A RAR file is a compressed archive used to reduce the storage size of large files or groups of files. Actually, a RAR file is an archive file that contains multiple files in one compressed file.
RAR files are often used to distribute software, multimedia, and other large files over the internet because they are smaller and easier to download. Furthermore, RAR files have built-in error recovery capabilities that can aid in data recovery in the event of incomplete or faulty downloads. As a result, they are frequently utilized for file transport and storage.
By default, you can't open RAR files in Windows 10/11 because they don't include a software to support it (like e.g. with the ZIP files).
This guide contains four (4) different ways to open RAR files in Windows 11/10, by using the following third-party tools: WinRAR, 7-Zip, PeaZip & Archive Extractor Online.
How to Open & Extract RAR archives in Windows 11/10/8/7 OS.
Method 1. Open RAR Files in Windows 10/11 with 7-Zip (Freeware).
One of the best freeware tools to open RAR files in Windows is the 7-Zip.
The 7-Zip is a free and open source file archiving utility that can compress multiple files into one and decompress ZIP, RAR, and TAR files.
2. To View the contents of a compressed RAR file with 7-Zip, right click on the RAR file and select 7-Zip > Open Archive.
3. To extract the contents of a RAR file:
a. Right click on the RAR file and select 7-Zip > Extract files
b. Specify the destination and the folder for the extracted files and click OK.
c. When the extraction is competed, navigate to the specified location to see the decompressed files.
Method 2. View and Extract RAR files in Windows 10/11 with Pea Zip (Freeware)
Another famous free and open source compression and decompression utility for RAR, ZIP, TAR and other types of compressed files, is the PeaZip archiver tool.
Features of PeaZip includes extract, create and convert multiple archives at once, create self-extracting archives (sfx), split files, strong encryption, etc..
2. To extract or open RAR files using PeaZip, right-click on the RAR archive and choose PeaZip > Extract to decompress the files, or Open as archive to view the contents of the compressed file in a new window.
Method 3: Open RAR archives with WinRAR (TRIALWARE).
The most well-known software for opening and extracting RAR files is the WinRAR. Keep in mind that WinRAR is not free, but you can use it for 40 days for free without any problem.
1. Download WinRAR and then install it on your PC.
2. After installing WinRAR, follow the below instructions to view or to extract the contents of a RAR file:
a. Right-click on the RAR file and then select WinRAR > Open with WinRAR to view the contents of the compressed file on a new window. *
* Note: If the RAR file is password protected, you will be prompted to enter the password.
b. To extract the contents of the RAR file, click the Extract To button from the program's bar (or click the Commands menu and select Extract to a specified folder.*
* Notes: Alternatively, you can press Alt + E.
c. Specify the location where you want to extract the compressed files (or create a New folder), and then click OK to start the extraction process. *
* Note: By default, WinRAR extracts the compressed files to a folder with the name of the RAR file and at the same location as the RAR file.
5. Finally, open the new folder to see the contents of the RAR file.
Method 4: Open RAR files by using the free Archive Extractor Online tool
Another way to extract RAR files in Windows 10/11, especially if you don't want or you unable to install an archiver utility, is to use the Archive Extractor Online tool.
* Note: Online archive extractor tools are useful when you don't have any software installed on your computer or if you don't want to install any additional software. However, these tools may have some limitations such as file size, upload time and also may not support password protected RAR files.
2. Click on the Choose File button and select on your computer the RAR file you want to open/extract.
3. Depending on the size of the file and your internet connection, the extraction process may take a few minutes to complete.
4. Once the extraction is complete, you can either click at each extracted file to download it separately, or to download all of them to a ZIP file.
That's it! Which method worked for you?
Let me know if this guide has helped you by leaving your comment about your experience. Please like and share this guide to help others.
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