Using Make .EXE

Using Make .EXE to Create SFX Archives.

Before You Begin

Before using PowerArchiver Self-Extractor, you will need to create an archive from which to create a self-extracting archive. Self-extracting archives may be created from ZIP, CAB, 7-Zip archives and PAE encrypted files. Additionally, you can use the convenient SFX Wizard to create SFX archives in several simple steps (ZIP, 7-Zip and CAB compression supported).

Once you have created and/or opened an archive, select “Make .EXE” from the toolbar to activate this function (Classic interface: “Make .EXE File…” from the “Actions” menu). This will open the PowerArchiver Self-Extractor dialog box.


  • Self Extractor file name - Name and folder where you want to create the self-extracting archive. By default, the file name of the currently opened archive is used.
  • Default “UnZip To” folder - This is the default folder in which the extracted files will be placed. If you select “Use TEMP directory”, the files will be extracted to the default Windows temporary directory. Click here for more info on advanced extract path options.
  • File Conflict - Select options for overwriting files of the same name.
  • Caption - The caption will be displayed when the user runs the self-extracting archive to start the extraction process.
  • Run command line after extracting - Enter the file name to automatically run after the archive has been extracted (for example SETUP.EXE). If there are parameters to use with the command (for example, SETUP.EXE /net), you must divide the program name and parameters using a pipe (SETUP.EXE|/net). If there is more than one parameter, you do not need to add any addition pipes (for example, SETUP.EXE|/net /test). Note: This feature is intended for advanced users only. You do not need to configure this option to create self-extracting archives.
  • Show success message when complete - This allows you to enable or disable notifying the user when all files have been extracted.
  • Hide overwrite options - Hide the box allowing the user to change overwrite preferences.
  • Hide file list - hides the file list in the SFX so that the end user can not see what files are in the SFX.
  • Do not prompt user before extracting - This option allows you to create a self-extracting archive that runs without any user interaction. Warning: With this option enabled, the user will not see a dialog box to know extraction has occurred. We strongly recommend against enabling this option, as it is intended for advanced users only.
  • Delete files after executing command line - deletes files that were extracted when command line was run. This option is only enabled if the “Run command line after extracting” option is used.

Once the options are set, click “OK” to create the self-extracting archive.

Please Note:

You should always test self-extracting archives before distribution. PowerArchiver will offer to test the archive as soon as it is created. PowerArchiver self-extracting files will add between 40kB and 260kb to an archive, containing the code necessary for extraction.

More Information You can find out more information about SFX archives in the SFX section.

Recommended Format:

We recommend using 7-zip or CAB SFX archives for maximum compression.

Compatibility issues:

ZIP AES encryption - our SFX does not support ZIP AES encryption at this time, so you can not create SFX archives from AES encrypted ZIP files. Maximum file size - maximum file size for 7-zip and PAE SFX archives in PowerArchiver is 4 GB, and for ZIP and CAB archives is 2 GB. PAE SFX files - not all options are supported for PAE SFX files. Options that are not supported are disabled.