Universal Extractor v1.6.1 Updated

Checker on 15 Mar 2014

Universal Extractor allows you to extract files from many types of archive files, including ZIP, ARJ, LZH, as well as MSI and EXE files created using various installer packages such as Wise and Inno Setup etc. Useful for testing apps for portability because you can extract files directly from installer packages without having to go through the installation process.

Alternatively, an unofficial version with the latest-and-greatest internals is available (on Lupo's PenSuite site).

Commercial use note: There are restrictions on the included files UHARC02.EXE and UHARC04.EXE. These files can be deleted without dramatic impact on the software and will only disable extraction of a small number of file types. See website for more information.

System Requirements: Win2K / WinXP / Vista
Writes settings to: Application folder
Stealth: ? No. Included libraries may write to the registry.
Unicode support: Yes
License: Main program: GPL, Included libraries: various, see note about commercial use
How to extract:
  1. Download the RAR "UniExtract Binary Archive" package and extract to a folder of your choice
  2. Launch UniExtract.exe
What's new? Added support for environmental variables (eg., specify %temp% for debug dir)
Added support for XZ compressed files and txz/tlz archives via 7-Zip
Added support for Windows Installer merge modules (.msm) via MsiX
Added support for NBH files via NBHextract
Added translations for Armenian, Czeck, Persian (Farsi), Serbian, Swedish
Changed 7-Zip unpacking behavior;
now attempts brute force extraction only after External PEiD scan;
change due to aggressive .exe resource extraction in new versions
Changed Windows installer support (.msi, .msp) to use MsiX instead of msi2xml
Changed LZMA support to use 7-Zip for extraction
Changed FEAD support to use PEiD rather than TrID for detection
Changed following formats to call 7z by name (also see 7-Zip debug comment):
bz2, chm, gz, tar, Z
this is mostly for code cleanup; functionality should be the same
Fixed InstallShield 5.x regression in 1.6 preventing successful extraction
Fixed bug in extraction of non-TAR LZW compressed files
Fixed bug that prevented picking files after toggling history option
Fixed bug in display of history combo boxes when no items listed
Fixed cosmetic bug in Visual C++ SFX status dialog
Fixed cosmetic bug in status dialogs due to extra padding by AutoIt
Removed lzma helper binary
Removed msi2xml helper binary and MSXML download link on MSI selection page
Removed Windows NT 4.0 support from installer
Removed debug output for 7-Zip, arj, hlp;
buffers output, preventing proper user feedback and input prompts
Updated success/fail detection to check output directory timestamp;
can detect cases where files are overwritten, which old method missed;
will still consider failed if user chooses not to overwrite files,
or if all files are written to a subdirectory of the output directory
Updated RPM and DEB support to extract interim CPIO and TAR files
Updated FEAD support to workaround read-only permission issue
Updated Zip support to log unzip output and permit minor reported unzip errors
Updated PEiD detection of Microsoft SFX cab files for more reliable extraction
Updated some UniExtract window sizes for better internationalization support
Updated translations for Italian, Korean, Russian
Updated 7-Zip to 9.13 beta
Updated AutoIt to and replaced deprecated _ArrayCreate UDF
Updated InfoZip unzip to 6.0.0
Updated Inno Setup to 5.3.9
Updated innounp to 0.31 (supports Inno Setup 5.3.9)
Updated InstallExplorer WCX to 0.9.2
Updated MSI WCX to 1.2.1
Updated PEiD to 0.95
Updated UnRAR to 3.93

88 comments on Universal Extractor  The Portable Freeware Collection Latest Entries Feed

Matidio 2006-04-07 03:02

As I have written already on its page in the comments. It has serious problems with recognizing archive types. Therefore you cannot trust it and have to return to the orignal programs to verify the archive. Unfortunally the author did not respond or changed the application.

Michel 2006-04-07 06:48

Actually, it creates some registry entries for itself and for some of the programs embedded.

Matidio 2006-04-07 07:16

Yes, but the decision which of the 20 sub-programs to call is taken by the program itself. Its method to recognize archives is based on the first bytes read from an archive/file. Here it fails with some archive ...

Andrew Lee 2006-04-07 07:26

Could you elaborate on the registry entries created and whether it affects the app's portability? Thanks! I tried it on a ZIP file and an Inno Setup EXE, but could detect any new registry entries.

Roger G 2006-06-05 23:16

Have not yet been able to get uniextract to unpack NSIS install files. As far as registry entries, as stated on the homepage, if the target file extention is .EXE, PIED is called. PIED creates some more registry entries.

John 2006-06-10 16:15

the registry values are found at hkey_current_usersoftwareuniextract.
it looks as if it's only a "list" of the most recent file extracted and the folder it was extracted to.
it may store more than just the one that I have, but I don't have time to test it out personally.

but this doesn't the portability.

Sproaticus 2006-06-16 16:29

The no-install version is pretty useless, it's compressed in a non-open RAR format, leaving me scrambling to find a program to un-rar the thing. So far, what I've found is shareware, and requires an install. No thanks.

johnagain 2006-06-17 00:10

sproaticus, 7zip can open Rars without a problem, along with many other compressed formats. it is freeware, but non-portable. *maybe* portable if you use a command line executable.

johnoncemore 2006-06-17 00:15

if you want a portable un-rarrer, just use the search box at the top of this page, and search for "rar". there are quite a few to choose from, all freeware and portable, I would assume. as they're on portablefreeware.com.

anonymous 2006-06-18 14:15

I just ran my registry cleaner.
it found entries for this at hkey_users/.default/software/uniextract/history/. it's only a list of files I extracted previously. does not effect portability.

Lupo73 2006-06-24 01:48

7zip is portable too

Ryan 2006-08-18 13:33

In my experiences the program has worked beautifully. I've never had it mess anything up once and i LOVE the fact that I can pull the files out of any installer. I've made several previously non-portable apps into portable apps by doing this. This gets a HUGE recommendation from me.

PJ 2006-08-19 07:32

Warning though, when it writes logs it writes them to the C root drive.

nitro322 2006-09-12 08:47

The false positives from AV programs are a known issue. Please see http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showtopic=62418&st=123 and read through a couple pages of posts for details.

mangancha, the file you downloaded is fine. The page on legroom.net is the official "home" of UniExtract, but since it's served from a home DSL connection I'm hosting the binaries on a shared webhost environment (c1pher.com) with far more available bandwidth.

PJ and anonymous, as you pointed out UniExtract does write a file to C:\ for debugging, and it does write history information to the registry. When I originally wrote this app I didn't give any thought to the possibility that people would want to run it from a USB drive. However, given that this has become a fairly common use, I'm planning on making the history and debugging features optional in a future version so that it can truly be considered a "portable" app.

Sproaticus, I don't understand your statement at all. RAR is a very common format, and can be freely extracted with any number of utilities. Simply search for unrar.exe to find an official command line version. How does this possibly translate to shareware?

Everyone else, if you have additional comments or questions, please consider sharing them on http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showtopic=62418. I regularly follow this message board and can more quickly respond to any concerns.

tm2k 2006-09-21 14:04

One of the most exiting tools I've ever used !
With this little tool I managed several apps to run as a portable app just by extracting files from annoying setup packages.
It helped me a lot to build up a wide range collection (of apps) for portable use on a DVD/USB stick.

Misha 2006-11-06 13:03

If you want Portable RAR, just copy WinRAR.exe fajl from your PC, and drag file on it.

Zack 2006-11-09 16:38

It writes to HKU\... ...\Software\UniExtract\History\
and has entries for all the files and directories it has unzipped.

ploder 2006-11-19 05:46

Can't thank you enough for this program. I hate having to use installers because they are increasingly masking malware. With this program I can see exactly what is inside the PE and can run software on my own terms. Keep up the good work!

papaya 2007-01-11 09:34

Great program. Extract about 70% of exe file. Thanks.

Mapido 2007-02-22 04:20

In fact there is a portable version of 7zip ^^

Lupo73 2007-02-22 10:40

a very good tool...even if dlls of 7zip are old (new dlls 4.44 fix some problems)...

AlephX 2007-02-25 22:37

I found it inteesting: it can extract .eml files from OE .dbx files...

brad 2007-04-03 07:21

I would love to see a right-click context menu item for this.. "UniExtract to NameOfFile..". It's a pain to always have to go to uniextract and run it etc.

Firewrath 2007-04-05 16:42

create a shortcut to the uniExtract.exe,
start->run: "sendto"
place the shortcut there,

Now, everytime you want to open something with uniextract,
you right click on the file->sendto->uniExtract,
and poof, it runs, :P

master68 2007-04-29 02:12

I love it! Works god enough for me,works on many installers so i can use apps without install them.Even managed to unpack some dll files just for fun you never now what goodies you can find in an dll.T H A N K Y O U for this one.

Rahul Prasad 2007-06-21 06:36

Its the best program for extracting >it can even extract exe files dude

PETE 2007-06-22 09:02


PETE 2007-06-22 09:18


Hank7 2007-06-30 15:17

If you take Firewrath's advice you are also invited to use my RDTools which make that shortcut follow you from machine to machine.

Generously hosted at http://portable.cubegames.net/rdtools

PETE 2007-07-11 00:30

( great program.)

franck 2007-12-08 14:18

dont forget to upgrade stuff inside uniextract like tried def, 7zip, innoup for best result:
tried def : URL: http://mark0.net/download/triddefs.zip
7zip : http://downloads.sourceforge.net/sevenzip/7z457.exe
innoup : http://innounp.sourceforge.net/test020.rar

best regards

noone 2008-01-22 23:00

Awesome program, but - why does it take some files it can't extract and move them to the UE directory and, is there any way to make it stay open so you can do more than one file? Sendto is not an option. Thanks.

mark 2008-05-10 18:17

ok i found somewhere on the internet version 1.5 and i am using it it is very stable and works with everything!!! the program looks the same and it will extract and compress .exe files and many other types. I use this more than jzip, 7zip, win zip, and even windows rar!!! My version is very portable all it is is a .exe file and a .dll file if you leave them together it works!!! well if anyone can find a link please write a comment so that other people can also download i will not give you guys the link ,for 1 i cant even remember the website, and 2 it is to good of a program to upload it and get it jammed in the process...... well that is that!!

Someone 2008-10-29 01:46

I love this app!

- to write debug file to user temp (%tmp%) leave debugdir empty (e.g. 'debugdir=') in .ini-file (at least this works in v1.6)

What I would really want:
- set debugdir to program directory; tried debugdir=. but this writes the debug file to whichever directory the program was called from, which in my case is always the directory holding the archive I'm extracting.

docd 2009-02-20 04:50

The patern recognition is only as good as how up to date the triddefs are, if you find probs with it extracting archives try downloading a more up 2 date version from Marko's webpage (http://mark0.net/download/triddefs.zip)
This improved things a lot when I updated it...

klong3 2009-06-17 07:35

useful tool, has problems with latest installShield tho

AtorrantE 2009-06-28 02:18

I love this program.... It's very useful and easy....

¿¿¿Why I didn't use it before????

Mike 2009-08-20 17:39

This is one of the most useful tools I've ever found. I love it!

Lupo73 2009-10-09 19:14

The latest updated revision of this software (with various archivers updates) is available here:

Spiffo 2009-11-06 15:16

These days I don't bother. I just install crap in a virtual machine (vmware, virtual pc, whatever) and later play with the files to see if it is portable or not, before messing my main box.

infimum 2010-02-20 19:50

When PEiD.exe gets used, it writes into registry. Does this qualify as "stealth"?

Nivunikonu 2010-06-24 07:20

Great program!
One little thing to know is that if the archive or installer is located deep in the directory tree (long path), Uniextract will fail to extract, even though it works perfectly when the path to the archive is shorter.

Will 2010-06-27 14:51

This is a really useful application to extract a number of installers without going through all of the installing routine.Thank you very much.

ayitfals 2010-07-30 19:30

Test.... it's usefull to h*ck..?

Maicon 2010-08-01 16:23

I love this app!

Mehran 2010-08-02 19:26

This app has helped my in many critical situations; so, as long as it's free, it is adorable!!

Beeber 2010-08-12 03:56

Thank You, Lupo73. I was trying to keep it updated, but you do a much better job.

Snidely Whiplash 2010-09-10 15:48

For anyone having trouble unpacking with the Inno Setup Unpacker, you need to download the latest file from here:

Currently, the latest file is innounp033.rar

Extract the file innounp.exe from the above download into Unversal Extractor's bin folder, overwriting the existing one.

Checker 2010-09-10 20:58

@ Snidely Whiplash:
We are trying to keep Universal Extractor up to date.
Please see also: http://www.portablefreeware.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=4719&hilit=Keep+Uniextract&start=72
and an updated "inoffical" version at Lupo PenSuite at http://www.lupopensuite.com/db/universalextractor.htm

DrGuz 2010-10-01 06:02

infimum is right -- it is NOT strictly stealth, because PEiD.exe does write to the registry key "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\PEiD"

Beeber 2010-11-26 07:55
Karl 2010-12-19 22:50

Total fail- file is a rar file. not native to windows. I'm downloading this to extract rar files. Dumb dumb dumb to have this format.

webfork 2010-12-20 00:51

Karl: RAR is far superior to ZIP in terms of compression. You can open it with 7-zip, PeaZip and many other programs here on the site.

Karl 2010-12-26 10:29

webfork- I understand they are using it for bandwidth concerns. I just hate the fact that my favorite portable extractor requires another download to extract the file type that I want to use it for. Other than that it is the best extractor out there.

Don 2011-01-23 15:59

I'm new to Universal Extractor. I understand how it can extract files from compressed files like installation executables, but I don't understand how that can help make the installed application portable.

Please help me out. How does one get from examining individual installation files before executing the installation to the position where the application can be made portable?

Thanks in advance.

webfork 2011-01-23 18:14

Don: The short version is that many programs contain many separate components that Extractor helps to break into pieces. Some of these components are fully functional and portable. Please post in forums for a more in-depth answer.

Beeber 2011-02-26 08:05

Triddefs & trid are updated to 2.10:



just me 2011-03-18 06:20

@ Mark: the version i think you are talking about may be found in filehippo....it always has older versions. I used to use Uinversal extractor years ago and it seemed to work just fine..seems the older the program..the more stable, because sometimes trying to make a program too "good" , it gets bugs and thas why this forum..the commenters are the testers and thereby post their experience with a product....


Odhyxa 2011-04-04 07:05

Very Good..,


Beeber 2011-06-03 05:16


Beeber 2011-06-03 19:40

Thanks, Checker. I didn't know about your thread. Didn't know you used the 7-zip betas. Some, like this last one, 9.22, don't really update anything, but I will check them out from now on.


Checker 2011-06-03 20:01

This thread is mainly as info for lupo73 and his "unofficial version" of Universal Extractor.
See: http://www.lupopensuite.com/db/universalextractor.htm
But not all of them are included presently (e.g. beta-versions).


Emka 2011-11-14 18:11

Where and what might included libraries write to the registry?


mrpink 2011-12-04 15:41

@ Magibon
When i tried to extract an installer (UltraViruskiller if it matters) i got this error
...\UniExtract\AppData\bin\7z.exe is not a valid Win32 application


mrpink 2011-12-16 20:51

You're the man!!! Works fine


Beeber 2011-12-22 14:14

@ Magibon...
For 7Zip, you meant to say 9.22, right? I went looking for 9.25 and couldn't find it. Of all the updates, 7Zip and innoup make the biggest difference. Nice launcher, btw.
There is an update here:
It's the TrIDDefs.TRD package, 568KB ZIP


mrpink 2011-12-22 15:24

It's 7zip Alpha 9.25


Magibon 2011-12-22 19:28

@ Beeber

Thank you very much !
It's such a pain in the butt to manually search each plugin for updates..
i spent a lot of time doing that ..

By the way.. the source/code is included so you guys can update yourselves.

If you're too lazy.. here's the updated PAF Launcher w/ TrID update:


Str 2011-12-22 21:45

@ Magibon
Where can i find (forum or...) step-by-step instruction to create portable soft (PAF Launcher)?


I am Baas 2011-12-23 00:45

There is a forum thread for updates. Please post to "Keeping UniExtract up to date" @ http://www.portablefreeware.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=4719 and not in here.


Would you please post your paf files in the forums, it really does not belong in the comments section. Thanks.


Magibon 2011-12-23 06:41

@ str

there really isn't a step-by-step tutorial..
but PAf is open source, and pretty much everything you need to know is posted here: http://portableapps.com/manuals/PortableApps.comLauncher/

I started with NSIS, which is what PAF is based on. If you want.. i can put together a step-by-step tutorial for NSIS which will help you understand what is going on?

@ I am Baas:
where is this info. about not posting help/launchers here, and only in forums? this is the first i have heard of this? i thought help can be posted anywhere? sounds a bit clumsy. if there's a problem with help and sharing.. i'll stop. i come to this post because of the wealth of info. that is shared/helped.


Str 2011-12-23 08:19

#i can put together a step-by-step...#
OK, thanks.
But better in forum))) - here´s a problem.)


I am Baas 2011-12-24 02:28

Problem with help and sharing? Where did you get that from? I just feel it's inappropriate to post links to a PAF launcher in here. Hence the request / suggestion to post in the forums. You could also ask to add a note in the "official" database entry (similar to Lupo's one) and see if the community approves.


webfork 2011-12-24 06:27

@Magibon: you're welcome to respond in comments with PAF mods, but I think you're better served by posting to the forums. I think its more likely to see use and testing, and then potentially getting added to the official entry.


Str 2011-12-24 09:18

Please, start new thread in forums (PAF launchers/mods or...).
@I am Baas & webfork
Where is a problem? Much Ado About Nothing...


Beeber 2012-01-09 20:48

A very nice launcher, indeed....
now, go get yourself a shiny, new, Pea.exe.



Emka 2012-01-11 03:08

@Magibon: Is your paf version of UniExtract functional on Win7x64?


SYSTEM 2012-01-26 21:21

Just a tip in case you have the error message "Could not load library: InstExpl.dll".

It is caused by a bug in InstExpl.dll: https://www.legroom.net/node/627#comment-1853

The problem doesn't occur if DEP is disabled in Windows settings (it is by default). I noticed the problem simply because I have DEP enabled.

If you have admin rights, you can work around the problem by adding cmdTotal.exe to the DEP blacklist.


Midas 2012-04-01 16:18

Lately, I've been using the Universal Extractor 1.6.1 mod by Gora, which has a very convenient update function.

Using that I managed to update it up to version, but a few weeks back it stopped updating and now whenever I try that it just gives a 'Loading Error':

"Was not possible to load a list-file from the server Probably, there is no connection to a network or the server of updatings is inaccessible. Updating is interrupted!"

Anyone know anything about this? Or how to fix it? TiA,


I am Baas 2012-04-01 16:40

I believe you need to register @ http://forum.oszone.net/thread-81059.html to download the latest (build 59)


Midas 2012-04-02 10:52

Thanks I am Baas for a useful reminder. :)

Gora explains (@ http://forum.oszone.net/post-1868252.html#post1868252, Google translated...):
After a recent algorithm change UE unpack some installers can extract different than the version Before installing the new version be sure to save the old version, and in case of problems with unpacking, unpacking, check the old version and report the results here, attaching a link to the installer problem. In this period, the server check for new versions will be unavailable, and update UE will not be possible.

Gora addons page (in Russian): http://gora.7zsfx.info/addons/
(Info only, downloads are hosted @ forum.oszone.net which requires registration...)


david.lynch 2012-12-30 19:11

Latest updated mod by Gora, 29/10/2012:



I hope that this helps. Please let me know if this can't be posted here.


smallhagrid 2013-02-18 17:13

Universal Extractor 1.6.1 Release (build 66 *)
Updated by Gora 21/01/2013.

I got the file and have extracted the uextract.exe which is a 7z SFX file that is PW protected unless executed directly.

This is a problem for me as it installs in C: and I don't install things there at all.

I tried the method Gora posted for using extract,exe and it did not work; nothing I've tried has worked for this.

Has anyone here gotten Gora's file to extract without having to run it; and if so, would you please educate me ?!?



smallhagrid 2013-02-18 17:20

Sorry, should have included the link:


Midas 2013-02-18 22:48

From your post @ http://www.portablefreeware.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=62408#p62408 I guess you were able to educate yourself, smallhagrid. I only wish you'd document your fiddlings in there, too...

For others seeking education, I'd recommend browsing through all the comments here and also at links posted in http://www.portablefreeware.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=60733#p60733 ...


robertcollier4 2013-07-14 04:41

Universal Extractor beta (Gora mod) (auto-updating)
Download: http://gora.7zsfx.info/addons/Universal_Extractor_1.7.4.77_sl2p_130616_20-16.7z


toitoy 2013-10-23 23:35


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