How to open RAR files

Knowing how to open RAR files can prove to be a valuable skill, especially if you regularly download various drivers, files, and applications from third-party websites. Unlike zip files, Windows does not natively support RAR files, so you need a dedicated application for this purpose.


  • 7-Zip (Windows)
  • Extractor (macOS)

Our recommended programs for opening RAR files are 7-Zip for Windows and The Unarchiver for macOS. Here’s how to use them to open RAR files.

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7-Zip (Windows)

Step 1: Download 7-Zip from the official website. If you’re running the latest version of Windows 10 or 11, you’ll most likely want the 64-bit version, but it’s a good idea to first confirm which version of Windows you’re running.

In the installer, select the desired destination folder for the utility and click Install button in the lower right corner of the Finish After the button is done, then start the program.

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Step 2: Find the RAR file you want to open in Windows File Explorer and right-click on it and select open with > 7-zipper.

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Step 3: Now after opening the RAR file, you can use various options to process it. You can access individual files within a RAR archive by double-clicking them, or browse the folders in the same way to get a deeper understanding of the RAR files.

If you want to be able to access the files in the RAR archive more easily in the future, you can also click refining button and select a save location. The RAR file will then be extracted and all its component files and folders accessed through Windows File Explorer.

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Extractor (macOS)

Compressing files on macOS is an essential feature of the operating system, but you also need to be able to decompress them. Apple has a native tool to unzip files with just a click on the file, but it’s a simplified option that doesn’t allow for any control over the process. For those looking for a complete tool, we recommend another option.

Unarchiver easily outperforms the built-in archive unpacker that comes with macOS — aka “Archive Utility”. The program supports more file formats (including RAR files) and offers additional features more similar to 7-Zip than other products available on the web. Although Unarchiver cannot create RAR files, it still allows you to open RAR in just a few steps.

Step 1: Download Unarchiver from the official website or go to the App Store to download the app. Then, extract the files and start the program.

Step 2: Once open, make sure the box next to the RAR archive is checked – as well as any other archive type you wish to open using the unarchiver – and click extraction Tabs are located at the top of the application window.Then, select where to save the generated file from the drop-down menu near the top of the window, Control-click the RAR file you want to open, and select file extractor from the drop-down menu next to open with option.

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Step 3: The utility will then automatically create a file with the same name as the RAR file and save it in the previously specified location. Then, just double-click the RAR file to launch it in the appropriate program.

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