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What is a CAB file? Learn about CAB files here

A CAB file is an compressed file, which means that it is a file that has been reduced in size. This is often done to speed up distribution over the Internet and to save storage space.

BitZipper can open and create CAB files.
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CAB file details

A CAB file is a form of compressed archive which is used on Windows based PCs. It provides both archiving and compression, which means you can have multiple files that have been reduced in size inside a single CAB file.

CAB is a compressed file format developed by Microsoft. CAB stands for cabinet, which is how Microsoft refers to their archives. CAB files are commonly used by installers and Microsoft applications.

The CAB format uses three different compression algorithms: Deflate by Phil Katz (the same as in ZIP files), Quantum by David Stafford and LZX by Jonathan Forbes and Tomi Poutanen.

One unique thing about CAB files is that they can be signed with a digital signature by the archive creator. The signature associates a software vendor's name with the file, so you know from where the file originated and if it has been tampered with.

Microsoft installers utilize CAB files because they are smaller which means that they take up less space. This also means that they are much quicker to send and receive.

Opening CAB files

If you are trying to open or create CAB files on a Windows PC, then you will need a tool like BitZipper. After installing BitZipper, you can open a CAB file simply by double-clicking it or by right-clicking on it in Windows Explorer, or by starting BitZipper and opening the CAB file the same way you open a document in your word processor.

Please notice that the InstallShield installer also uses a form of CAB files, but they are not compatible with Microsoft CAB files. BitZipper supports Microsoft CAB files only.

Technical details

If you are looking for technical details and the complete history of the .CAB file format, please refer to this Wikipedia article.

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