Open RAR File

Information, tips and instructions

Open RAR File

RAR is a high efficiency compression file format. It was developed by Eugene Roshal (RAR is short for Roshal Archive). Version 0.1 of RAR was released in March 1993. But only with version 1.30 in September 1993 RAR was officially released to public.

Since its introduction RAR format lived through many version releases and improvements. Advanced features like multithreaded compression and decompression, multi-volume archives, password protected archives were introduced. At this moment license and copyright to RAR and its Windows version WinRAR is owned by Alexander Roshal. Rights to distribute and make software available to public in any form is owned by win.rar GmbH.

You can open RAR file either using GUI based application for Windows called WinRAR or using console applications such as RAR and unrar. RAR and unrar console tools are available for multiple platforms including various flavors of Linux, Mac OS and Windows OS. You can see full list of WinRAR and RAR versions at Download page. Also there are multiple versions of unrar extraction tool and RAR libraries available for download at RarLab add-ons page.

Unless you have a special software listed above installed you will not be able to open RAR file. Windows and Mac OS use ZIP archive as a default compression format because it is an open format and widely supported. At the same time RAR compression is typically more efficient and RAR code works faster than other archivers. Besides official software from RAR Labs there are multiple other free and paid software packages available to open RAR files. But it is recommended to use an official software since many 3rd party software packages have adware embedded in the installation.

RAR file format supports modern encryption standards via 128/256 AES encryption technology. It is recommended to use RAR 5.0 or later because it uses AES 265 which is a stronger version of AES. Also, it is recommended to use password with 8 characters of more to make sure that brute force attacks will not be possible.

RAR files are transferred over e-mail or internet using application/vnd.rar multipurpose internet mail extensions (MIME) type.

Open RAR file on Windows

  • Download WinRAR application from and launch it by double-clicking on it.
  • Launch WinRAR from the Start menu or Desktop. Click on File->Open archive in the WinRAR main menu.
  • In the file open dialog select RAR file you want to open and click "Open".
  • You will see contents of the RAR file and every file and folder stored in it.
  • Select files and folders you want to extract and click on the "Extract to" icon.
  • You can also use console unrar tools for Windows, Linux, Mac and UNIX operating systems which you can download from RARLAB.
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Extension Details
  Compression file format
Identifying Characters
  Hex: 52 61 72 21
  ASCII: Rar!
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