What Is a TBZ File?

This is a compressed TAR archive that can hold other files inside it

What to Know

  • A TBZ file is a BZIP-compressed TAR file. Programs like 7-Zip and PeaZip can open one.
  • FileZigZag is a website that can convert from TBZ to ZIP, RAR, 7Z, TAR, TGZ, and more.

This article describes what a TBZ file is and how to open and convert one on a computer.

What Is a TBZ File?

A file with the TBZ file extension is a TAR archive compressed with BZIP compression. In other words, a file is first archived to create a TAR file, and then compressed.

Although you may certainly still run into the occasional TAR file that uses BZIP compression, BZ2 is a newer, and increasingly common, compression algorithm that produces TBZ2 files.

TBZ Files
TBZ Files.

An easy way to remember that a TBZ file uses BZip compression is to look at the last two letters: BZ. Similarly, TGZ files use GZip compression.

How to Open a TBZ File

7-Zip and PeaZip are just a few of the many free file extractors that can decompress (extract) the contents of a TBZ file. Those programs also support the newer TBZ2 format.

You can also open a TBZ file online via the B1 Online Archiver website. Just upload the file and then download the contents, either one at a time or all at once. This is a great solution if you don't already have one of the file unzip tools from above installed on your computer.

Linux and macOS users can also open a TBZ with the BZIP2 command from a terminal window (replacing file.tbz with the name of your own TBZ file):

bzip2 -d file.tbz

Although its file extension is similar to TBZ, a TZ file is a zipped TAR archive created by combining a TAR archive and a Z file. If you have a TZ file instead, open it with WinZip or StuffIt, if not with the free tools mentioned above.

How to Convert a TBZ File

We highly recommend using FileZigZag to convert the TBZ file to another archive format. It works in your browser so that all you have to do is upload the TBZ, choose a conversion format, and then download the converted file back to your computer. FileZigZag supports converting the TBZ to ZIP, 7Z, BZIP2, TAR, TGZ, and various other compression/archive formats.

See our list of free file converters for occasionally used formats for some other file converters that may support the TBZ format.

If you know your TBZ archive contains, say, a PDF file, and so you want to convert the TBZ to PDF, what you really want to do is extract the contents of the TBZ to get to the PDF. You don't need to "convert" the TBZ to PDF.

So, while some file unzip tools advertise that they can convert the TBZ to PDF (or another file type), what they're really doing is extracting the PDF from the archive, which you can do yourself with any of the methods we've already talked about.

To be clear, to get a PDF (or any other file type) out of a TBZ file, just use one of the file extractors mentioned above—7-Zip being a perfect example.

If you "convert" your TBZ file to PDF or some other file format, but you want that resulting file to be in a different file format, you can most likely do it with one of these free file converters.

Still Can't Open It?

Lots of file extensions look like other ones, even if their formats aren't really related at all. When you mix up two files, and try to open a file in an incompatible program, you'll likely run into all kinds of errors.

Double-check your file's extension to make sure it says TBZ and not just something similar. For example, TBX files are just one letter off, but they're used as a script file by ArcGIS Desktop. Another is TZD, which is a data file created by TimeZero software.

  • What are some uses of the Linux TAR command?

    Use the Linux TAR command to create, compress, extract, and list the contents of TAR files. You can also append and remove files using the TAR command.

  • What is a TGZ file?

    A TGZ or GZ file is a GZIP Compressed Tar Archive file. TGZ files can be opened with programs like 7-Zip, or you can convert them to a different archive format.

  • How do I compress a TAR file?

    In 7-Zip, select all the files and folders you want in the TAR file, right-click one of the highlighted items, and select Add to archive. Choose .tar from the Archive format drop-down menu, then select OK. Alternatively, use the Linux TAR command tar -czvf name-of-archive.tar.gz /path/to/folder-or-file.

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