Bandizip 6.0, a new version of the archive software for Windows, has been released featuring a new user interface, and other changes.
I switched to Bandizip in 2014 as it supported features that 7-Zip, the program that I used up to that point, failed to introduce much needed features quickly enough.
The company responsible for Bandizip released beta versions of the program in 2016, and you may want to check out the first look article that I wrote back then as things have not changed all that much since then.
Bandizip 6.0 is offered as a portable version for 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows, and as an installer. The latest version is not compatible with Windows XP. Only option that you have is to keep on using Bandizip 5.x on devices running the operating system.
Installation is straightforward. Please note that the option to send usage statistics and crash reports is enabled when you install the program. You can disable it during setup on the same page that you can change the installation path on.
The installer changed, and it appears that it requires an Internet connection during installation. You can still download and run the portable version instead which does not have the requirement.
The program opens with a new start screen if you start it without loading archives at the same time. You can disable this new screen with a click on View > Start Screen.
The program interface has changed, but not dramatically. You get a new color scheme and icons, but the general layout and look and feel remained the same.
Note that you may change the color scheme used by the program under Settings > Color.
The menu icons in the toolbar offer the same features, and the archive listing uses the traditional two-pane interface. You may also change the toolbar's look and feel to the classic design by selecting View > Toolbar Old from the menu bar at the top. The result looks like this when you do:
Another option that you have is to reduce the size of the toolbar menu to small. This is only possible for the new design though. You find the option under View > Toolbars > Small.
The left side of the interface lists the folders, if available, and the right the actual file content. You may run operations using the toolbar menu, the right-click context menu, or keyboard shortcuts.
As far as new features are concerned, there are a handful. Bandizip 6.0 supports the new archive formats ZPAC and LZIP, and you may notice that extraction and compression tasks perform faster in the new version. The beta version history listed support for MS Compound and ARC formats as well. Another new feature that is not mentioned in the final release history is support for creating GX/XZ archives.
A quick test with fairly large archives revealed that this is indeed the case, at least when it comes to extracting archives on the system.
The release history page lists a new console program, and a new command line command as well, but fails to go into details. The new console program is bc.exe which you find in the program folder. You may use it to run commands directly without opening the program UI. The application replaces the 7z.exe program that Bandizip used in previous versions.
Changes not mentioned on the release history page include a new listing of recently opened files under File > Recent Files, and an option to change the file listing from the details view to icons or list view instead.
These replicate the two Windows Explorer view styles. The icon view mode displays files as icons with the name listed underneath the icon, the list view file names and icons as a list instead. Both modes don't display other information such as the file size.
Bandizip 6.0 ships with additional features, and better performance when it comes to extracting archives and creating new archives. Some users may not like the new interface, but you can adjust it somewhat using the View menu, for instance by enabling the classic look of the toolbar there.
Now You: What's your take on the new Bandizip 6.0?