Quick guide: The best large file compression formats

Quick guide: The best large file compression formats

Frida Bosma
Frida Bosma

Insufficient storage space on your computer is a common problem. It slows your computer down and could make it impossible for you to save new files or features on your hard drive. Then file compression is a smooth way to clear some memory space. And maximize storage capacity. It is also a way to send many files neatly packed together into one folder.

Compression reduces file sizes and ensures files occupy less disk space. It also makes files easy to transfer and share across the internet. For Windows operating systems, there is an inbuilt file compression that converts files into ZIP files. However, Zip files are not completely compressed down and they still occupy large storage spaces. The complexities in the image, audio, video, and document files calls for more compression other than what the in-built compressor can do.

Furthermore, not all files can be compressed by a substantial amount, especially media files. These files require software that can carry out more functions than the standard compression. Fortunately, there are applications that can help you further compress files without losing data quality.

1. Zip

It is the most common as it comes already installed in Mac and Windows operating systems. It is very fast, but it will not compress your files down a lot.

2. 7z

It is one of the most efficient compression and size reduction file formats, however, it works slowly. It is only available for Windows but a command-line tool can be used in Mac and Linux systems. It is uniquely designed with the capability to split files into multiple archives and bring them back together. 7z is the best format to use if you are in need of a small file.

3. RAR

RAR is very similar to 7z but it compresses mp3/mp4 into smaller sizes than 7z. It also has the capability to split compressed archives into numerous parts. RAR files are created by WinRar, a Windows-only application.


These files can be compared to zip files. They are very fast and are available to all Linux/Unix users. The files are compressed to be slightly smaller than those of ZIP.


It is a Linux user file and it is much slower than the tar.gz files. The good news is that the files are compressed to a lot smaller sizes.

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