When you see a .tar.gz file, it means that this is a file created using the Unix-based archival application tar and then compressed using gzip compression. These files are often referred to as “tarballs.” While you can find them written like a double extension (.tar.gz), the format can also be written as .tgz or .gz. (It is worth noting that Linux doesn’t use file extensions. Instead, the file type is part of the file name.) Although tar files are usually more common on Linux distros (for example, Ubuntu) and macOS for backups and archival, you may also come across these files on Windows 11. You could use third-party tools like 7-Zip and PeaZip, but these are not recommended as they don’t always work to extra .tar.gz files. Instead, you should be using the native tar support available on Windows 11 or a Linux distro in WSL. In this guide, you will learn the steps to use native tar commands on Windows 11 using Command Prompt and Ubuntu to extract the content of a .tar.gz file.

Extract .tar.gz, .tgz, .gz tarballs on Windows 11 using tar Extract .tar.gz, .tgz, .gz tarballs on Windows 11 using Linux tar

Extract .tar.gz, .tgz, .gz tarballs on Windows 11 using tar

To extract .tar.gz, .tgz, .gz and .zip files using tar on Windows 11, use these steps: Once you complete the steps, the files and folders will extract to the destination path you specified.

In the command, update the command to include the source and destination paths. It is assumed the tarball was created on another system. Also, we skipped some options usually useful to preserve permissions since they are not required on  Windows 11. 

Extract .tar.gz, .tgz, .gz tarballs on Windows 11 using Linux tar

Before you can extract tarballs on Linux, you first need to install a distro using the Windows Subsystem for Linux. To extract a .tar.gz file using Linux, use these steps: We used the sudo command to run the tool as an administrator, tar to call the application, and we use these options:

In the command, update the syntax to include the source and destination paths. If it’s only a .tar file, use the same command but omit the z argument.

x — instructs tar you want to extract content. v — optional argument to display the extraction process. Otherwise, you will only see a blinking cursor until the process is complete. z — tells tar to uncompressed the content of a “.tar.gz” file with gzip. f — instructs tarball the name of the file to extract.

After the option, you have to specify the path of the tarball file to extract. In the command, we start the path with /mnt/c/ since this is Linux, not Windows. The -C — (hyphen and capital C) option is used to change folders, and you have to specify the destination path which starts with the /mnt/ annotation followed by the Windows path. You must pay attention to uppercase and lowercase while typing a Linux command as Desktop is not the same as desktop. These are the basic options to extract a “.tar.gz” file, but you can use the tar –help command to learn more about the available options. All content on this site is provided with no warranties, express or implied. Use any information at your own risk. Always backup of your device and files before making any changes. Privacy policy info.