How to split and join files using 7-zip free tool?

Do you want to split large files in to small parts so that you can easily transfer them or copy to CD/DVD media? Learn how to use the free tool 7-zip to compress, split and join files.

WinZip has been ruling the compress/decompress market for several years. Eventually, it became a paid utility and people started looking for other free alternatives. With Windows XP, Microsoft made the compression and decompression part of Windows and was offered free. However, many people like me still depended on other tools for performance reasons. The default compression utility included with Windows is relatively slow while tools like WiZip and 7-Zip offer much better performance.

Free compression and decompression tools

There are several free tools to create .zip files and decompress. Some of them have free trial versions while others are completely free. In this article, I will discuss about a completely free and handy utility to create zip files, decompress .rar and .zip files, split large files in to small files or join split files back to form the original file. 7-zip is a completely free tool that can do all these tasks for you.

How to use 7-zip to split files?

When you install 7-zip, it will add some handy menu items to your Windows Explorer context menu which will allow you to compress and decompress files by right clicking on the files. However, splitting and joining files are bit tricky with 7-zip.

There are 2 ways you can split files using 7-zip.

Option 1. While making a compressed file, choose the options to split.

  • Open 7-zip

  • Navigate to the folder you want to compress and select the files

  • Click the button "Add" in the toolbar.

  • It will open a dialog box. Look for the option "Split to volumes". Specify a size in "bytes". This will be the size of each split file it creates. You may select the pre-configured values for copying to CD/DVD etc.

  • Press "OK". It will compress the selected files and will split the compressed files in to multiple files with the extension .001, 002, .003 etc.

  • You may later join these files using the same approach with 7-zip.

  • Split files with 7-zip

    Option 2. Split existing compressed files
    To split an existing .zip file or .rar file, follow the steps below:

    1. Open 7-zip

    2. Navigate to the folder and select the .zip or .rar file to be split.

    3. Right click on the compressed file to be split.

    4. Choose the option "Split" on the context menu.

    5. Choose a size for the split files.

    6. Press "OK".

    Split files using 7-zip free tool

    It will create the split files with the extension .001, .002, .003 in sequential order.

    How to join files using 7-zip free tool?

    You can follow the steps similar to splitting the files. Do the following steps to join the files split using 7-zip:

  • Open 7-zip tool

  • Navigate to the folder where the split files are located (.001, .002, .003 etc)

  • Select the file with the extension .001

  • Right click and choose the option 'Combine files'

  • Choose the destination folder where you want the combined file to be places. Press "OK"

  • 7-zip will combine all the files and place them in the folder you selected. In case of compressed files, you can use it as normal compressed files and may extract using any tools like WinZip or 7-Zip.

    Article by Tony John
    Tony John is a professional blogger from India, who started his first Weblog in 1998 at Tony switched to blogging as a passion blended business in the year 2000 and currently operates several popular web properties including,, and many more.

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    Guest Author: Shrad Bowen22 Jun 2013

    You have been an incredible help to me, thank you. I split the files on a Ubuntu machine (the 7zip application makes it bluntly obvious that splitting is possible) and transferred the files one by one to a Windows 7 machine. And I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to combine them. Thank you for the help!

    Guest Author: Raveendra31 Dec 2014

    This really helped. Thank you.

    Guest Author: adn frs05 Jan 2015

    Hello, I am trying to use 7zip to combine 7z. files. I follow your instructions but the new combined file requires a password? Is this a default setting of 7zip?

    Guest Author: rk30 Apr 2015

    @adn frs: What password was given during split needs to be provided to merge the original file?