SFX Wizard


PowerArchiver has an SFX wizard which helps you create Self Extracting Archives (SFX) in a few easy steps.

To start the SFX Wizard, click on „SFX Wizard“ under „Tools“ menu.

Creating an SFX

First, „Type in an SFX file name and destination“. You will need to click on the browse button, select a destination folder and enter name of your new SFX archive. This should be a new file.

Selecting Files and Folders to Add to SFX

Now you must choose the files you would like to add to your self extracting archive:

File List - as you can see, there are separate buttons for „Add File“ and „Add Folder“. By using these buttons, you can select files and folders that will be included in the SFX archive. Once you select files and/or folders, they will be added to the File List and displayed. If you wish to remove an object from the list, simply select it and click on the „Remove“ button. Include Subfolders - if unchecked, subfolders of folders on your File List will not be added to the SFX archive.

Once you are done with adding files, you can proceed to next screen by clicking on „Next“.

Configuring Compression Options

A new screen will now show up with compression options.

If you wish, you can immediately proceed by clicking on „Next“ button, since none of these options are required. In that case, default values will be used.

  • Compression Format - you can select between ZIP, CAB and 7-Zip compression formats. ZIP is fastest, and 7-Zip is strongest. If the size of resulting SFX is important, you should select 7-Zip for files over 1 MB of size and CAB SFX for files under 1 MB of size.
  • Compression - select compression levels using the „Compression“ box. We recommend using Maximum compression so you can get the smallest possible file.
  • Protect with password - password protect your SFX archive (this option is only available with ZIP archives). If you choose to do so, please make sure you remember the password, since you will need it to eventually open your SFX archive.
  • Store relative folder information - saves the relative path with backed up files, instead of the full path.
  • Include system and hidden files - includes system and hidden files to your SFX archive, if you have selected and added them to your File List in the previous step.
  • Ask to execute and test created SFX file - prompts user for testing SFX archive after it has been created.

After you are done with adjusting options to suit your preferences, you can continue by clicking on the „Next“ button.

SFX Options

Here is more information on various SFX Wizard options:

Note: You can skip configuring this screen and use the default options by clicking on „Next“.

  • 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. You can type in any directory name here.
  • 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 extractingBold Text - 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 additional 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

After you are done with adjusting the options to suit your preferences, you can continue by clicking on the „Next“ button. The next screen will give you a summary of the options you selected. To proceed, click „Make SFX“ to create the SFX archive.

More Information

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

Please Note

You should always test self-extracting archives before distribution. PowerArchiver will offer to test the archive as soon as it is created.