A self-extracting archive is useful; it allows you to extract archives without additional software. All you have to do is double click the archive and it will automatically extract the files within. In this post, we will guide you on how to create self-extracting archives using the native tools that ship with your Windows 10 operating system.
Before we jump right into it, a little background.
A self-extracting archive (SFX/SEA) is a computer-executable program that contains compressed data in an archive file combined with machine-executable program instructions to extract this information on a compatible operating system and without the necessity for a suitable extractor to be already installed on the target computer. The executable part of the file is known as the stub and the non-executable part of the archive.
While you can create a self-extracting archive in Windows and Linux, the created archive is not cross-platform compatible. You can’t create a self-extracting archive in Windows and expect it to work in Linux. Even in Linux, the archive might not be compatible with each distro. If you are planning to send the self-extracting archive to your friend, make sure you are using the same OS platform as him/her.
A self-extracting archive can impose a risk if you are not sure of the content within. Unless you are expecting to receive a self-extracting archive from a trusted source, do not open any self-extracting archive, particularly those you downloaded from some shabby websites.
How to create self-extracting archives on Windows 10
To create self-extracting archives on Windows 10, you can use the inbuilt tool – IExpress.exe.
- Press Windows key + R to invoke the Run dialog.
- In the Run dialog box, type iexpress and hit Enter.
- On the first screen, select Create a new Self-Extraction Directive file.
- Click Next.
- On the next screen, select Extract files only.
This will create a self-extracting archive, rather than an installer.
Continue to click Next and follow the wizard to create the archive.
Once completed, you will have an EXE file where you can double-click to extract its content.
That’s it on how to create self-extracting archives on Windows 10.