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How to Open RAR Files: How to Open and Extract RAR Files on Your PC?

Every person, at some time in their lives, will be presented with a circumstance in which they will receive a file that they are unsure of how to access. Because Windows does not provide built-in support for all file formats, it is occasionally necessary to use specialized applications. The RAR file format is one of the most popular types of files that exhibits this issue; nonetheless, we are here to assist you. On your Windows computer, we will walk you through the process of opening RAR files.

To begin, let’s go over what a RAR file is and what it does. It is a compressed archive file type, very much like the ZIP files that can be created with Windows. A RAR file, similar to a folder, can hold a number of additional files, but unlike a folder, those files will take up less space on the disc because they have been compressed. Sharing folders with other people may become less of a chore as a result of this, as you will just need to send over a single file, which will be of a more manageable size overall.

RAR is an exclusive file format that was created in 1993 by Eugene Roshal. RAR was an archive format. In order to access the file, you will want a piece of software known as WinRAR, which was also created by Roshal. This tool is capable of opening RAR files in addition to a wide variety of archives, including ZIP files and others. Although it is officially premium software, you are able to use it for free if you don’t mind seeing messages suggesting that you pay for it.

How To Open RAR Files with WinRAR

It is possible to open or extract RAR files using a number of different tools; but, for the purposes of this instruction, we will continue to use the original program. WinRAR is still one of the most effective ways to open RAR files, as it was developed with these archives in mind from the very beginning. The following is what you need to do:

Step: 1

Visit the WinRAR download page on the official website to obtain the version of WinRAR that best suits your needs. The English versions are at the top of the list, and they can be either 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) in their architecture. The 32-bit versions will function properly on virtually every PC; however, the 64-bit versions may provide improved functionality and safety on contemporary computers. Because 64-bit processors are standard in most laptops manufactured nowadays, you should give the 64-bit version a shot first.

how to open rar files

There are also programs for Linux and Mac available here; however, they only support command-line interfaces. If you use Android and wish to be able to open RAR files on your phone, RAR is available for Android. Additionally, if you need WinRAR in a language other than English, there are other versions that have been translated farther down the page.


After the file has been downloaded, start the installation program and continue to follow the on-screen prompts. At some point, you will get the following screen:

how to open rar files

The list of file types on the left side of the window displays all of the file formats that WinRAR is able to open on its own. There is a good reason why ISO and JAR are not selected; thus, we strongly advise you to keep the settings as they are currently.

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Step: 3

Simply select the OK button to continue with the installation.
Step: 4

You can now open the RAR file you have by going to the file’s location and double-clicking on it. It will open in WinRAR by default. There is a chance that you will see a large message cautioning you to purchase a license for WinRAR, but all you need to do is click OK on the message. The file is going to be presented in this manner:

how to open rar files

You have access to a list of all of the files and directories that are stored within the RAR archive. You have the option to use WinRAR to add more files to the archive, extract the ones that are already there, test their integrity, or even run virus checks using an antivirus engine that is already installed on your personal computer.

Step: 5

If you double-click a file, it will be temporarily extracted, and you will be able to open it instantly. Alternatively, you can extract the files to a permanent folder on your computer so that they are more easily accessible. If you want to extract all of the files, you may pick them all at once using the shortcut “Ctrl + A,” or you can choose none of them and then click the Extract To button on the toolbar at the very top of the window. If you pick any files, the extraction process will be limited to those files exclusively.

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Step: 6
A window will appear allowing you to select the location where your files will be saved. The extracted files will be placed straight in the location that you choose; therefore, if you do not want them to become jumbled up with other files, you will need to make sure that a separate folder is created just for them. Simply clicking the OK button will cause the files to be extracted.

how to open rar files

Step: 7

After the operation has been completed, you will be able to launch Windows File Explorer and go to the directory in which you extracted the files. You can also access these files using other software, such as Photoshop, for example, if you want to open a photo in that program.

And that is all there is to know about how to open RAR files on a computer that is running Windows. You can also right-click a RAR file in File Explorer, drag your cursor over WinRAR in the context menu, and select one of the various extraction options if you want to extract full files without opening them first. This is the method to use if you do not want to open the files first. WinRAR already connects with the new context menus that come with Windows 11, so everything works without a hitch.

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