Compressed File Extensions, Types and Function

To all of us who are always on our computers and smart devices, there has not come a time when we come across different compressed files, especially if we participate in a common way in different file downloads through the use of the internet or through the transfer of data.

Well, these compressed files can sometimes have so-called «extensions» which are usually known when a user associates it with a completely different software to the original file, learn here everything related to compressed file extensions.

folder with compressed file

What are these file extensions for?

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More specifically, these extensions help our operating system so that you know what type of content can be found in said file, not only that, but also to try to know what it is about and above all to try to know with what type of program you should open it when double-clicking on it.

Unlike the name, which we can change to our pleasure whenever we want, the nomenclature of the extensions should not be modified, since would disable the file.

What is a compressed file

It is known that a compressed file is a file or several which are put together in one and in this way the weight of all the files in total decreases a little, leaving more memory storage, but What are the extensions of these files?

Each and every one of the nomenclatures is thus known that these files can carry, they can be displayed next to the name that you have given to the file.

These nomenclatures have a maximum of four letters which go right after a period. They are of vital importance to recognize with which program this tablet has occurred or simply to try to deduce the characteristics that it has.

In a few words we could define a compressed file as the result of a procedure that is done to a capture, file or document in question. The main objective of this procedure is to reduce its size and weight so that it takes up less storage on the device. A very important point to highlight is that in this process we do not lose the original content of the file, that is, it remains intact only with less weight.

When compressing the files there is the possibility of creating a password for your login, which will allow only selected users to be able to show the existing content within the folder or document. Those who have the password will be able to unzip and access them in a few simple steps.

Its main function is reduce storage space, in order to allow a greater flow of information. This procedure is also carried out very regularly to reduce the weight of a file and be able to send it by email, through social networks, and even move it to a pendrive. Also with this function you can download several files and send them in a single folder, which will facilitate their download at the time of requesting the information.

How a compressed file works

This procedure usually It comprises two states: yes and no. Knowing that it does not represent a negative state, which means that it means absence and is one of the options present in the algorithm. While the yes, represents a positive state and also comprises part of the algorithm. Both belong to a binary code, which is a language used by machines.

However, throughout evolution these machines were adapted to a much more complex system. Which is where what we know today as programming originates from. These codes are written in spoken language and the system automatically takes care of translating it into your code in a very simple way. For this reason, when compressing the system it receives a raw code, which the system can detect and summarize in a matter of seconds. In order to allow the file to gain less weight.

Types of compressed files that exist

different compressed files on pc

For compressed files only There are two types which we will explain in detail below.

In the first place we do not find the lossless compression or also known as lossless compression, this compression works in a few words by eliminating redundancy, that is, if there is continuous repetition of an algorithm, the system automatically takes care of synthesizing and making it a less heavy file. significantly reducing repetitions and the space it occupies.

We also have the lossy compression, that is to say that in its procedure it leaves part of its information lost. Which in one way or another directly affects the status of the file. In general, this is the most used in the audiovisual format and is usually very effective in that branch.


There are a variety of extensionsFor this reason we will show you the most common ones, along with the program with which you should unzip it on your mobile or PC.


This is one of the oldest formats of all and is currently exclusive only for use on computers. It should be opened with programs like, OpenUp or Stuffit.


Arj is a flexible feature format that came to light in the 90s, sadly it is slow decompression so it is currently disused. Unzipped with 7-ZIP OR PeaZIP.


This together with .hqx, are currently generic and have a great compression capacity, they must become binary. For Mac devices it is not necessary to use a program, but for other systems it is ideal to use PeaZip.


ZIP It is one of the standard extensions of Windows and DOS, it is really fast but less compression than many others. It is decompressed by means of WinRAR or 7-ZIP. You can also open or send a ZIP file by WhatsApp


Unlike .zip, this is from high speed at the moment of compression, but it is slow to run. It is also one of the most used today. It is decompressed by means of programs such as WinRAR, WinZip, 7-ZIP or iZIP, the latter in case you use Mac.


It has an excellent compression and decompression ratio, it is also very fast and highly compatible with long names. It is decompressed with programs like WinACE, Windows Commander and PCTools.

.uu or .uue

It is very common to find these email extensions, converts binary files into texts and 7 bits. The WinRAR or WinZip program is used, but can usually be done automatically.

.gz or gzip

Used in PC and UNIX files, it has a deflate algorithm, which manages to combine huffman and LZ77 encoding. It is decompressed through the use of freeware, and shareware, such as, Spread, Coldcompres and freezeit.

.sit or .sitx

This is an extension of the Stuffit program, which is very versatile and in addition to that, with a considerably good compression speed. It is decompressed by using programs such as Stuffit Deluxe or Stuffit Expader for windows.


This extension is exclusively for MacOS devices, and it is unzipped without the need for special programs or applications.

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