File Extension .Z

Files with a Z file extension are archive files that are primarily associated with the UNIX mainframe operating system. Z files highly similar to ZIP files that are used in the Windows operating systems and are used in combination with TAR and TAZ files designed for data compression.

Files with a Z file extension are also linked to GNUZip and its GZ format usage; this is the alternative compression tool for UNIX platform that is still being used these days. This format is also being used with InstallShield applications in Windows operating system. Z files keep installation files and components compressed and reduced in size until InstallShield uses its compression algorithms to decompress it. Because of Z files’ reduced size, it is much easier for them to be distributed across constricted bandwidth connections and limited storage sizes.

Z files are therefore compressed files that are used to pack or store multiple files. In Windows operating system, it can be installation files packed in a single file for better file handling. For UNIX-based computers, Z files contain archived files to save disk space in the system. Decompression of the files will depend on the platform too. Windows can use several programs to unpack Z files while in UNIX systems, users simply need to type “uncompress file.Z” in the command space and execute it or use other programs that can open it in the platform.

Below are the programs that can be used in different platforms to open a compressed Z file:

Mac OS Smith Micro StuffIt Deluxe 2011Dare to be Creative Archiver

The Unarchiver

Windows Smith Micro StuffIt Deluxe 2010Corel WinZip 15 Pro


Linux uncompressGNU zip



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