A self-extracting archive is a computer application which contains a file archive, as well as programming to extract this information. Such file archives do not require a second executable file or program to extract from the archive, as archive files (e.g. *.7z, *.rar, *.zip, *.cab) usually require. The files in an archive can thus be extracted by anyone, whether they possess the appropriate decompression program or not, as long as the program can run on their computer platform.

The Self-Extractor is a tool to create self-extracting archive from one Windows platform to another, supporting up to Windows 8 Desktop.

Download Link:


The Self-Extractor require no installation. You can simply download (in .ZIP format) from C|Net, FreeWareFiles, MajorGeeks or any other Windows Software sites that host this program. When you finish download, just extract the content to any folder and start using it.

Downloading .EXE from unknown source might poses security risk to your computer. Please ensure to scan the files with antivirus / antimalware program before attempt to open.

Main Screen

The main screen consist of target folder (Folder?:), destination file (Save To:), make button (MAKE), switching to individual file (File Mode) and advance option ( the '...' image).

This is your target folder to archive as standalone .EXE file. Click on this button will prompt 'Folder Select Dialog' where you can find the target folder.

Save To:
This is the destination .EXE of your archive. Click on this button will prompt 'File Select Dialog' where you can choose destination location.

File Mode:
This is where you can switch from Folder to an individual (single) file to archive. If you have a very large MS PowerPoint files or MS Access database file, you can select it individually by tick on this option.

When you ready with the target folder or file and output destination location, you can click on this button to start packing it.

Additional Option

The main screen come with unique point [...] indicate there is additional option to customize your .EXE archive. It consist of a popup menu categorized as Custom Launcher (stub) menu, Compression Method menu, Include Subfolder menu, Customize Package menu and About menu.

Customize Launcher (stub):

  • There were several sub-menu. The Add New allow you to choose which .EXE file to become launcher of the archive. It will be located within the archive's main directory (temporary location). This launcher can become your installer-like program where it can manipulate archive contents, modify windows registry, make additional changes to system and so on. 
  • The Set Parameters used to provide arguments to your launcher.
  • The Require Administrator menu will make your launcher request for administrative access on system running Windows Vista and above. This is important if your launcher require modification to certain settings such as Registry modification, Environment Variables changes or any other system-wide changes.

Compression Method:
There were 5 type of compression method as follow:

  • Store [No Compression]: A file or folder of an archive won't have any compression. They'll just combined onto a single file and merge with The Self-Extractor to become an .EXE archive.
  • Super Fast [Very Low Compression]:  A file or folder of an archive will have a very little compression. The Self-Extractor will ensure performance is the first priority over archive size.
  • Fast [Low Compression]:  A file or folder of an archive will have a low compression. Performance come first before archive size.
  • Normal [Normal Compression]:  A file or folder of an archive will have standard compression. Performance and archive size will be treat as equal.
  • Slow [High Compression]:  A file or folder of an archive will have high compression ration. The archive size is mandatory, ignoring some performance degradation during compress/extract job.

Include Subfolder:
This check-mark menu used to identify The Self-Extractor whether the target folder will be archived by including its sub-folder or not. If this menu ticked, all sub-folder within the target folder will be archived and vice-verse.

Customize Package:
This menu contain several sub-menu to make your self-extracting archive more professional.

  • The Change Title menu will prompt for text to be your package title (window caption).
  • The Change Text menu will also prompt for short text. This string will be placed beneath the title as simple instruction text or perhaps a simple note to that archive.
  • The Change Logo menu will prompt for .PNG image to add as logo. This logo (40x40 px) to be placed at left-hand side of note/instruction text.
  • The Set Password menu will prompt for password to your archive. Your archive will be protected with password to open.

The about menu contain two sub-menu. The Online Help will drive you here; while Donate menu will sent you to Paypal donate for this software (consider that, if you like ^_^) .


Main screen to generate the self-extracting package.

Save To File dialog will open when you click on Save To button.

Browse For Folder dialog will open when you click at the button.

The packaging process begin. You can cancel the process by clicking at the ABORT button.

Self-extracting in action.

Self-extracting in action, figure 2.

The Folder?: label turns clickable link when you specify correct target folder. Click the link will open Explorer window to that folder.

The Save To: label turns clickable link when you specify correct destination folder (or output file). Click the link will open Explorer window and highlighted the .EXE file.

The Self-Extractor has been tested to work  on Windows 8 Desktop. Now you shouldn't worry to create or sent self-extracting archive to Windows 8 Desktop users

Demo Video

The Self-Extractor Tutorial (HD)

This tutorial covers The Self Extractor software, a free self-extracting utility available for download 
(almost everywhere.)

Original Video:

Download Quicktime Video (.MOV)