Universal Extractor is a program designed to decompress and extract files from any type of archive or installer, such as ZIP or RAR files, self-extracting EXE files, Win...
What is Universal Extractor?
Universal Extractor is a program designed to decompress and extract files from any type of archive or installer, such as ZIP or RAR files, self-extracting EXE files, Windows Installer (.msi) packages, etc.
Please note that Universal Extractor is not intended to be a general purpose archiving program. It cannot (and never will) create archives, and therefore cannot fully replace archivers such as 7-Zip or WinRAR. What it will do, however, is allow you to extract files from virtually any type of archive, regardless of source, file format, compression method, etc.
The original motivation behind this project was to create an easy, convenient way to extract files from various types of installation packages without the need to remember arcane command line switches or track down separate utilities to handle the unpacking. Over time it has evolved into a mature and very capable unarchiving utility that many find indispensable.
Universal Extractor 2 is an updated fork of the project.
The software seems to be no longer updated and developed (Last Modified: October 2013). Latest version, 1.6.1, released in May 2010, can be still downloaded from the official website, but it does not extract files from recent archives or installers.
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CategoriesDevelopment • File Management • OS & Utilities
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- Wossgebber liked Universal ExtractorWo
- zygatemusic added File Compression as a feature to Universal Extractor
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Day to day I use 7-Zip as my goto archive tool, for creating and extracting archives, it's unmatched. However Universal Extracter, isn't an archiving tool, it's designed to extract may files, not just archives. Files that can't usually be extracted, like exe's, and it can't create archives.
None of these archive tools listed as alternatives can do what Universal Extracter does, but it's no longer updated, and has become less useful each year. Even so nothing can match Universal Extractor, except an updated version of it. Resource Hackers are more like it, than any archiver listed here, but none I've tried have the "Universal" range to match this tool.
Fortunately updated, and modified versions exist, and the best place to find the one for your needs is on the MSFN Forums. This is the goto site for all the mods, and posts will always appear when a new mods made.
So forget this useless list, if you're looking for an Universal Extracter alternative, just look here. Universal Extractor - MSFN
Unofficial updated version maintained by Lupo PenSuite Team
Failed to extract too many executable installation file. I perfer using Sandboxie to get the extracted files.
Excellent point, Ruddyadam... Universal extractor is so good at extracting the "meat" from EXE files, that (in my experience) that it is a full step ahead of any antivirus tool I've used. You may ask: "What does this mean?"
When using the context menu for Universal Extractor, selecting "UniExtract to Subdir" - Universal Extractor disassembles the ".exe" runtime file, without executing the function. It will extract the full contents of the executable archive into its individual components, which exposes any potential threats for antivirus exploration. I have gotten accustomed to extracting all files in this manner, and am consistently surprised how often suspicious scripts are exposed in the process.
UniExtractor is a free (as in "free speech") application - To date, I haven't found anything that rivals its capability for extracting... (note however: it does not compress... it only extracts). I'm continually surprised at how deftly it handles so many formats, in such a low-profile (5.6Mb) installable. Some of the extensions that really provide powerful file access capabilities include (and there are more!):
Installer & Archival Executables: 7-zip, ACE , ARJ, ASpack, Gentee, Inno Setup, InstallShield, KGB: .exe, .7z, .ace, .arc, .arj, .kgb, .kge Installer VISE, RAR, Roboform, Reflexive Arcade, SetupFactory, WISE, .UPX, Zip:: .exe, .rar, .001, .zip, .jar, .xpi, .wz CD and DVD disc image files: .iso, .bin, ,.cue, .nrg, .cdi, .nbh Java Archive: .jar, .war, .ear:
Zip and other archives
"Universal Extractor disassembles the ".exe" runtime file, without executing the function."
This is not always the case, for a lot of executable installers UniExtract will actually just run them with an appropriate set of command-line switches to perform an unattended, GUI-less, extract-only installation. It basically has a database of known types of installer executables, and runs it with the appropriate switches for the extraction. Correct me if I'm wrong with this, but the official homepage suggests as much.
While some installers have a plain decompress/unpack operation to just extract the files, the executable is still run, so it's not unfathomable that some dubious scripts and functions might be executed anyway. This just as a warning that some degree of caution is still appropriate.
Reply written ago
with universal extractor, you can extract an .exe into its component files. This is sometimes helpful in the process of making the program portable, or grabbing a specific file out of an .exe without going through the entire install process. Kind of a nerd-tool.