How to Fix Error ‘7zip Cannot Open File as Archive’ When Opening Archive Files

Some 7zip users are getting a “Cannot Open File as Archive” error when attempting to open an archive file. Some users are getting this only when they try to open the file by double-clicking on it. However, an incomplete or corrupt archive file can also cause this specific error for users. In this article, we will show you methods through which you can identify and solve the issue.

Cannot open the archive file

As it turns out, this specific issue can be caused by a number of reasons depending on the archive and program. Here are some of the most common scenarios that might trigger this issue:

Causes for Error “7zip Cannot Open File as Archive”

  • Default Opening Issue: As it turns out, one of the reasons the issue might appear is when the 7zip is trying to open the file with 7zG (GUI) rather than opening it with 7zFM (File Manager). If this case is applicable, you can change the default opener for 7zip.
  • Corrupt Zip File: Another reason the issue may occur is when the archive file is not completed or corrupted. In such a scenario, you can try to re-download or use the repair tool to fix the issue.

Before you proceed with the below methods, make sure that the file you are trying to open is complete. Sometimes when the file is not downloaded correctly or completely, it may be unable to open. You can also try downloading through the download manager rather than downloading directly through the browser.

Changing the Default Opening for Archive

Most of the time this issue is caused when you are opening this through the wrong 7zip executable. The double-clicking or open option will use the default opening program for the archive. If the default program is set to 7zG (GUI), it will be unable to open a file as an archive. You need to set it to 7zFM.exe to open the archive file by double-clicking or open the option as shown below:

  1. Open your browser and download the DefaultProgramEditor software. Open the application by double-clicking the executable.
    Downloading the Default Programs Editor
  2. Click on the File Type Settings option to edit.
    Changing File Type Settings
  3. Now choose the Context Menu option in which you can set the default program and context menu.
    Selecting Context Menu option
  4. After that, search for extension .7z or .zip in the list. Select the extension and click on the Next button.
    Note: If you have any other extension for your archive, you can select that one.

    Choosing the extension from the list
  5. Now you can add multiple programs to the context menu. You can also set the default program with an Open command. Select the Open command and click the Edit Selected Command option.
    Editing the default open command
  6. Here you can change the 7zG (GUI) to 7zFM (File Manager). Then it will be able to open files through double-clicking.
    Changing the 7zip executable
  7. Once you are done with the settings, click on the Save Context Menu button to save the changes.

Using Another App to Open Archive File

Sometimes the issue can be with the 7zip program that is opening the archive file. You can try using some other program to solve the issue or at least confirm the issue further. We are trying the WinRAR to demonstrate this method, you can try using any other well-known software that you want to.

  1. Open your browser and go to the WinRAR official site to download it. You can install it by following the installation instructions.
  2. Now right-click on the archive file you will see the WinRAR options. You can directly open it or extract it by using WinRAR.
    Opening archive through WinRAR
  3. If it still doesn’t open then you can try the repair feature of the WinRAR mentioned in the below method.

Repairing the Zip Archive

There are several repairing tools out there that can help in repairing archives. Sometimes the issue can be small and a repairing tool can fix it right away. In this method, we are going to use WinRAR repairing feature to demonstrate the idea of repairing archives. You can use any other best-known repairing tool if you want to.

  1. Open the WinRAR application by double-clicking the shortcut or search it through the Windows search feature.
    Note: If you don’t have WinRAR installed, simply download, and install it from the official site.
  2. Navigate to the location where the archive file is located. Select the file and click on the Repair icon in the WinRAR toolbar.
    Note: You can also find the Repair Archive option in the Tools menu.

    Repairing archive through WinRAR repair tool
  3. It will ask if you want to treat the corrupt file as a Zip or Rar. You can also provide the path where it should save the repaired archive. Select the options and click on the Ok button.
    Repairing corrupt archive
  4. It will repair the archive and save it in that provided location. Now try opening the repaired archive on your system.

Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.