How to unzip a file in PowerShell

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Written By Jan Reilink

Windows Server systems administrator & enthusiast.

Unzipping a file on your PowerShell command line may come in handy sometimes, even on your Windows 10 workstation. Use Expand-Archive for this, and all that is required is PowerShell 5.0+, or the .NET 4.5+ Framework to use System.IO.Compression.ZipFile.

Unzip a file in PowerShell 5.0, there is an Expand-Archive cmdlet built in:

Expand-Archive D:\file.zip -DestinationPath C:\temp
Code language: PowerShell (powershell)

To zip, or compress files with PowerShell, you can use Compress-Archive.

Use the automatic $PSVersionTable variable, and check the PSVersion property, to get the PowerShell version. For example: $PSVersionTable.PSVersion. This should inform your whether Expand-Archive is available.

If you want a wrapper to unzip files with .NET Framework, then you can use the the System.IO.Compression namespace. This namespace contains classes that provide basic compression and decompression services for streams. You can also use these classes to read and modify the contents of a compressed zip archive file.

A simple way of using ExtractToDirectory from System.IO.Compression.ZipFile:

Add-Type -AssemblyName System.IO.Compression.FileSystem function unzip { param( [string]$ziparchive, [string]$extractpath ) [System.IO.Compression.ZipFile]::ExtractToDirectory( $ziparchive, $extractpath ) } unzip "D:\file.zip" "C:\temp"
Code language: PowerShell (powershell)

How to: Compress and Extract Files


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