Extract Now: unpack multiple archives at once on Windows

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 29, 2007
Updated • Apr 25, 2017
Software, Windows software

The article about handling multiple rar file archives at once was highly productive if you consider that it led to two additional articles based on comments that it received after it was published. One of the programs mentioned there was Extract Now, a free tool for the Windows operating system.

Extract Now is a software that has one main purpose, and that is to extract multiple files at once. Or, to put it in a different way, to make archive extractions on Windows devices as comfortable as possible.

The feature that sticks out is that it processes sub-directories automatically as well. If you like your downloads ordered, like the user who mentioned the software in the comments, you may have many rar - or other archive formats such as zip - files in different folders on your hard drive. Just drag the main folder into the Extract Now interface and it will do all the rest automatically for you.

What this means is that it will process all archives it supports in the main folder that you dragged into the interface, and then go through each folder under that root folder structure to do the very same thing.

Extract Now Review

Besides the obvious drag and drop support it also integrates nicely in your Windows Explorer giving you options to extract files by right-clicking on them. This works not only on files, but also on folders. ExtractNow uses the same mechanics as before if you use the folder option: it scans for archives in the folder, and extracts all that it finds in the root and in sub-folders automatically.

I said earlier that the most used formats like zip, rar and gz are supported as well as image formats such as iso and img. You still need a software that is able to pack files, which means this tool is basically for those who work a lot with files that they have to extract. As far as packing goes, I suggest you try 7-zip or Bandizip as both are excellent freeware tools for that purpose.

Update: Please note that the latest program installer includes an adware offer that will install a toolbar on your system if you do not uncheck the option during installation.

Extract Now is regularly updated with new features. The latest version, released just a month ago, introduces support for the comic book archive formats cbz, rar5 and cbr for instance. The program's functionality has improved considerable ever since our first review here on Ghacks.

New major features that have been added by the program's author include support for password lists that enable you to unpack password protected archives, the option to monitor directories for new archives to extract them automatically, Lua scripting support for advanced customizations, and support for major archive formats.

You may want to check the settings of the program as it lists several interesting features that you may want to enable. Among them the following:

  1. Link to a password file (text) that is being automatically used when password protected archives are extracted.
  2. Exclude files from being extracted which can be useful to block thumbs.db, desktop.ini or other files from being extracted.
  3. Monitor select folders automatically and extract any archives that are copied or moved into it.
  4. Change the thread priority. Either lower if you want to reduce the load on the computer during extraction, or higher if you want the operation to complete faster.
  5. Extract archives within archives automatically.
  6. Automatically extract files to a select location using template variables
  7. Ability to run programs after the extraction job completes.


If you need a versatile program to extract all major archives and a few lesser ones, then Extract Now should definitely be a program that you should try out as it is very good at this. While you cannot use it to create archives, its core functionality may still make it well worth it for you.

Especially features such as extracting archives that are packed in archives, the automatic monitoring of folders to extract new archives that are moved or copied there, and the file exclusion list are features that only a few programs offer, if at all.

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Author Rating
4.5 based on 3 votes
Software Name
Extract Now
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  1. Flapinux said on October 3, 2017 at 2:11 am

    Everything is working great except Folder Monitoring… Any idea why that wouldn’t work?
    OS: Win2k8 R2
    7-Zip: Is installed (not sure that makes a dif’c)
    I have it pointed at a local drive letter on a RAID 5 array with spaces in the name… (maybe I need quotes?)

  2. neil said on December 26, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    old review and new reply
    this is excellent software, use almost daily for work

    no idea if anything newer exists


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