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StuffIt Review

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PROS / StuffIt supports the second-highest number of compression formats of any product on our lineup, as well as several extraction formats. This gives you great utility in zipping and unzipping files to send, share and store.

CONS / This ZIP software lacks multi-volume archiving and does not repair damaged archives.

 VERDICT / Originally developed for Mac, StuffIt is a versatile and useful product for the Windows platform too. It can zip and unzip many formats and should easily meet all your archiving and file-sharing needs.

EDITORS NOTE: StuffIt has recently announced the release of StuffIt Deluxe 16 for Mac with Cloud Services Integration. This review will be updated to reflect the most current Stuffit release when we are able to complete testing.

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StuffIt file compression software originally was developed for use on Mac operating systems and later was expanded to support Windows. The product supports the second-highest number of compression formats of any ZIP program on our list. Moreover, it supports the second-highest number of extraction formats.

  1. The number of compression formats supported by the software.
    Higher is better.
  2. 3 StuffIt
  3. 13
  4. 11
  5. Category Average

This ZIP software is easy to use and works well to compress PDF files, music and audio files. You can use it to free up space on your hard drive and to fit more compressed files onto CDs, DVDs and other drives. StuffIt is our Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award winner.

The software lacks a few features that other products in our lineup have, but it has all the necessary tools to help you zip and unzip most file formats and send them via email or store them in file-sharing services in the cloud. It's a solid product with a wide range of strengths.

Supported Compression Files

StuffIt supports 12 compression formats, the second-highest number of any file compression software we reviewed. Supported formats include ZIP, ARC, HQX, BTOA, BZ2, Gzip, LHA/LZH, SITX, SITX segmented, UU encoded, AppleSingle/Double encoded and MacBinary encoded.

The features in this ZIP software are designed to guide you to use the StuffIt file format, SITX, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. SITX performs very well in zipping files that require a significant amount of compression, such as photos and MP3s. The extra compression it provides means that the product takes a little longer to compress files to SITX.

In addition, this ZIP software offers stronger encryption with SITX to protect your compressed files. SITX archives offer 512-bit encryption, as opposed to the 256-bit encryption that StuffIt offers for ZIP files.

Supported Extraction Files

This ZIP program supports 29 extraction formats, a relatively high amount. These formats include ZIP, ZIP segment, 7zip, RAR, ARC, ARJ, HQX, BTOA, Bzip, BZ2, CAB, CompactPro, Unix, Gzip, LHA/LZH, IZMA, MIME/B64 encoded, Private File, SIT, SIT5, SITX, SITX segmented, UU encoded, YENC encoded, comic book archives (CBZ, CBR, CBT, CB7), AppleSingle/Double encoded and MacBinary encoded.

StuffIt supports enough archive and file types that it's unlikely you'll have to download any additional software to extract files.


First developed in 1987, StuffIt is one of the best-known names in file compression software for Macintosh. It's not as well known on the Windows platform, but it is gaining notoriety and does an equally good job on both platforms.

One StuffIt function we like is its batch compression feature, which is easy to use. When you create a new archive, you can easily add more files to the archive list. StuffIt will compress all folders and files in the list into one batch archive.

This file compression software lets you schedule times to automatically create new archives and send them via email or FTP, or to burn them to a CD or DVD. In addition, you can access StuffIt from Windows Explorer, and it creates self-extracting archives. StuffIt Windows works in multiple languages, including English, French, German and Japanese.

The software lacks the ability to create multi-volume archives, and it has no feature to repair damaged archives, however.

Help & Support

StuffIt offers a user guide, online FAQs to answer common questions and email support should you need to ask additional questions or receive specific support. This ZIP software is the only product on our lineup that has live chat support. It's available weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:55 p.m. Pacific Time, except from 2:45 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursdays. There is no live chat support on weekends.

StuffIt does not offer user forums or telephone support.


StuffIt supports the highest number of compression formats and the second-highest number of extraction formats of all the software we reviewed, which means it's very useful to zip and unzip files to create archives. This file compression software lacks a few features, but that won't impact its utility for file compression and extraction to let you send and share large files or archive them on CDs, DVDs or other drives.

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