File Extension Search

.tar File Extension

Developer: Jean-loup Gailly
File type: Consolidated Unix File Archive
You're here because you have a file that has a file extension ending in .tar. Files with the file extension .tar can only be launched by certain applications. It's possible that .tar files are data files rather than documents or media, which means they're not meant to be viewed at all.

what is a .tar file?

This stands for Tape Archive File and is commonly used on servers as a precursor to ZIP files. It is also often used when downloading scripts from the Internet due to the ease at which one can decompress it on a Linux based server. It is commonly used for collecting a large selection of files (ranging from videos to images) and placing them in one single easily distributed archive file. One important aspect of using TAR files is that file system information such as user permissions, modification dates and directory structures are maintained. Each file contains a 512 byte file header which contains metadata concerning the file. TAR files were originally used on tape drives however are now used for a wide variety of purposes and the general organization of files. There are some limitations with this file type including but not limited to file size and time stamps.

how to open a .tar file?

Launch a .tar file, or any other file on your PC, by double-clicking it. If your file associations are set up correctly, the application that's meant to open your .tar file will open it. It's possible you may need to download or purchase the correct application. It's also possible that you have the correct application on your PC, but .tar files aren't yet associated with it. In this case, when you try to open a .tar file, you can tell Windows which application is the correct one for that file. From then on, opening a  .tar file will open the correct application. Click here to fix .tar file association errors

applications that open a .tar file

Apple Archive Utility

Apple Archive Utility

Apple Archive Utility is the standard archive manager software created by Apple for Mac OS X computers and until Mac OS X 10.5, it’s called as BOMArchiveHelper. This is a tool that enables a Mac computer user to create compressed archives (ZIP) by clicking the button “Create archive of file” or “Compress” on Leonard in the contextual menu or Finder’s File. This program can be invoked manually or automatically. For manual invoking, a minimal GUI is shown which allows a user to change preferences and choose which files to uncompress or compress. Furthermore, it is a utility tool for archiving files that supports a variety of file formats, including ZIP or .zip, except password protected ZIP files, for both writing and reading, as well as bzip2 (.bz, .bz2), cbz (comic book zip), cpgz (cpio gziped), cpio (.cpio), gz (.gzip, .gz), tar (.tar), .gz .tar gziped), tbz, tbz2 .tar bziped), jar (Java Archive), compress (.Z), and uuencode.
PeaZip for Windows

PeaZip for Windows

The PeaZip for Windows tool is an application that is categorized as a freeware file compression tool. This program allows users to manage, compress and archive data contained in one or more files or folders. This software is integrated with compatibility support for the Microsoft Windows environment. This program is implemented with graphical images that users can interact with in order to access its integrated features. The file compression specifications that are used by this application include data encoding and compression algorithms similar to those used by Lazarus IDE of Free Pascal compiler. This software can be used in x86-32 and x86-64 Microsoft Windows platforms. It is capable of creating, converting and extracting a total of 150 different file formats. Aside from its easy to use graphical interface, it allows user to drag and drop regular or compressed files into the interface without requiring a temp folder. It is also integrated with the context menu of Windows Explorer so it allows user to access the program just by right clicking on the file. The installer package also offers a bundled Anti-Virus Guard (AVG) Security Toolbar adware or the plain software package. In case the bundled with adware is downloaded the user can still optionally decline the adware.


Zipeg is software that was developed by Leo Kuznetsov, and this application is known as a file decompression tool that can open ZIP and RAR files. This tool runs on both Windows and MAC operating systems, and with this program, users are able to preview their files before extracting them. Zipeg features a user interface that is open source and Java-powered. This tool also has the ability to detect filenames, even if they are in different languages, and can translate many foreign languages into Unicode. Zipeg is also able to read EXIF thumbnails by using these thumbnails as item icons and "tool tip" style preview. Aside from the preview feature, Zipeg also comes with an "Options" button, and this allows users to select the files they want to open. Zipeg makes it easy for users to extract compressed files, and since they can view the files first before extracting them, they can freely choose the file they want to open and extract only the files that they need.


Equipped with a high compression ratio (as high as 7z format via LMZA and LMZA2), 7-Zip is an open-source ZIP archiver software that is usable on any computer regardless of operating system installed from the latest to the earlier versions and without any charge at all. Majority of the source codes used by this program are on the list of GNU LGPL License. These include unRar, RAR,ZIP, ARJ, XZ, Z, TAR, WIM, BZIP2, GZIP, CAB, HFS, LZMA, NSIS, CPIO, RPM, VHD, DEB, CHM, LZH, MBR, FAT, NTFS, XAR, DMG, CramFS, ISO, MSI, SquashFS, and UDF. Technically, formats ZIP and GZIP have a ratio of 2 to 10%, 7z has high ratio from 30 to 70% plus this same format has self extracting capability while both ZIP and 7z has AES 256 encryption. Other features include windows shell, file manager, command line version, FAR manager plug-in and localizations for languages up to 79.


WinAce is archiving software developed by e-merge GmbH. It is featured with the following: compresses file formats JAR, JAVA, MS-CAB, LHA, ZIP, and ACE and decompresses JAR, ZOO, TAR,Gzip, ARJ, RAR, MS-CAB, LHA, ZIP, and ACE; has disk spann or multi-volume archives for CAB, ZIP, and ACE; self-extracts archives for ZIP and ACE; encrypts password and recovers data for protection; performs integrity check for JAR, ZOO, GZip, ARJ, RAR, MS-CAB, LHA, ZIP and ACE; functional archive repairs for ZIP and ACE; verifies authenticity of ACE archives; comments file in ZIP-Archives, ANSI or ASCII for ACE and in HTML; has full command line access compatible with DOS ACE; provides detailed information for all types of archives; has quickviewer for Word Documents, HTML pages, graphic files and ASCII files; supports fully on drag & drop; manages files completely when copying, moving, and deleting of files and directories; optimizes existing archives; and a lot more.

a word of warning

Be careful not to rename the extension on .tar files, or any other files. This will not change the file type. Only special conversion software can change a file from one file type to another.

what is a file extension?

A file extension is the set of three or four characters at the end of a filename; in this case, .tar. File extensions tell you what type of file it is, and tell Windows what programs can open it. Windows often associates a default program to each file extension, so that when you double-click the file, the program launches automatically. When that program is no longer on your PC, you can sometimes get an error when you try to open the associated file.

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