How To View Contents of ZIP and RAR files Before Downloading Them

There are times that we have a compressed file (ZIP or RAR) that we want to download, but for some reasons we first want to know the contents of it! Reasons like; The compressed file is huge sized containing a lot of files and our internet bandwidth is limited and we only need one of the files in it! Or maybe we just want to be sure that the contents of the compressed file is just the ones we need. This is where the two methods I’m going to introduce to you below will come useful.

The two ways you can view the contents of a compressed (zip or rar) files are :

  • Using a software named “LoadScout
  • Using an Extension for Google Chrome  named “Open with Google Drive™ Viewer

Ok so let’s see what they are!

1 – LoadScout


LoadScout is a smart program designed to help you browse the web and FTP sites. It allows you to get information from any remote media or archive file without downloading it. The basic idea is to download only a small part of the file and extract the required data. The program works under MS Windows 9x/NT/2000/Me/XP and integrates with Internet Explorer to help you get the information and preview files on the fly right from the browser window.

In addition LoadScout includes an FTP client and its own download engine, so you can use it to download anything from web and FTP. It supports all types of proxy: FTP, HTTP and SOCKS and will let you save frequently visited sites into the Favorites folder.

The program is free and you can download it from :

Working with it shouldn’t be so difficult. Just click on the Open URL button and enter your files URL and other information if needed and follow the steps given.



2 – Open with Google Drive™ Viewer Extension for Google Chrome

You Can open online resources with Google Drive Viewer. Not only it supports ZIP and RAR formats, it also supports various file formats including HTML, PDF, DOC, XLS, TXT, PPT, JavaScript (.js) etc. Only restriction is that the file should be online and publicly accessible.

List of supported file types:

Opened files can be easily saved to the Google Drive.

You want to know how to use this Extension? Checkout the video below:


Download This Extension

Hope you guys enjoyed it! 😉

Peace V!

Published by

Amin Beheshti

A Web Developer and a Graphic Designer! I try to share anything that I find useful in this site! ;)

4 thoughts on “How To View Contents of ZIP and RAR files Before Downloading Them”

  1. Hey. I think may have changed ownership 😉
    I was trying to preview a password protected .rar file before downloading it (I do have the password) and the chrome extension didn’t work.

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