Not a member yet? Register now and get started.

lock and key

Sign in to your account.

Account Login

Forgot your password?

What is the purpose of archived files?

The applications of an archived file are multiple, but the most important role is probably the ability to store system data and metadata inside the content of a designated file. This means that you can store it on systems and send it via media that does not in fact support the file format or system in question. For instance, a directory structure is not supported by any system and cannot be sent over e-mail as it is, but you can archive it and have the contents sent anyways with the help of a free file archiver. You will also be surprised to find out that archives are mainly used to package software for easier sharing and distribution. Because of the complexity of multitude of files required to support a program, people use an archiver to package it and share it. Depending on specific needs, an archive can be created to simply package multiple files and folders, compress files or even add conventions about the contents of the archive. For instance, program archives often require a manifest file to create a useful archive known as package format.

What is the purpose of archived files

What is an archive file?


An archive file refers to a file composed of one of multiple files and metadata. They are used to put together multiple data files with the purpose of making storage and sharing easier or to compress files in order to reduce the storage room the files occupy. Generally, archive files store things like directory structures, correction information, comments, encryption and even error detection.


The features of a file archive


There are various kinds of archives that have different applications and can be used in many scenarios. The features of file archives include data concatenation, file compression, self- extractions and installation, encryption, package description, as well as source volume and any other meta data. You can see the file format of an archive by taking a look at its extension. The most well-known archive format is of course the Zip file, which can be created with a specialized file archive software. Depending on the type of archive you need, you might be required to use either an optical disc authoring program or a disk image program.


Types of archive formats


Numerous file formats are available on the dedicated market, so you should choose depending on your specific needs. Following are just a few you can easily encounter online:

  • Archiving only is a format that supports concatenate data files
  • Compression only is a format that compressed data files
  • Multi-function is a format that can compress, concatenate, encrypt and so on
  • Software packaging is a format that makes software packages including self-installing files
  • Disk image is a format used to create an image of storage volumes


The recovery and error detection functionalities


To ensure users will not have problems when archiving and extracting files, the archiver includes parity checks for error detection. The Zip file is a great example, as it uses a cyclic redundancy check.