Manage archives like a mysterious boss hacker


Archive File Formats

Snowball understands four file formats: ZIP (read only), TAR, GZ (read only), and SNO.


The standard way to read a zip file starts at the very end, works its way to the start, and ends near the end. But Snowball flips that script on its head. Snowball does it backwards by not doing it backwards. And by doing so, Snowball respects Minaware Philosophy as much as possible. When reading a zip file Snowball starts at the start, travels through each entry in its natural order, and ignores the end, the central directory. Even if the zip file's central directory is missing or corrupt, Snowball won't mind at all, not one bit.

Snowball honors the same zip methods as Windows Explorer: Store, Deflate, Deflate64, and standard encryption (a.k.a. ZipCrypto).


Snowball would love to adhere to Minaware Philosophy and skip extended headers, but tar is a messy format soiled and sullied and tarnished by some extended headers that cannot be skipped. Two unavoidable cases (type 'S' sparse and ././@PaxHeader size) are handled with care, but all other extended headers are ignored.


The gz (gzip) header commits one minor sin. It includes an optional name and an optional comment each of unknown and potentially unlimited size. The name or comment could go on and on and on for the entire length of the file, for many terabytes and beyond. Snowball limits gz headers to a more than sufficient 256 KB.


Sno is Snowball's native format. They go together like spaghetti and meatballs.


At first I was like, "This is weird, where are the folders, why are the names like that, what is going on!?" Then I got used to it and actually now prefer it, seeing all the files listed at the same time. Sometimes I open ZIPs in File Explorer, sometimes in Snowball, depending on my mood.

Release Notes

  • Current Version: 23.8
  • x64 23.8
  • Updated ZIP/GZ Extract 23.7
  • Faster Checksum 22.1
  • ZIP Open/Extract 21.12
  • GZ Open/Extract 21.12
  • Deflate Decompression 21.12
  • ZipCrypto Decryption 21.12
  • Allow Any Path 21.12
  • View Header 21.8
  • Revert 19.12
  • View Data 18.1
  • Prefix 18.1
  • First Release 17.11

Download Options

System Requirements

  • 64-bit: Windows 7, 8, 10, 11
  • 32-bit: Windows XP

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