We’ve discussed many different features of 7zip on our website so far including how you can compress files on your own hard drive into a ZIP file which you can then use as a backup or to distribute yourself, as well as how can uncompress an archive to retrieve the data inside. In this article we’re going to be taking a look at something a bit different, the working directory that this tool uses for all of its actions. If you don’t know what we’re talking about, don’t worry, we’ll explain.
So, the first thing we want to talk about in this article is what the working directory is. This is basically the directory on your hard drive that the tool will use as default when extracting data. For example, you receive a ZIP file from somewhere and then want to take a look inside it. If you don’t change the location where the program will extract to, it will automatically use the working directory, which is why it’s important to set the right one for you. Let’s explain the different options you have.
System temp folder – The temp folder is a directory set up by your operating system to store files on a temporary basis, they aren’t meant to stay there for long periods of time and could be removed by the system in order to save space. Using this as your working directory could be useful for short term extractions (so that you don’t clutter your main directories) but it does mean you have to move the files ASAP if you want this utility and the other tools on your computer to keep having access to what you’ve just extracted.
Current – By setting this option, when you’re extracting an archive the software will automatically default to the directory that you’re currently working in on the operating system. This is usually the one you last acted in – for example, where you last opened a file or saved data to. This is a good place to save to if you work in the same folder on a regular basis but if not it could make it challenging to find where you actually extracted your data to.
Specified – This is where you actually tell it which directory you want to extract data to. The tool will then use this no matter what the scenario is, the data will be extracted to the one you gave. You can of course choose to change it when you’re extracting data, this is just the one that will be used as a default. If you want all of your information to be stored in the same place then this is probably going to be the best option for you, although you should think very carefully first. Will all files you extract need to be in one place? Your hard drive may become very unorganised by taking such approach.
In conclusion, in this article we’ve told you about the various different settings you’ll find in the options menu which relate to the working directory set by 7-Zip. Whilst some people might ignore this, we recommend that you think carefully before setting it especially if you’re going to be using the program a lot. You don’t want to extract important information to a place where you aren’t going to be able to access it or somewhere that will clutter your hard drive. This is a choice that does matter. You do need to make sure you’ve installed it onto your system before you think about this though, obviously, so if you haven’t done so already then we suggest you do it now.