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Universal Extractor 2 (UniExtract2)


Universal Extractor 2 is a tool designed to extract files from any type of extractable file.

Unlike most archiving programs, UniExtract is not limited to standard archives such as .zip and .rar. It can also deal with application installers, disk images and even game archives and other multimedia files. An overview of supported file types can be found here

This program is an unofficial updated and extended version of the original UniExtract by Jared Breland. As the development of the original version has stopped and no update has been published for years, many forks (modified versions, maintained by volunteers from the community) have arisen. This is the most advanced of them, featuring a very long list of enhancements.

New features in version 2

  • 500+ new supported file types
  • Batch mode
  • Scan only mode to detect the type of any given file
  • Built-in updater
  • Support for password list for common archives
  • Improved context menu integration and status box
  • Better and faster file analysis
  • Silent mode, not showing any prompts
  • Many interface improvements and redesigned dialogs
  • Resource usage/speed improvements, lots of bug fixes

See the changelog for a complete log of all improvements.


Get the latest version here

Virus alert?

Universal Extractor does not contain any malware. Some anti-virus programs occasionally misdetect files inside UniExtract's program directory. You can be sure that this is a so-called false positive, an error - if you downloaded UniExtract from the official source at A more detailed explanation can be found here. If you encounter a false positive, please report it here.

'Windows protected your PC'?

Modern versions of Windows have a feature called SmartScreen, which warns about unknown files. This means software without a big company behind it and/or a huge userbase produces a warning. Don't panic! Mostly this happens after a new version of UniExtract has been released. After enough users updated their installation, the warning might vanish, because it now has reputation. If you see a SmartScreen warning, you can safely click 'More info', then 'Run anyway'.

System requirements

In short: Windows XP or newer. However, outdated version of Windows only have limited support:

  • Windows 7: sending feedback requires you to follow this guide by Microsoft, otherwise it will fail
  • Windows XP: any online functionality, such as the updater or the feedback dialog, is disabled for security reasons. Also some extractors might not work.

(Online functionality for these systems might be restored in a future version of Universal Extractor.)


Universal Extractor 2 comes with a built-in updater. You will receive a notification when a new version is released. Alternatively, you can search for updates manually from the Help menu.

At the moment, UniExtract is still in beta and updates are rare. If you want to keep up-to-date with the development, you can opt-in to more frequent updates.

Do not replace any files in UniExtract's program directory yourself. This will break things! More details can be found here.

Older versions

...can be found on the Releases page. However, this is for historical reasons ony. Please consider using the newest version instead.

  • If you enabled context menu entries, open Universal Extractor and select Edit > Context Menu Entries. Uncheck both enabled checkboxes and click OK.
  • If you saved the program to a directory without write access (e.g. C:\Program Files) and want to remove all settings, remove the directory %APPDATA%\Bioruebe\UniExtract. Simply open the file explorer and enter %APPDATA%\Bioruebe into the path input, then delete the directory UniExtract.
  • Finally, delete the program directory.


Is there a portable version?

Universal Extractor itself is completely portable, with some exceptions:

  • Enabling context menu entries will create registry entries
  • To extract a wide variety of file types more than 50 different extractors are used. Some of them might leave traces on the system. For the most common archives and installers extraction can be considered portable, for others probably not.
  • Storing Universal Extractor in a directory without write access (e.g. C:\Program Files) enables multi-user mode. This results in configuration files being stored in the %APPDATA% directory (C:\Users\YourUsername\AppData\Roaming\Bioruebe\UniExtract). See issue #20 for more information.

Why are there many different versions/modifications/repacks of Universal Extractor?

When the original developer of UniExtract stopped working on it, many people from around the world continued to update and improve the program. Some 'only' updated the tools Universal Extractor uses, others added great features. As a result all versions differ in terms of supported archives and features added.

This version is the only 'real' open-source one, with a central repository on Github everyone can contribute to. Over the years I fulfilled many user requests, added support for files the community wanted to decompress and implemented a lot of convenience functions. Many volunteers help translating UniExtract, finding bugs, discussing improvements and respond to other user's questions.

However, Universal Extractor 2 may fail to unpack files, which other versions of this tool can extract. If you really need to access the contents of an archive, you may have success with one of the other UniExtracts. Alternatively, you can also ask for support here. It might take a while until I can answer, though.

Can UniExtract (re)compress files?

No. This tool was designed as an extraction utility. A counterpart ("UniArchive") is out of scope - at least for me. (Read about the reasons here.) Feel free to create it!

Nightly Builds

You can opt-in to receive the most current development build of Universal Extractor 2. Simply open the preferences dialog (from 'Edit' menu) and check Install beta updates. The next time you search for updates, you will receive the development build instead of the release version. After disabling the option again you can go back to the latest stable version by simply updating.

Reporting bugs

Did you encounter a problem with UniExtract? Please report what went wrong to us. There are differnet ways to do so:

  • If you have a Github account, you can open an issue. This is the prefered way for feature requests, suggestions and general technical problems.
  • From within Universal Extractor: select 'Give feedback' from the 'Help' menu. This is the prefered way to submit failed extractons. If UniExtract was not successful, it will automatically ask you to send feedback (can be disabled from the options). This type of feedback includes a log with several debug information, which could help fixing the problem.
  • Direct contact via email. This can be used if you do not have an account at Github. Many users, who created translations for UniExtract, like to send updated files per email. (Others open pull requests instead.)

Building from Source

  1. Download and install AutoIt
  2. Download and install SciTE (Optional)
    • Running UniExtract through SciTE has the additional benefit of real-time logging in the built-in console.
  3. Clone this repository or download a snapshot and unpack into a folder of your likings
  4. Open UniExtract.au3 in SciTE and hit F5 to run in debug mode; F7 to build an executable file or run UniExtract.au3 through Aut2Exe (look here for more information about Aut2Exe)
  5. Download the necessary program files, which are not part of the source package
    1. Run the program
    2. UniExtract will display a message that the program files are incomplete. Select No.
    3. Go to Edit/Preferences and check Install beta updates. An update notification should appear. Otherwise, choose Help/Check for Updates. Select Yes.
  6. In case the main executable gets overwritten, rebuild it as explained in step 4.


Any contribution in form of ideas, bug reports, code commits, documentation improvements, etc. is welcome. Help is currently needed in updating the translations for many languages. If you are able to translate into another language, take a look at the corresponding issue (#2) or open the language file in the /lang subdirectory and check for empty strings. English and German language are always up-to-date and can be used as a reference.

Feel free to submit bug reports or feature requests using the issues tab or the built-in feedback window in Universal Extractor, accessible via the 'Help' menu. Refer to Github's issue page for planned features and problems to be fixed in future versions. The file todo.txt is a leftover from the original Universal Extractor and only used for personal development thoughts and notes.


Universal Extractor is licensed under GPLv2. See LICENSE for the full legal text. Code (functions, UDFs, etc.) written from scratch by me (which are not under copyleft) can also be used in your own projects under the terms of a BSD 3-clause license.

Universal Extractor uses TrIDLib by Marco Pontello, several 7zip plugins by Dec Software and many other great tools and libraries to support as many file formats as possible. Please consider supporting the authors of the software mentioned here.

Please note that Universal Extractor includes third-party software, which uses different licenses than the main program. Specifically, some extractors do not allow commercial use. If you intend to use the software for commercial purposes, please check the individual license files in the /docs subdirectory and the helper binary info file first. Feel free to delete files, whose license does not fit your use case, from the /bin subdirectory.