Available Languages:


FreeArc news

Subscribe to RSS news feed

Subscribe to mail list news feed

Detailed FreeArc history

Future plans

FreeArc 0.70 - coming soon!

Click here if you want to test alpha versions.

FreeArc Extractor for InnoSetup scripts by Shegorat, ver. 4.0 (October 15, 2010)

  • Added support of encrypted archives
  • Added more detailed description for all errors
  • Added new language - German
  • Read more and download

FreeArc 0.666 (May 20, 2010)

New FreeArc version made break-through in compression efficiency! It is 1.5-2x faster than previous speed king - FreeArc 0.60. And 2-5x faster than best other compression programs (7-zip, WinRAR, WinZIP) for the same comrpession ratio. New FreeArc runs like hell - it's why we chosen such version number ;)

Now FreeArc is able to browse and extract archives of many kinds: zip, rar, 7-zip, cab, arj, lzh, gz, bz2... using brilliant 7-zip technology.

Documents and programs can be run directly from archive, and FreeArc will extract supplementary files if necessary.

All problems with Explorer integration has been solved.

Browse list of changes

Сhangelog for FreeArc 0.666

SuperREP 1.5 (May 11, 2010)

Memory requirements was reduced to 2-3% of filesize. Read more and download...

First FreeArc review! (March 10, 2010)

Famous hardware site THG published review comparing FreeArc with popular archivers: Four Compression And Archiving Solutions Compared

Added Linux i386 RPM package (December 29, 2009)

Download link (2.1 mb)

Updated Italian translation (December 27, 2009)

Updated Italian translation provided by bovirus.

FreeArc 0.60 (December 21, 2009)

Increased reliability is a key improvement of this version. We have fixed several problems causing program crashes and freezes. FreeArc has been made compatible with UAC and no more needs administrator privileges to run. Also we have improved memory handling so that decompression with 1+ gb dictionary no more fails due to memory fragmentation.

Support for huge dictionaries allows FreeArc to significantly outperform any other compressors on multi-gigabyte datasets, so installers for many huge programs now are built using InnoSetup+FreeArc. We have developed unarc.dll that allows to extract FreeArc archives directly from InnoSetup installers.

We have added Explorer integration (both 32-bit and 64-bit). Now, Explorer context menu provides commands to compress selected files/folders, extract archives, convert other archive formats to .arc and so on. Archive conversion facility is also available from FreeArc. It's provided by All2Arc program developed by Black_Fox, with help of 7zg by Igor Pavlov.

LZMA was updated to 9.07 version that improved speed by 10-20%%. Maximum compression mode was modified in order to allow decompression on computers with 1Gb RAM, new Ultra mode creates archives that need 2Gb RAM for decompression.

Finally, we have added License file clearly stating that FreeArc is free for any usage.

Browse list of changes

Сhangelog for FreeArc 0.60

FreeArc+InnoSetup support ver. 3.5 (December 21, 2009)

Download: version 3.5. More info at the FreeArc+InnoSetup support page.

SuperREP 1.0 (December 15, 2009)

  • -delete option that delete source file after successful (de)compression
  • checking of -l value

SuperREP: new compression algorithm (November 24, 2009)

SuperREP is a LZ77 compression algorithm (preprocessor) that supports multi-gigabyte dictionaries (for example, compression with 25gb dictionary uses only 1.5 gb of memory). It will be added to FreeArc 0.60 PowerPack. Read more...

FreeArc+InnoSetup support ver. 3.4 (November 18, 2009)

Download: version 3.4. More info at the FreeArc+InnoSetup support page.

FreeArc SVN repository was moved

New address is http://svn.freearc.org/freearc/trunk/

FreeArc for Linux 0.60 RC2 (October 7, 2009)

Solved problems with storing configuration and using documentation items in Help menu.

FreeArc 0.60 RC (October 5, 2009)

Release candidate for the forthcoming FreeArc 0.60.

Future plans

After releasing 0.51 we asked many users what they want from next program versions. And people answered that FreeArc is already great technically - fast, tight and feature-packed, but in order to become really popular it needs to be improved in four areas - reliability, usability, compatibility and documentation. Based on these opinions, we've worked out the following roadmap:

  • October 2009, version 0.60 - reliability: avoid any crashes, freezes and decompression problems
  • January 2010, version 0.70 - usability: make program as easy to use as WinRAR
  • April 2010, version 0.80 - compatibility: allow to create and extract zip, rar, 7z and other archive formats
  • June 2010, version 1.0 - documentation: document all features of GUI and console versions

Main changes in FreeArc 0.51 (April 28, 2009):

  • Significant improvements in GUI and lots of fixed problems, result in that now GUI version is more stable, feature-rich and may be used for daily work
  • -m2/-m3/-m4 modes now use 96mb dictionary by default. Speed/compresion ratio was also improved in many other ways
  • Fixed three (de)compression bugs - while these are not critical, I recommend you to upgrade


  • GUI: Skin changer provides more themes; default theme was also improved
  • GUI: You can change menu/toolbar (just copy freearc.menu.example to freearc.menu and edit it as you wish)
  • GUI: Run any program/document just by double-click (or Enter) on it
  • GUI: Single-click on the empty space at the right clears selection, double-click selects all files
  • GUI: If you move/resize any window, dialog or filemanager column - its size and position are preserved
  • GUI: You can sort columns by clocking on column header, second click reverses sorting; sorting order is preserved too
  • GUI: FAR-like keys for marking files: Shift+ Shift- Ctrl+ Ctrl- Alt+ Alt-
  • GUI: You can start a file search by typing the first letters of its name. *? wildcards are also supported
  • GUI: Every day FreeArc automatically checks for program updates via Internet
  • FAR/TC plugins: support for copy/move of empty directories to/from archive
  • Windows: unicode (utf-16) cmdline processing
  • Encoding selection options: -sct for console; -sci for logfile; -scf for filenames on disk (Linux only)
  • "-ms-" option: disable fast compression of already compressed files
  • "lt" command: technical archive listing
  • --language=LANGFILE option provides translation of error/warning messages for console version
  • -rr0.1%, -rr0.01% options support (translated to -rr0*4kb, -rr0*64kb)
  • -m1xx..-m4xx: very fast decompression modes (by default, require 1gb of free memory to decompress!)
  • Tornado: support for :t :ah :al options, :l that's not power of 2; tor:7:c1 .. tor:11:c3; checks at decoding in order to prevent segfaults
  • Installer SFX-es: freearc-installer*.sfx: extracts into tempdir, runs setup.exe and then optionally deletes extracted files
  • External compressors: Copies data intact when compression program returned non-zero error code
  • External compressors: Raises error when decompression program returned non-zero error code
  • External compressors: Improved syntax for description of external compressors
  • arc.ini: large 40kb variant with support for External Compressors PowerPack
  • Initial CLS support (external compressors in cls-*.dll), see Addons\CLS directory
  • Error code 21 is returned when archive/file cannot be decrypted using supplied password
  • Logfile: hiding passwords used in cmdline/cfgfile

Сhangelog for FreeArc 0.51

Building FreeArc users community:

  • New FreeArc forum and Wiki are available via the program menu
  • Send bug reports and enhancement requests via Community page at program site
  • Source repository is at https://freearc.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/freearc
  • And yes, now we accept donations via PayPal ;)

Main changes in FreeArc 0.50 alpha (June 23, 2008):

  • GUI: WinArc executable renamed to FreeArc; a lot of usability improvements
  • Windows: added "Extract here" to .arc files context menu; added "FreeArc archive" to Explorer New command; added "Change skin" shortcut; config files are searched first in user-specific "Application Data\FreeArc" directory
  • Linux: fixed archive navigation & Unicode filenames support
  • SFX: support for non-English filenames; WinRAR-compatible options with help displayed by "/?"
  • -sfx option by default adds GUI module freearc.sfx (instead of arc.sfx)
  • Total Commander addon: support for filenames with spaces and SFX archives
  • FAR Plugin: added "Convert to SFX" command
  • Improved filetype detection for large heterogenous files
  • Fixed bug in REP that was preventing decompression of some archives created in -mx mode

Main changes in FreeArc 0.50 alpha (June 3, 2008):

  • Creation of self-extracting archives with Windows GUI, Windows console and Linux console interfaces
  • Support of RTF files used as comments in GUI self-extractors
  • WinArc: message combobox at the window bottom
  • WinArc: registers icon for .arc files
  • New format of archive comments with ability to read old comments
  • Linux: multithreading for LZMA (1.5x faster compression)
  • Fixed bug in -m1 mode implementation; old archives created in this mode need to be recompressed to -m2 before upgarding to new program version

Main changes in FreeArc 0.50 alpha (May 15, 2008):

  • Improved automatic filetype detection
  • Improved -m3/m4 compression methods
  • Initial support for scripting FreeArc using Lua (see scripts directory)
  • -di+% for displaying memory status
  • lzma: changed default settings; :h parameter allows to change size of hash; new HT4 matchfinder allows to use dictionary up to 1gb
  • GUI: BackSpace jumps to the parent directory

Main changes in FreeArc 0.50 alpha (Feb 8, 2008):

  • Improved automatic filetype detection and ability to disable it using -ma- option and in GUI
  • Ability to create Compression/Encryption profiles
  • Significantly improved Add dialog, it now supports almost all features of cmdline version
  • Localization for names of standard settings/profiles
  • Tooltips can be assigned to any GUI control using the same number+1000. Please tell me if some controls don't appreciate tooltips

Main changes in FreeArc 0.50 alpha (Jan 28, 2008):

  • GUI version, localized to 70 languages ;)
  • Automatic detection of filetype by file contents - still unfinished
  • Fixed all the memory-allocation problems (thanks to Egor!)
  • By default, -ld=1gb (limit decompression memory to 1gb) is used
  • With "-lc- -ld-" options and 64-bit Windows, algorithm limits now are: lzma:255m, lzma:fast:511m, ppmd:2047m, rep:2047m, lzp:1675m
  • Archive listing commands now include "Compressed" sizes and mark encrypted files with "*"
  • By default, solid blocks now have unlimited size (in 0.40, 1gb was the default)

What's new in FreeArc 0.40 (Jan 1, 2008)

FreeArc 0.40 is major revision of the program. Main changes from previous version are:

  • Full Russian docs (English translation will be made later)
  • Multimedia compression using TrueAudio, GRZIP and MM filter (controlled by -mm option)
  • Addition of delta filter improved compression of binary files by 2%
  • Using temporary files for memory-hungry compression modes allowed to double maximum dictionary size that sometimes increases compression by up to 10%
  • Enabling LZMA multithreading made compression 1.5x faster on dual-core CPUs (-mt)
  • Fast Tornado compression used in –m1 and –m2 modes, providing zip-like compression levels with 3 times better speed (10-50 mb/sec)
  • Support for user-defined external compressors in arc.ini, so now you can use your favorite compressors (LPAQ, PPMonstr, CCM and any other) inside .arc archives
  • Encryption of data and archive headers using AES, Blowfish, Twofish and Serpent algorithms; support for cipher chaining (e.g., aes+twofish+serpent) and keyfiles (-p, -hp, -kf, -ae, -op, -okf)
  • FAR and Total Commander plugins were updated to support all the new FreeArc features and fix old problems
  • Win32 and Linux-i386 versions plus sources with easy-to-follow building guide

There is also number of minor changes:

  • Use -mx for maximum internal compression
  • Use -max for maximum compression involving external programs (PPMonstr, ECM and Precomp as defined in shipped arc.ini)
  • It’s possible to use filelists and comment files stored in OEM, ANSI, UTF-8 and UTF-16 encodings (-sc)
  • -env and –cfg options may be used to select alternative settings / config file
  • RAR-compatible options for filtering files by modification time, size and name (-ta, -tb, -tn, -to, -sl, -sm, -n)
  • Archives can be listed/extracted directly from the Internet: arc x http://freearc.org/demo/arc.arc
  • Archives can be restored using original from Internet: arc r bad.arc --original=http://freearc.org/demo/good.arc
  • New ‘lb’ command lists bare names of files in archive
  • ‘y’ command renamed to ‘ch’ for compatibility with RAR; -pt option renamed to -tp
  • No more need to add “--recompress” when recompressing archives using “ch” command: try “Arc ch archive –mx”
  • --display option was greatly enhanced; use -di to quickly enable displaying all information
  • -z also works on archive extraction, saving archive comment to a file
  • Improved help displayed by “Arc”, added help to user queries
  • Temporary files are deleted when exiting by Ctrl-Break; all errors and warnings are reported to stderr, logfile and program exit code
  • Renamed groups in arc.groups config file: $audio -> $wav, $rgb -> $bmp; added $precomp, $jpg, $iso groups

Сhangelog for FreeArc 0.40