• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Stop wasting time looking for files and revisions! Dokkio, a new product from the PBworks team, integrates and organizes your Drive, Dropbox, Box, Slack and Gmail files. Sign up for free.



Universal Extractor - don't want to install it, then extract it

review from ClifNotes, Mar 2007, permalink Compression Tools


Sometimes I don't want to install a program, but I still want to use it. Does that make sense? Most programs you download from the net come as a single executable "installer" that unpacks a load of compressed files and puts them where it feels they'll work best. As the installers do that, they also often write lots of entries to your system registry. Even worse, the installers will often drop new DLL files into your Windows system folders and replace existing DLLs. I don't always want a new program mucking around like this until I get a chance to try it out.


To me, a perfect program doesn't install. It comes as a zip file and I chose where to unpack it. The perfect program doesn't need to write to the registry. It should run where I put it and it shouldn't depend on any DLL files being in the Windows folders.


Universal Extractor is supposed to be able to extract all of the program files out of an installer and put them in a folder so you can see what's inside it before you decide to try it out. I can't say it always works for me. In fact, Universal Extractor has had a streak of bad luck trying to extract the last few installers I pointed it at. Overall, I'm pleased that it works at all, and I hope the author continues to improve it.


Quote from the website

this application is not intended to be a general purpose archiving program. It will never replace WinRAR, 7-Zip, etc. What it will do is allow you to extract files from virtually any type of archive, regardless of source, compression method, etc. The original motivation behind this project was that I wanted an easy, convenient way to extract files from installation packages, such as Inno Setup or Windows Installer packages, without pulling up a command line every time. In the process I got a little carried away and ended up throwing in support for every kind of archive format I possibly could find.