How to Extract Japanese Zip Files with WinRAR or 7-Zip

Published by Nyau Wai Hoe - Updated on

When dealing with compressed files, it is not uncommon to come across files with names written in different languages, including Japanese. If you are trying to extract a Japanese zip file, you may find that the file names become deformed, garbled or distorted, especially if your computer does not support Japanese characters.

This can be a frustrating experience, especially if you need to access the files with the original names. In this article, we will show you two solutions to extract Japanese zip files without any deformation using WinRAR or 7-Zip.

Extract Japanese Zip Files

Solution 1: Selecting the Name Encoding in WinRAR

WinRAR is one of the most popular file compression and archiving software programs available, and it provides an easy solution to extract Japanese zip files without the Japanese characters becoming garbled or unreadable. To select the name encoding in WinRAR and extract the files, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the zip or RAR archive, select “Show more options“, then select “Open with WinRAR“.Open Japanese zip files with WinRAR
  2. In the WinRAR Extract dialog box, click “Options” from the menu bar and select Name encoding > ANSI/OEM Japanese. The file name containing Japanese characters should be corrected now.Zip file Japanese characters
  3. To extract the zip file, click the “Extract To” button.WinRAR extract Japanese
  4. Choose the destination path and click the “OK” button to extract the files.

It is important to note that this method only works in WinRAR and may not be applicable to other compression software programs. Additionally, not all compression software programs offer the option to select the name encoding, so this method may not be available in all cases.

Suggested read: How to Zip a File or Folder Without Any Software

Solution 2: Changing the System Locale in Windows

Another solution to the issue of Japanese file name deformation is to change the system locale (Language for non-unicode programs) in Windows to Japanese when extracting the Japanese zip files, and then change it back to English after extracting the files. Here is how to do it in Windows 11 or Windows 10:

  1. Press Win + i to open Settings.
  2. From the left pane, select “Time & language” and then, on the right, choose “Language & region“.Language and region Windows 11
  3. Scroll down and select “Administrative language settings” under Related settings.Administrative language settings
  4. In the Region window, click the “Administrative” tab.
  5. Under “Language for non-unicode programs“, click “Change system locale“.
  6. In the Region Settings, select “Japanese“.How to Extract Japanese Zip Files
  7. Click “OK” to save the changes.
  8. Then, extract the Japanese zip files as normal using 7-Zip, WinRAR or any other compression software.
  9. After extracting the files, repeat steps 1-7 and change the system locale back to English.

This method is more comprehensive than the first solution, as it applies to all software programs, not just WinRAR. However, it may be confusing for users who are not familiar with the Windows operating system, and it may cause unexpected results if not done correctly.

Additionally, changing the system locale can have implications on other software programs that use non-Unicode characters, so it is important to understand the potential risks before attempting this method. However, you can easily change the system locale back to English once you’ve finished unzipping the Japanese zip files.

Related guide: How to Split a File Into Multiple Files in Windows 11

7-Zip and Japanese zip files

7-zip is another popular file compression and archiving software program, and it supports UTF-8 name encoding by default. This means that users should not experience any issues with Japanese file names in 7-zip archives. However, if 7-zip is not supporting UTF-8 encoding, the solution outlined in Solution 2 (changing the system locale in Windows) can be applied to resolve the issue.

7zip extract Japanese

To sum it up

The issue of Japanese file name deformation in zip files can be resolved by either selecting the name encoding in WinRAR or by changing the system locale in Windows to Japanese. 7-zip should support UTF-8 name encoding by default, but if it doesn’t, changing the system locale to Japanese will resolve the issue.

Nyau Wai Hoe
Nyau Wai Hoe is the Founder and Chief Editor of With a degree in software engineering and over 12 years of experience in the tech support industry, Nyau has established himself as an expert in the field, with a primary focus on the Microsoft Windows operating system. As a tech enthusiast, he loves exploring new technologies and leveraging them to solve real-life problems.

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