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HashTab is a free file integrity checker for Windows
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HashTab is a free file integrity checker for Windows

by AshwinFebruary 24, 2016

Downloaded a file and it’s not opening on your computer?

Hashtab windows 10

Have you checked the file’s integrity?

Hang on, what does file integrity mean?

File integrity is the term used to describe the state of a file. Every file, regardless of whether it is a text document, or an exe, or a ZIP file, or GIF, or an MP3 has a digital signature. This is usually in the form of a signature code called a file hash. Common file hashing formats are MD5, CRC32 and SHA-1.

This hash value is used to determine the legitimacy of a file, and this is referred to as an integrity check, or in this case, file integrity.

Why do I need to use a file integrity checker?

This has to be explained in two parts.

To avoid corrupted downloads:

Very often we run into network issues while downloading files. It may be a server time out, or a lost signal, or even a data outage. When the connection is resumed, the download may continue or break off. When this happens, there are chances that the downloaded file gets corrupted. You may notice this by trying to open the file, for example, a broken EXE may throw a “corrupted file” error, and may even be missing its icon.

You can use HashTab or a similar app to verify if a downloaded file is the same as the one on the source. Most developers or web hosts do post the hash value of the file on their server for this very purpose. In case the developer doesn’t provide the info on their website, you could contact them for the same, or ask a friend who already has the file.

To avoid malware:

You can also use a file integrity checker to avoid malware, such as modified EXE files or a ZIP file wich is of different size. These are often the result of third part sources bundling their own content into a safe file.You can avoid these files even if you downloaded them from a third-party website.

I don’t see HashTab in the Start Menu. How do I open it?

You cannot run the application, because it isn’t an application at all. HashTab is a context menu add-on aka, a shell extension. That is, it is only accessible via the right-click menu in Windows.

Download HashTab from the official website. It is a free download, but the official website asks for your email address to send you a download link. So instead, get the file from MajorGeeks. Install HashTab, and open File Explorer. Right click on any file, and select “Properties”. You will notice a new tab in the window, called HashTab. Select it and it will show you the MD5, CRC32 and SHA-1 of the file.

You can copy and paste the hash value from a web browser or IM app or even a text file, and HashTab will automatically recognise the clipboard content and place a check mark if the hash values match. Else a cross is placed, signifying it does not match. You may also use HashTab to compare two files.

Pros:

  • Free
  • No GUI (it’s not an app, so it doesn’t run in the background constantly)
  • Works with every file
  • Supports Windows 10 / 8 / 7 / Vista / XP
  • 32-bit and 64-bit support

Cons:

  • Official website’s download requirement is odd.

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