Self-Extracting Archive EXE

Contributed by Nicholas Bottone

Why should I be interested?

You may be interested in creating a self-extracting archive executable if your VR app is very large in size and/or contains many files. Often times, distributors will just throw the files in a ZIP and call it a day. Although ZIP archives have the highest compatibility with the all systems and don't require any custom software, their compression ratio is not as high as other formats, such as 7z archive format.

7z archive format comes with the downfall that it requires you to use 7-Zip to unarchive the files inside, which does not come pre-installed on most systems (although it is open-source software).

7-Zip has the ability to create self-extracting (SFX) archives, which are EXE files that contain a micro version of 7-Zip that allows you to compress your content in the higher density / more efficient 7z archive format while still allowing users without 7-Zip installed on their computer to access your files.


0) Prerequisite: You must have 7-Zip installed on the computer that is creating the archive! Download free from 

Note: You may also use WinRAR to accomplish this same task, although WinRAR is neither open source nor free.

1) Select the file(s)/folder(s) that you want to archive. Right click, then select "7-Zip > Add to archive..."

Alternatively, you can open the 7-Zip File Manager app, browse to the desired file(s)/folder(s), then click "Add"

2) Fill out the fields in the wizard below:

3) Click "OK" to start compressing the archive. After the compression process completes, your file will be generated and you will be all done!