1. Technology
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

What is a TGZ File?

How to Open, Edit, & Convert TGZ Files


Did you find a TGZ file on your computer and wonder what program should open it? Maybe someone emailed you a TGZ file but you're not sure how to use it. Perhaps you tried to open the TGZ file but Windows told you that it could not open it.

Before you can open a TGZ file (assuming it's even a file format that's intended to be viewed or edited), you'll need to determine what kind of file the .TGZ file extension refers to.

"What is a TGZ File?"

A file with the TGZ file extension is a GZIP Compressed Tar Archive file.

Other types of files may also use the TGZ file extension. If you know of any additional file formats that use the .TGZ extension, please let me know so I can update this information.

How To Open a TGZ File

The easiest way to open a TGZ file is to double-click on it and let your PC decide which default application should open the file. If no program opens the TGZ file then you probably don't have an application installed that can view and/or edit TGZ files.

Warning: Take great care when opening executable file formats received via email or downloaded from websites you're not familiar with. See my List of Executable File Extensions for a listing of file extensions to avoid and why.

TGZ files can be opened with most popular zip/unzip programs. Check out this List of Free File Extractors for a number of completely free programs that will decompress the contents of your TGZ file. Some of those programs also have the ability to create TGZ compressed files.

I'm a big fan of both PeaZip and 7-Zip, both completely free tools that support TGZ files.

If you know anything else useful about TGZ files, please let me know so I can update this page.

Tip: Use Notepad or another text editor to open the TGZ file. Many files are text-only files meaning no matter the file extension, a text editor may be able to properly display the file's contents. This probably isn't the case with common TGZ files but it may be worth a try.

If you find that an application on your PC does try to open the TGZ file but it's the wrong application or if you would rather have another installed program open TGZ files, see my How To Change the Default Program for a Specific File Extension guide for making that change in Windows.

How To Convert a TGZ File

There are two main ways to attempt to convert a TGZ file to another file type:

The first option involving opening the TGZ file in its native program is preferable because it's both easier and will probably result in a more accurate file conversion. Of course if you don't have a program that opens TGZ files, a third-party file conversion tool (the second option) could be very useful.

Important: You cannot usually change a file extension (like the TGZ file extension) to one that your computer recognizes and expect the newly renamed file to be usable. An actual file format conversion using one of the methods described above must take place in most cases.

Still Having Problems Opening or Using a TGZ File?

See Get More Help for information about contacting me on social networks or via email, posting on tech support forums, and more. Let me know what kinds of problems you're having with opening or using the TGZ file and I'll see what I can do to help.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.