"Extract files from any type of archive"
Universal Extractor is an application that does just what the title implies, extracts files, just about any archive format you can find. Un-like many of the archival applications which extract data from archives, Universal Extractor does not archive any files, only extracts them. The good news though, is that it does what it’s made to do and it does it well. The developers’ even state that Universal Extractor was not made to replace popular applications like 7-Zip or WinRaR. It was created to be the most universal extractor application that it can be.
If you’re asking yourself why you would even need this application when you can use one that archives as well as extracts data like 7-Zip. Well, the main kicker for Universal Extractor is its large range of supported formats. Chances are you don’t need an extractor just to unpack .ZIP files, but if you’re looking to un-pack the data of a .MSI, .JAR, .TAR, or .RAR file you may find plenty of use for Universal Extractor.
Considering that a large number of users who use applications like 7-ZIP and WinRaR often never even use the archive feature, it’s fairly safe to say there is use for an application that is built to extract and nothing else. The application itself is very small in data size as well as the space it takes up on screen. More than likely you’ll be using the built in right-click menu feature more than launching the application, but if you want to launch Universal Extractor main GUI it’s fairly simple. You’re greeted with a small window with an option to select an compressed archive file and below it a destination directory. Once you’ve started the extraction, through the right-click menu or the UI you’ll get a message stating extraction is in progress, as well as a command prompt that may require you to enter commands like (Y)yes and (N)no to proceed with overwrites.
Installation is a standard install, there are some configuration options you can play with, but the default settings are probably your best bet. The developer doesn’t give any system requirements, but I have tested the application on both Windows 7 and 8.
The UI is small and nothing special to look at, but it’s easy to figure out as you really only have the option to select an archived file and destination. There is a preferences option as well that offers a few choices.
- Extracts nearly any archive file format.
- Free to use
- No posted system requirements
- Command Prompt dialog to overwrite data can be a bit annoying for some situations.
There are plenty of good choices for software to extract archives and most of them offer a free non-commercial license. WinRaR is a popular choice as it works wonderfully with the commonly used .RAR format as well as most other formats. 7-Zip is also another good professional choice as many companies use 7-Zip to create archives that are easier to send through sources like e-mail.
Universal Extractor does well at what it was made to, but with other choices that are just as cost efficient like 7-Zip and WinRAR and that also offer more functionality and a stronger UI, it limits the use for an application like Universal Extractor. My suggestion, if you’re looking to extract a format that the others don’t support, than Universal Extractor may come in handy. In most cases, you’re probably better off getting a more developed archiving application.