7-Zip 21.05: first stable version of 2021 released

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 21, 2021
Windows software

The developer of the open source archiver 7-Zip, Igor Pavlov, released the first stable version of the application of 2021, 7-Zip 21.05.

The new version is already available on the official website. You can check the installed version by selecting Help > About 7-Zip in the application interface.

7-Zip 21.05

7-zip file manager 21.05

7-Zip 21.05 is the first major stable version in a while. The last release dates back to version 19.00, released in February 2019. Several alpha and beta versions have been released since then, but 21.05 is the first new stable version of the archiver. Alpha builds for Linux and Mac OS X were released.

Here is the list of important changes when compared to the last stable version, 7-Zip 19.00:

  • Support for unpacking b64 files (Base64 encoding).
  • 7-Zip supports new hardware instructions for SHA-1 and SHA-256 which new AMD Ryzen and Intel CPU's support; this improves the performance of certain operations, including encrypting and decrypting ZIP AES, hash value calculations, and the speed of key derivation for encryption and decryption in 7z, ZIP and RAR archives.
  • ZIP AES encryption and 7z, RAR and ZIP AES decryption improved.
  • Improved compression ratio for fast and fastest compression levels.
  • Default number of LZMA2 chunks per solid blocks increased in 7z archives, which improves the compression speed for large 7z archives on devices with a large number of CPU cores and threads.
  • The -ssp command line switches prevents that the system modifies the "last access time" property of source files for archiving and hashing operations.
  • ARM64 version speed improvements for AES, CRC-32, SHA-1 and SHA-256.
  • Maximum dictionary size for LZMA/LZMA2 compression operations was increased to 4 Gigabytes.
  • Decompression speed of LZMA and LZMA2 archives in ARM64 versions for Mac OS and Linux improved by 20-60%.
  • 7-Zip writes an additional field for the filename in UTF-8 encoding in ZIP archives.
  • The number of working CPU threads is removed for compression if the RAM size is not enough for compression operations with large LZMA2 dictionaries.
  • 7-Zip may create the text file file.sha256, which contains all file names and SHA-256 checksums. The program may also check the file to verify files.
  • Add to Archive window supports setting a memory usage limit.

7-zip memory usage

Interested users can check out the full changelog here.

Now You: which archive software do you use, and why?



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  1. alaya said on December 21, 2021 at 1:48 pm

    I use Explzh because I can easily change the icon of the associated extension.

  2. Urajmal said on December 20, 2021 at 8:10 pm

    You have very nice looking icons on 7-zip ZS version, try it out:

    1. Jason Peterson said on March 11, 2022 at 4:35 am

      These icons are almost as flat as the ones that they replaced. Microsoft has gone full circle in UI design back to low color depth.

  3. Anonymous said on November 28, 2021 at 8:46 pm

    21.06 is out



    21.06 2021-11-24
    – The window “Add to Archive” now allows to set a limit on memory usage (RAM)
    that will be used for compressing.
    – New switch -mmemuse={N}g / -mmemuse=p{N} to set a limit on memory usage (RAM)
    for compressing and decompressing.
    – Bug in versions 21.00-21.05 was fixed:
    7-Zip didn’t set attributes of directories during archive extracting.
    – Some bugs were fixed.

  4. Wiphala said on November 28, 2021 at 2:57 pm

    If i have 21.05 there is security risk exploit in the wild?

  5. KnowItAll said on November 27, 2021 at 1:01 am

    7-Zip 21.06 has just been released to replace 21.05

  6. ULBoom said on November 22, 2021 at 9:37 pm


    The interface appearance is irrelevant, it’s simple. I use Greenshot for the same reasons, simple, makes screenshots. Its interface is ancient, too, but who cares? They’re both faster than the kiddie interface utilities I’ve used. With large RAR files or groups of split RAR’s, the difference in speed with 7-Zip is easy to see; it’s definitely not fractions of a second.

    Try Z-Zip to expand a file, then do the same with the lame Windows utility, very obvious.

  7. Genisis said on November 22, 2021 at 5:06 pm

    “Benchmarks”…”Slower”….””Faster”…..Good Lord people. Seconds or milliseconds is what your concerned about?? Spyware is a concern obviously, but a few seconds for complaining this much? It’s not like it affects your FPS FFS. Use what you like and move on.

  8. Basme said on November 22, 2021 at 3:17 pm

    Excellent app, the installer automatically set the file extensions according their native formats

  9. coward_corroded_iron_head said on November 22, 2021 at 1:27 pm

    This is the only archiving option on windoze. Or PeaZip if looking for an eye candy UI, not always needed. A way long and welcome departure from banditzip.

  10. owl said on November 22, 2021 at 9:25 am

    Many home users prefer GUIs and are puzzled by programs with inorganic and curt interfaces, so “7-Zip” is often denigrated from that perspective alone.
    However, since the developers of the 7-Zip program have put the highest priority on lightness, speed, certainty, and secure, denied GUI, and simply pursued “quality and simplicity,” it is inevitable that user evaluations will be divided.

    I have experience using Lhaplus, Lhaforge, Universal Extractor, WinRAR, PeaZip, and Bandizip, but in the end I use “7-Zip” regularly.
    7-Zip is simplicity and quality of the program makes for very reasonable, fast compression and decompression, and I feel that the quality and performance is unmatched.

    1. owl said on November 22, 2021 at 10:39 am

      by the way.
      Russia, China, Israel, Turkey, Egypt, South Korea, Vietnam, and Myanmar are also “collecting and profiling all communications around the world”. The laws of those countries require all service providers doing business in them to provide data, and there is no way to refuse.

      And those allies are also exercising their obligations under the pact.
      You need to be careful when using e-mail.

      1. ShintoPlasm said on November 22, 2021 at 11:08 am

        I’m sure Japan never does that, though.

      2. owl said on November 22, 2021 at 12:46 pm

        > I’m sure Japan never does that, though.

        Thank you, But don’t expect too much from Japan.
        Japan is an ally of the U.S.,
        Moreover, many politicians want to get it back to the pre-World War II state system (tyranny), which is essentially like Nazi Germany or the Chinese Communist Party state.

        Deposed Prime Minister “Abe” and his supporters are scrambling to establish a pyramid-shaped tyrannical state under the guise of the “Emperor System. With the aim of establishing it, they are bloodthirsty for a “constitutional amendment.
        Many Japanese people are not interested in world affairs and are feeling the limits of parliamentary democracy due to the fall of politics.
        The nation’s finances are on the verge of bankruptcy, the birthrate is declining, and the population is aging, unemployment is high, etc. It is no longer about respecting human rights, but about the means to survive. As a result, Privacy is not important anymore.

        Tyranny, as a means of state control, always involves propaganda and the elimination of dissenters, and it is inevitable that speech control and public surveillance will be thoroughly enforced.
        The reality of Russia and China is not just another country, but a serious revelation that may one day befall us.
        We must be constantly interested in politics (and make an effort to be proactively involved), and we must not be optimistic.

      3. anon said on November 22, 2021 at 1:55 pm


        The problem is global and its far worse then you can imagine, if anyone thinks there is any solution they are themselves part of the problem.

        All governments in the world are actively either directly or indirectly involved in creating chaos which in turn creates opportunities that align with xyz agendas. The goal, to further assert control and create more inequality at home or abroad or both.

        The thirst for power and money has corrupted all Leaders or wanna be leaders equally.
        And then there are the Corporations.

        If you or anyone thinks there is a solution for any of the worlds problems, then they themselves are part of the problem.

        So sit back relax because the house of cards will sooner or later collapse.


  11. microfix said on November 22, 2021 at 9:22 am

    Remember: using AES-256 encryption for archived files to send via GMail will not work, period, as google script security bots NEED to read/check all the contents of files for malware etc..

    1. owl said on November 22, 2021 at 10:06 am

      > using AES-256 encryption for archived files to send via GMail will not work,

      Despite being exposed in the Snowden incident, it’s an open secret that Google continues to have a close relationship with the NSA.
      The NSA collects all e-mails in the name of national security, unspecified and unlimited, but they have no time limit or restrictions and will be profiled forever in the future.
      By linking to a profile, they can monitor not only your personal information, but also relatives, friends, people with whom you had a close relationship, etc. also their locations and trends.
      If you use Google services (Gmail, VirusTotal, Google Search, etc.), you have to be prepared for trade-offs.

      If you can recognize the gravity of the situation, you should seriously consider alternatives to Google’s services.

      1. owl said on November 22, 2021 at 10:40 am

        by the way.
        Russia, China, Israel, Turkey, Egypt, South Korea, Vietnam, and Myanmar are also “collecting and profiling all communications around the world”. The laws of those countries require all service providers doing business in them to provide data, and there is no way to refuse.

        And those allies are also exercising their obligations under the pact.
        You need to be careful when using e-mail.

  12. Kenny said on November 22, 2021 at 8:17 am

    WinRar is the king of compression programs. 7z is ok, but ugly interface

    1. Anonymous said on November 24, 2021 at 2:18 pm

      0 sense

  13. boris said on November 22, 2021 at 7:32 am

    Why can’t they fix GUI that it does not look like it was made for Windows 95?

    1. Alejandro Martín Covarrubias said on November 22, 2021 at 2:45 pm

      You can change the toolbar and and filetype icons with this free program:


      It works with the latest version of 7Zip and Windows 11 and it comes with lots of themes.

      Un saludo.

    2. Anonymous said on November 22, 2021 at 2:21 pm

      Updating the interface would only make it bloated because it would most likely use some crappy new framework made by Microsoft or Google.There is nothing wrong with the GUI. It functions fine.

    3. Martin P. said on November 22, 2021 at 1:19 pm


      Because the current 7-zip UI works just fine. Some people like simple and effective interfaces like this one. If you don’t like it, simply look for another archiver application.

      1. Harro Glööckler said on November 23, 2021 at 2:21 am

        @Martin P.: Winrar has a similar simple and effective interface and i’ve never heard anyone say anything. Most of us don’t complain because of mspaint-grade Win 3.11 icons, but about the whole user experience. Let’s compare 7-Zip’s and Winrar’s “Add to archive” windows; the first just looks convoluted with throwing a million settings into your face that are explained just on obscure websites with datasheets while Winrar shows the essential ones in its “General” tab and everything else that 99% of users don’t need in other tabs.

        7-Zip: Archive format? Understandable. Compression level? Ok, bigger is better, lower for already compressed file types. Compression method? No idea, let’s keep LZMA2 since it’s default. Dictionary size? Bigger is better, i guess. Word size? Solid Block size? No idea, never heard of.

        Now Winrar: Archive format? RAR4 for compatibility, RAR for everything else. Compression? “Store” for already compressed, “Best” for anything else. Dictionary size? Biggest possible. Archiving options? “Create solid archive” for better compression, everything else as needed.

        Some years ago when i moved my backups online where size was important for storage costs and bandwidth, i’ve actually tried 7z and gave up. I just couldn’t find what settings would give me the best results (there was no time to manually check all millions of combinations) and just continued to use Winrar which, by the way, i’ve even paid for. I always make two archives with RAR4 and RAR5 and then upload the smaller one; sometimes it’s 4, sometimes 5.

        I’ve noticed there’s a similar user experience problem in most of opensource software (check VLC’s settings, for example)…seems like they need to somehow attract UI/UX designers. I also consider myself a very advanced user, so i wonder what problems other “the program icon changed from blue to green, i don’t know how to use the computer anymore” users are having.

      2. Jason Peterson said on March 11, 2022 at 4:28 am

        My biggest gripe with the dialog is that it doesn’t expose all useful settings as GUI widgets, such as sorting by extension and multimedia compression. I need to type into the parameters box, and read the help file every time, because I don’t use it every day. There is no way of saving more than one parameter combination. The author has refused to a request for improve the parameters.

        The self-extractor of 7-zip is very minimalistic compared to WinRar.

        7-Zip lacks some functions entirely, such as ability to leave certain file types without compression, and intelligent, automatic delta compression, which only works for loose wav files that are never used.

        The 7-zip format has advantages. For example, all the file names are stored in one block and compressed, which makes dealing with many small files more efficient. WinRar’s quick open headers are not compressed and add to the size. 7-Zip is extensible with new codecs, but the author refused to integrate Zstd, which has comparable decompression speed to Rar or greater.

      3. Martin P. said on November 23, 2021 at 10:33 pm

        @Harro Glööckler

        Winrar has excellent qualities indeed. But it’s payware.

        7zip is freeware.

        Enough said.

  14. ilev said on November 22, 2021 at 7:04 am

    Waiting for portable version. I don’t install software on Windows PCs.

    1. Al CiD said on November 22, 2021 at 2:51 pm

      Just unpack downloaded file 7z*.exe in a folder and start 7zFM.exe… that´s all.

  15. Alex said on November 21, 2021 at 10:42 pm


    1. VioletMoon said on November 23, 2021 at 12:15 am

      I’ve noticed on gHacks that at least on writer uses Bandizip. It’s not like one can’t use PeaZip and have 7-zip installed for a backup. I’ve run into a problem where I was glad to have 7-zip installed.

    2. BM said on November 22, 2021 at 5:37 pm

      I would advise against Peazip.

      It is incredibly slow vs 7zip and there is no consistent compression benefit.

      Also, there were surprising errors when unpacking archives (hence it is unreliable), whereas 7zip was rock solid.

      I wrote a comment here about my experience.

    3. DrKnow said on November 22, 2021 at 12:56 am

      What’s better about Peazip?

      Other than it’s slower than 7-zip in every respect.

      1. Dumbledalf said on November 22, 2021 at 2:10 pm

        He probably thinks the icons in Peazip look cooler…. xD

  16. Anonymous said on November 21, 2021 at 10:41 pm

    I had issues with the updater in an older version not performing the update and had to do it manually. Thinking about it, manual update is better for VirusTotal check.

    1. Recovery M said on November 24, 2021 at 1:10 am

      Thanks. Just did a check on VirusTotal. Result: SecureAge APEX Malicious (7zipInstall.exe 21.05)

  17. Anonymous said on November 21, 2021 at 10:26 pm

    Some benchmarks would be nice.

  18. John G. said on November 21, 2021 at 8:40 pm

    Very useful tool! Thanks @Martin for the review! :]

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