How to Extract Rar Files Mac

After downloading a RAR file from the Internet, have you tried to open it by double clicking on it but your Mac says that no applications suitable for this purpose are installed on the computer? All normal, you just need to install an app to extract RAR files.

I have several to recommend, some free and others for a fee, but all very easy to use and compatible with all types of compressed archives: RAR, ZIP, 7Z, standard archives, password protected archives, multi-part archives etc. To find out their names and learn how to extract RAR files Mac using them, all you have to do is take five minutes of free time (maybe even less) and follow the directions I am about to give you. Good fun!

Note: some of these applications, on the first extracted file, may warn you that they do not have sufficient permissions to complete the operation. Don't worry, it's normal! To solve the problem (which is not a problem), all you have to do is select the folder where you intend to extract the RAR archive files and confirm. That's all. This is only necessary for the first extracted RAR file after installing the application on your computer.

The Unarchiver

To discover how to extract RAR files Mac, I recommend you to install the free application The Unarchiver, which allows you to extract any file from archives compressed in RAR format with a simple double click on them (as does the Integrated Compression Utility in OS X with ZIP files). It supports Zip, RAR, 7-zip, Tar, Gzip, Bzip2 and other types of compressed archives, including those that are password protected and those split into multiple parts.

To install The Unarchiver on your computer, connect to this web page and click on the button View in the Mac App Store. In the window that opens, click on Get / Install the app, type your Apple ID password and click the button Log in but I will complete the operation.

Once installed on the Mac, The Unarchiver should automatically set itself as the default application for opening RAR files, so you should just double click on any archive to have its contents extracted in the current folder. If this is not the case, you can select the file types to open with The Unarchiver by following this simple procedure.

  • Select a file of the type you want to open by default with The Unarchiver (eg a RAR file);
  • Press the key combination cmd+i on your Mac keyboard to bring up the window with the file properties;
  • Expand the section Open with of the window that opened, select The Unarchiver from the drop-down menu below and press up first Edit everything and then Continue per salvare i Cambiomenti.

Starting The Unarchiver from your Mac's LaunchPad (or Spotlight) and going to the tab Extraction of the software you can also choose in which folder to extract the contents of the archives: Same folder as the archive to extract the files to the archive source folder, Ask for a destination folder to choose a different folder each time or Other to select a custom folder.

StuffIt Expander

StuffIt Expander is an excellent alternative to The Unarchiver, always free, which supports all major compressed archive formats: RAR, ZIP, 7Z, TAR and many more. It has an extremely simple user interface to use and is very fast in the data decompression process.

To download StuffIt Expander on your computer, connected to the Mac App Store page dedicated to it and click on the button View in the Mac App Store which is on the left. Then wait for the Mac App Store to open, press the button Get / Install the app and, if necessary, type your Apple ID password to start installing the software.

Now, to extract the compressed archives with StuffIt Expander, start the app and drag the archives to be extracted onto the box that appears on the screen. If you want to associate the RAR archives to StuffIt Expander so that they are automatically extracted from the application by double clicking on them, follow the same procedure that I showed you just now for The Unarchiver: select a RAR file, press cmd+i and choose StuffIt Expander give menu to tendin Open with present in the window that opens.


Another software that I highly recommend you to try is Keka, which allows you to extract files in RAR, 7z, Lzma, xz, Zip, Tar, Gzip, Bzip2, ISO, EXE, CAB, PAX and ACE format and to create archives or image files in 7z, Zip, Tar, Gzip, Bzip2, DMG and ISO formats. It is open source, you can use it at no cost, but if you appreciate how it works, you are invited to support its development with a donation or by purchasing the version of the application that is on the MAS (€ 1,99).

To download the free version of Keka on your Mac, connect to the application's website and click on the button Download Keka. Then open the package dmg that contains the software, take the icon of the latter and drag it into the folder Applications macOS to complete its installation on your computer.

At this point, associate the RAR files to Keka as explained above for The Unarchiver and double click on them to extract their contents. Alternatively you can also right click on the icons of the RAR files to extract and select the items Open with> Keka from the menu that appears. This way you can use Keka to extract RAR files without associating them with them.

To adjust the archive compression and decompression settings, api Keka using its icon present in the MacOS LaunchPad.

RAR Archiver

If you are looking for an application that in addition to extract Mac RAR files also allows you to create new archives in this format, you can turn to RAR Archiver which is found on the Mac App Store for € 1,99.

Again, the program will automatically set itself as the default application to open RAR files. To create new archives, however, you will have to start RAR Archiver and drag into the window that opens all the files you want to include in the RAR package.

By default, RAR Archiver extracts the contents of all archives into one folder. To change the destination of the files, start the app, go to its settings - selecting the item Preferences from the menu RAR Archiver - and set in the drop-down menu Save folder the option you prefer.

Plugin BetterZip Per Quick Look

Would you like to discover the contents of a RAR archive without having to extract it first? No problem. By installing the free plugin on your Mac BetterZip per Quick Look you can view the contents of ZIP files and RAR files using the preview system included in macOS (then by tapping with three fingers on the icons of the archives or by selecting the latter and pressing the space bar on the Mac keyboard). The procedure for installing the plugin is extremely simple.

  • Download the BetterZip plugin for Quick Look by connecting to this web page and clicking on the item Legacy version 1.5 found under the heading BetterZip Quick Look Generator;
  • Once the download is complete, copy the file BetterZipQL.qlgenerator that you just downloaded on your Mac in the folder /Library/QuickLook/. If you don't know how to get to this folder, right click on the Finder, select the item Go to the folder from the menu that appears and paste the path in the window that opens;
  • Open the terminal e dai il command qlmanage -r to restart the Quick Look service for the changes to take effect.

Mission accomplished! Now you can select a ZIP or RAR file and view its contents without extracting it. But be careful, this does not mean that you can open the files in the archives or extract them individually. To perform these operations you need professional solutions, such as BetterZip from which the plugin I have just pointed out was born.

BetterZip is one of the most complete solutions for the creation and extraction of compressed archives available on Mac, it allows you to view the contents of the archives without having to extract it first, updates existing archives and much more. You can download it in a free trial version but it is paid (its full version costs 23,56 euros). Check out its official website to find out more, maybe it could be right for you.