1\lib -x!Sln1\Project1\x64 -x!Sln1\Project2\obj

Then you can be sure only the specified sub folders are excluded, for example Sln1\Project3\obj or Sln1\Project4\lib will not be excluded unintentionally. Works for the hidden huge .vs folder.

-mx0 means archive/no compression.

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