A first look at 7-Zip 17.0 Beta

Martin Brinkmann
May 1, 2017
Updated • May 1, 2017

Igor Pavlov, the developer of the archive program 7-Zip for Microsoft Windows, released 7-Zip 17.0 Beta to the public on April 29, 2017.

The new version of the program ships with a couple of changes, but the most important aspect of its release is that 7-Zip development continues.

If you look back, you will notice that only a few new stable version have been released in the past six or so years. The last releases, 15.x in 2015 and 16.x in 2016 were the first non-beta releases in years.

The new beta version does not necessarily mean that we will see a new final release in 2017, but it seems likely that the next version will be released this year.

7-Zip 17.0 Beta

7-zip 17.0 beta

First the basics: 7-Zip 17.00 Beta has been released for 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system.

Interested users can download the beta version as exe or msi files from the official project forum. Please note that the beta will replace any previous version of 7-Zip installed on the computer.

Also, it is beta software; if you are on a production machine, you may not want to install the beta and wait for the release of the final stable version instead.

The changelog of the new 7-Zip 17.0 is rather short, and three of the four entries can be dealt with quickly as there is little to talk about:

  1. The ZIP unpacking code was improved.
  2. Igor made internal changes to the program's code.
  3. Bug fixes. This may lead to fewer crashes.

Probably the most important feature addition is this:

7-Zip now reserves file space before writing to file (for extraction from archive).
It can reduce file fragmentation.

Basically, what it means is that 7-Zip will reserve the required disk space for file extractions in that version and going forward. So, if you are about to extract that 4 Gigabyte large archive, space will be reserved by 7-Zip before the extraction begins. File fragmentation may slow down the loading of files, especially on platter based drives.

Closing Words

New features may land in future beta releases, or the stable release. The first 7-Zip 17.00 release indicates that development continues, and that is definitely a good thing. While I moved on to Bandizip, 7-Zip is still a solid alternative to any archiving program out there.

Now You: Which archiving software do you use, and why?

A first look at 7-Zip 17.0 Beta
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A first look at 7-Zip 17.0 Beta
Igor Pavlov, the developer of the archive program 7-Zip for Microsoft Windows, released 7-Zip 17.0 Beta to the public on April 29, 2017.
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  1. Anonymous said on July 17, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    7-Zip’s developer posted a much more detailed changelog (01 May 2017) for v17.00 beta at:

    One thing about 7-Zip is that it seems unable to directly add (drag-drop) & delete files to/from RAR archives, although the same procedure is possible for 7z archives. If I’m not mistaken, WinRAR can do so for any archive format.

    A periodic issue I encounter with 7-Zip is that it could take an unreasonably long time to compress a set of many files as a 7z archive, because It keeps hanging for 5-10 minutes or more at 1 or 2 seemingly small file(s) of less than 1 MB each — say, when it is is 80% through the compression process — whilst hogging 25% of the CPU while compressing that 1 or 2 small file(s).

    In such a situation, I cancel the compression (or if not possible, kill 7-Zip via Task Manager) & switch to Bandizip, which compresses the same set of files smoothly & relatively quickly, albeit with slightly lesser compression ratio.

  2. HelloWord said on May 11, 2017 at 8:03 pm

    Good news.
    I like it for its ability to “open inside” files in an archive, by auto-detecting the file type.
    its UI could use a makeover though.
    Also, and I don’t know if it’s a .7z limitation, it could be made more error resilient (eg extracting from truncated archives)

  3. A different Martin said on May 2, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    I’m used to 7-Zip, it’s open-source, it does what I need, and it seems to work fine. I use it frequently to unzip updated Nirsoft utilities, and I’ve used it a couple of times to unzip Firefox / Pale Moon extensions to hack them and then zip them back up. Occasionally I’ll zip a data file before I send it to someone.

    I tried Bandizip when Martin first wrote about it, but the flat interface caused me to overlook a vertical scroll bar and miss the Windows Explorer context menu configuration options. Even after Martin pointed that out to me and I set up the context menu for Bandizip, I still didn’t see a compelling reason to switch. Bandizip is considerably faster at compressing and extracting and supports a few more archive formats (formats I don’t think I’ve ever come across). 7-Zip gets slightly better compression ratios. If I did a lot of zipping and unzipping of large files, I’d consider a switch, but for now, what I said at the outset obtains: I’m used to 7-Zip, it’s open-source, it does what I need, and it seems to work fine.

  4. Fena said on May 2, 2017 at 3:52 am

    Been using winrar so long it’s still #1. Because of Martin’s comment I tried bandizip but with the portable version there is no option for context menu. Is there a way to add it otherwise it’s of no use.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on May 2, 2017 at 6:20 am

      Have you tried setting the options under Settings > Context Menu?

  5. dmacleo said on May 1, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    been using 7zip for years w/o any issues. I do like winrar ability to insert files direct into archive as well as create recovery record but not worth (for me) the 30$ per pc they charge.
    both programs are good programs though.

  6. wheres_the_games_tho said on May 1, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    Yeah 7zip nowadays is pretty superior to Winrar overall (and free). It used to be kinda janky but not now. And being able to extract .exe installers is a huuuuge deal for right-click menus!

    1. hirobo said on May 1, 2017 at 6:37 pm

      Don’t know where you’re getting this from. 7z is fine for smaller archives, but it takes forever to extract for larger archives compared to the .RAR format. Plus the fact it’s free means there is less guarantee of data integrity during the archival process.

      Imagine trying to back up critical data only to find out a bug in the 7z compression algorithm caused the wrong bits to be stored… This pretty much will never happen in commercial software.

      1. A different Martin said on May 2, 2017 at 6:32 pm

        @ Tony:

        I, too, got a pretty good chuckle out of the assertion that commercial software doesn’t have bugs.

      2. Tony said on May 2, 2017 at 3:12 am

        Commercial software doesn’t have bugs? Hahahahahahahahahahahaha

      3. lol_this_guy said on May 1, 2017 at 8:23 pm

        None of what you say is easily verified, and implying Winrar is superior because paid software is funny. 7z is on par with or faster than Winrar on my system. Maybe time to upgrade that old ‘puter.

        Also, 7zip has kinda sorta not-so-subtly been kicking Winrar’s ass since at least 2013! http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/winrar-winzip-7-zip-magicrar,3436.html

        **the more you know***#

  7. Millenicide said on May 1, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    I’m not sure why everyone loves bandizip so much. The biggest problem with it is you can’t add/remove files from ANY *.7z files… Correct me if I’m wrong.

  8. Yuliya said on May 1, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    7-zip all the way. After an incident involving WinRAR failing to extract its own archives, two times in a row a few years ago. Plus, 7z achieves better compression. 7-zip is the first thing I install on a new Windows installation as some of my backups I manually restore are archieved and 7-zip makes extraction a lot easier, and I also used 7z format as I was sure that’s the program I will use.

    I personally knew the development didn’t stop. I was looking after something related to 7-zip a while ago and found on the sourceforge forum (?) for 7-zip that the developer was activ ;)

  9. Excalibur said on May 1, 2017 at 10:31 am

    TC4Shell is a very nice alternative: http://www.tc4shell.com/en/download/

    1. bwat47 said on May 1, 2017 at 7:21 pm

      Thanks, I had never heard of this before, looks nice

    2. Millenicide said on May 1, 2017 at 3:25 pm

      Never seen this one before….wonder why …looks damn impressive!

  10. Jeff said on May 1, 2017 at 9:45 am

    This change makes extracting Virtual Machine disks very useful. They won’t be fragmented when extracting.

  11. Tinfoil_Hat said on May 1, 2017 at 9:21 am


    have you seen this?


    it is based on 7zip but never tested myself. There is also a second option, that is, download source code and compile it… I do understand it is much simpler download a ready made application :-)

    I’m a big fan of Igor Pavlov’s de/compressor having it installed on hunderds of computers *nix e win

    1. ShintoPlasm said on May 1, 2017 at 10:54 am

      @Tinfoil_Hat: Yes thanks, I do know that one. macOS archivers are severely limited in terms of options and configuration, and the only thing coming close to WinRAR on Windows is BetterZip, and maybe Winzip for Mac (which is dreadfully slow). Keka is another one of those weird apps that auto-compresses and auto-extracts archives by default instead of opening/previewing them in the app itself. It’s one of those weird Mac quirks.

  12. PJC said on May 1, 2017 at 9:14 am

    WinRAR has been my favorite.

  13. wybo said on May 1, 2017 at 8:50 am

    I have been using 7-Zip for donkey’s years.I only use it for unpacking files and it does it very efficiently.

  14. Gavin said on May 1, 2017 at 8:24 am

    I use WinRAR, because I like to being able to copy/paste files directly into archives. And yes, I actually bought a license for WinRAR, back in 2006.

  15. ShintoPlasm said on May 1, 2017 at 8:24 am

    A shame this app doesn’t exist for Mac – most archiving software for macOS is woefully underpowered…

    1. Heimen Stoffels said on May 1, 2017 at 10:52 am

      Eh, Keka and The Unarchiver are way more powerful than 7-Zip will ever be…

      1. wheres_the_games_tho said on May 1, 2017 at 3:58 pm

        Yeah breh. I too wanna spend thousands on an under-powered computer I can’t even upgrade so I can use the MAC port of 7zip lmao.

        Keka is in no way “more powerful”. It is a port.

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