7-Zip Cannot Open Files As Archive Error [Solved]

7-zip is an open-source file archiver. It is most commonly used to open compressed or zipped files. Some 7zip users are getting the error ‘Cannot open files as archive’ when trying to open the zip file by double-clicking on it. This might be due to a corrupted file or incomplete file, sometimes internet issues might lead to downloading the file incompletely. There might be various other reasons for this issue as well. In this article let us see the possible solutions to solve the error on Windows 10 machines.

If you have downloaded and saved the zip file from any source, try to refresh the source and download it again. Save it in some other different location. Sometimes if the file is not downloaded completely or if it is not downloaded correctly there occurs an error. Now try opening the file and see if the issue is solved.

Method 1: Repair The ZIP File Using WinRAR

WinRAR is a file archiver utility for Windows. Let us see how to solve the issue using this tool.

Step 1: Open the web browser of your choice. Here I will use Chrome

Step 2: In the search bar type WinRAR and hit enter

Step 3: Go to the WinRAR website and download as per your windows configuration (32-bit or 64-bit) by clicking on the WinRAR button




Step 4: Once the download is completed, double-click on the .exe file (set up file) to install the WinRAR by following the onscreen instructions

Step 5: Double-click on the WinRAR file, if there is any pop-up window saying thank you for using WinRAR then close it


Winrar File


Step 6: In the opened window, at the top click on File

Step 7: From the appeared list, click on an open archive


Open Archive


Step 8: Navigate to the path where the zip file is present and then select the required zip file for which you are facing the issue then click on open button

Step 9: Now at the top click on tools

Step 10: From the list click on Repair archive


Repair Archive


Step 11: Select the option Treat the corrupt archive as ZIP by clicking on the radio button beside it




Step 12: Choose the path where you want to place the repaired file. To do so, click on browse button and navigate to the required path




Step 13: Once decided the location click on select folder


Select Folder


Step 14: Then click on ok. When you see the message done, click on close 




Step 15: Close all the windows, then navigate to the location where you had decide to place the repaired file

Step 16: The repaired file will be present and its name would be prefixed by rebuilt. That means the file would have been repaired and the issue will be solved.




Method 2: Use The Command Prompt To Repair The File


Step 1: Open the command prompt as an administrator. To do this type cmd in the windows search bar, hold Ctrl + Shift keys together and hit enter

Step 2: A user account control window will open. Click on yes

Step 3:  Copy the below command and paste it in the command prompt then hit enter. Once this command is executed, that particular file will be repaired. This command is used to repair if there are any incorrect headers in the file

Note: Replace the file.zip with the name of your zip file. Also replace the folder path where WinZip is installed if different than below

“C:\Program Files\WinZip\wzzip” –yf file.zip


Command Prompt


Method 3: Change The Default Program For .zip From 7zG To 7zFM.exe


Step 1: Go to the website and download DefaultProgramEditor software. Once downloaded open its .exe file by double clicking on it

Step 2: In the Default Programs Editor, click on the File Type Settings


File Type


Step 3: On the left click on context menu


Context Menu


Step 4: Under file extension column search for .zip or .7z and select it by clicking on it. Then click on next button. If you have any other extension for your file, select that




Step 5: Click on open and click on the edit selected command button




Step 6: In the program path, browse the path where 7 zip file is placed then move towards its end and  change it to 7zFM.exe then click on next


Exe File


Step 7: Once the settings are done, click on the save context menu. Now on when you double click to open the .7z file it will use 7zFM.exe


Save Menu


Method 4: Use A Different Application To Open the File

If none of the above solutions work, then try to use other apps to open the archive file. Here let us take an example of WinRAR to open the archive file

Step 1: Go to the WinRAR website and download it by clicking on the download WinRAR button




Step 2: Once the download is completed, double-click on the .exe file (set up file) to install the WinRAR by following the onscreen instructions

Step 3: Go to the zip file that you want to open, right click on it and select open with WinRAR and extract the files.


Open Winrar


That’s it! I hope the above information is helpful. Let us know which method worked for you. Thank You!