Compressed FILE EXTENSIONS  What are they and types? ▷ 2020

Who has not found a .zip or a .rar on some occasion? These files are very common in the day to day of all those users who operate on a computer, especially if they connect to the internet. These include what is called a compressed file extension.

These serve to indicate many things and appear when the user joins, with some software, different files in a single file. Some files of this type must be decompressed but others allow you to access their content without the need for it.

Does all this sound like something to you? Let’s see, in any case, what is a file extension compressed, what is it used for, which ones exist, how are their characteristics and how can we open these groups of files.

What is the extension of a file or compression file and what is it really used for?

what is compressed file extension

A compressed file is one that has been worked on so that it occupies less space than all of its parts. That is, it is a set of files that compress to take up a single space and weigh less, so that they are all grouped together and are easy to move. Thus an extension of this type of files It will be the one that serves to define them as such.

It is part of the nomenglature that is given, in this case, to a set of compressed files so that our system knows that it is, precisely, a set, that is, that we must work on them to define them and see what type each is within the set.

This name follows the name you give the tablet and consists of a set of between 1 and 4 letters and / or numbers; they go after a period, like the rest of the extensions.

When we see them, we know with which program the compression was done and, therefore, what we can expect from that file: if it will decompress fast, if it has been transformed, if our compression software is compatible, etc.

These are characteristics are achieved for the file at the time it is being created, that is, when we are putting all its parts together and compressing them, depending on the program used For this, one or the other results will be obtained.

Types of compressed file extensions and their associated programs to open them

Of all the existing ones, we want you to know the ones that are used the most as well as the ones that have had the most importance over these past decades.

Extension Characteristics Program


  • It is an old format for exclusive use on computers.
  • Existing, even so, on all platforms


  • Slow compression.
  • It appears in the 90s and is practically in disuse.
  • Very flexible
  • Multiple decompression programs


  • A coding of Macbinary II.
  • Generic, along with .hqx, today.
  • Great compression.
  • It must be converted to Binary or MacBinary.
  • Mac computers with Stuffit Expander
  • On Windows, with suites that work with ISOs


  • Mac OS X disk image.
  • The equivalent of ISO on a Mac.
  • They allow you to start, copy and burn your content on an external storage unit.
  • No application needed on Mac.
  • PeaZip (for example) for other operating systems

.gz or .gzip

  • From GNU Project
  • Replacement of Compress, of Unix.
  • Use in PC and Unix file
  • Use of the Deflate algorithm, which combines Huffman and LZ77 encoding.
  • It is only a set of compressed files, without archiving.
  • Development of own library (zlib).
  • Tar packages the files.
  • All kinds of freeware and shareware applications such as Spread, Coldcompress, Freezeit, MrGip …


  • From BinHex.
  • The quintessential Mac standard.
  • A binary transformed into ASCII.
  • BinHex, NutCase or Stuffit Expander on Mac
  • Latest version of BinHex for Windows

.sit or .sitx

  • Stuffit program extension.
  • Macinstosh native.
  • Very versatile.
  • Very good level of compression.
  • Stufit Deluxe
  • Stuffit Expander for Windows


  • From MacOS, equivalent to the .exe, that is, it is self-decompressing (with its own engine).
  • No need for software


  • WinACE native.
  • Very high compression ratio as well as decompression.
  • Very fast.
  • Great support for long names.
  • WinACE, Windows Commander, PCTools

.uu or .uue

  • From UUencode, originating from Unix.
  • Conversion of binary files into text and 7 bits.
  • Common in email
  • Usually automatic decompression
  • Stuffit Expander, WinRar, WinZip or UU Undo itself


  • Compressed on Unix.
  • Binary file.
  • gZip, Stuffit Expander or WinZip


  • Standard compression in Windows and DOS.
  • Fast but less compression than many others.


  • Slow execution.
  • Very high compression.
  • A great data redundancy system.
  • WinRar, WinZip, 7-zip, The Unarchiver, iZip (Mac)

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Do you know any other file compression extensions? Leave them in the comments and we will add them to the list, it will surely be of great value to other readers!

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, we will answer you as soon as possible, and it will surely be of great help to more members of the community. Thank you! 😉

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