Similar to an ISO file, a WIM file is a compressed disk image which primarily introduced to simplify the deployment of Windows Vista and later OS versions. Since WIM files can be made bootable, some computer vendors adopt this format to preload a new system so that people can easily launch fast Windows Setup rather than the time-consuming complete installation process. In addition to that, due to the high compression ratio, quite a lot of software, programs, games, etc. have also been distributed in WIM format. The trouble is, however, most people have no idea how to open and extract WIM file. Given this, 3 free WIM extractors will be introduced below.
7-Zip is a free and open-source file archiver with a high compression ratio that does not yield to some trialware and shareware like WinRAR by any point. The ironic fact is, WinRAR is not able to open WIM file, while 7-Zip is well qualified for this job. Compared with other archiver programs, 7-Zip is not the most modern looking application, but I suppose it would be the best choice for most people. It can be also used to open and extract BIN file, the IMG file, ISO, DMG, etc.
First of all, download and install 7-Zip from official website: https://www.7-zip.org/. After that, right-click on the WIM file you want to open. Hover your mouse over "7-Zip" option on the context menu and select "Open archive" to open WIM file. Then you'll see all files therein. Click "Extract" button and select a directory to unarchive the WIM file.
Like 7-Zip, PeaZip is another free and open-source file archiver utility with a more user-friendly and well-designed interface that can serve as the WIM file opener and extractor. It includes a host of advanced features and supports over 200 archive formats for opening and extraction, meanwhile, it also provides a fast and high compression ratio. Although it's not very well known by people, it's definitely worth a shot.
Download and install PeaZip on Windows, ReactOS, Linux and BSD through https://peazip.github.io/. For convenience, I've downloaded the PeaZip Portable version for demonstration. Run PeaZip, locate and select your WIM file in the browser interface, click "Extract" button to step into the next window where you can assign an output folder and select other desired options. Finally, press OK to extract all files from WIM.
Not most virtual drive and optical disc authoring programs are capable of mounting WIM file type, and I'm more into DAEMON Tools Lite compared with other utilities, and have been using it for years. Thankfully, starting from v10.10.0, DAEMON Tools Lite adds support for WIM file, and the free lite version is sufficient for most people.
Install or update DAEMON Tools Lite via https://www.daemon-tools.cc/products/dtLite. Launch it after installation. Simply drag the WIM file onto "Quick Mount" section, it will automatically mount it and pop up the AutoPlay window. Next, you're able to open and extract WIM file as you wish.
The three solution may not satisfy all of you guys, but they really work as expected. I believe there's also quite a number of free programs can be used as a WIM file extractor. I hope this post would expand your mind to find the most suitable program. Thanks for your reading, and see you in the next post.