You are a beginner in the world of computing and a colleague of yours has just sent you a compressed archive that seems impossible to open on your computer. This is not the usual ZIP, but a file in a format you have never heard of before: RAR. Considering the situation, you would therefore like to understand How open RAR files. If things are actually this way, I can explain to you, in a simple but not in detail, how to do it, both on Windows and on macOS, as well as acting online and on your mobile devices.
Before you can get alarmed and think about the worst, I would like to point out immediately that carrying out the operation in question is extremely simple and that it is absolutely not necessary to be a great expert in terms of new technologies. You just have to take a few minutes of free time for yourself, position yourself comfortably, get the ad hoc tools that I'm going to show you and follow the relative instructions for use.
Whether you are dealing with a simple RAR file, so to speak, with a password protected archive or a damaged file, I assure you that you will easily be able to extract all the data contained within it. Then? Are you ready to get started? Yup? Great. Let's ban the chatter and proceed. Good job!
How to Open RAR Files on PC
If you are using it is a PC with su installed Windows, the resources you need to rely on for open a RAR file are those that you find reported below. Put them to the test now and you will see that you will not regret it.
WinRAR is the program par excellence to open RAR files on Windows. It is, in fact, the official software for managing RAR files and one of the most renowned software for managing compressed archives. It allows both to extract and to compress RAR files, as well as to intervene on many other types of compressed archives. It is distributed in the form of trialware, so you can download it for free and at each start it shows a warning that invites you to purchase a license within 40 days. In reality, once this period of time has elapsed, the software continues to work, but shows the invitations to purchase in a more insistent way and does not allow you to take advantage of some advanced functions (eg secure encryption with AES-256-bit logarithm) .
To download it to your computer, connect to the program's website and click on the button Pick up placed next to the item WinRAR per Windows Xp/2003/Vista/2008/7/8/10 a 64 bit (if you use a 64-bit version of Windows) or whatever you find next to the wording WinRAR per Windows Xp/2003/Vista/2008/7/8/10 a 32 bit (use Windows 32 bit).
Once the download is complete, open the file .exe ottenuto e, nella finestra che compare sul desktop, clic sui pulsanti Yes, Install, OK e Close. At the end of the setup, you can start using WinRAR to decompress your compressed archives. To do this, right-click on the file of your interest and select the item Extract files give the menu answer him if you press.
In the window that is shown to you on the desktop, indicate the output location on the PC in the field at the top, specify the update and overwrite mode, selecting the options you prefer, and click on the button OK placed at the bottom. If the archive is protected by password, also enter the latter in the dedicated field.
If this interests you, I inform you that, through the context menu visible after right clicking on the compressed archive, you can also take the following actions: extract the elements contained in it in the current position, choosing the option Extract here; view the contents of the archive without extracting it, by selecting the option Apri with WinRAR and extract the archive to a folder with the same name, choosing the option Extract files to [archive name].
As an alternative to WinRAR, to open RAR files on Windows, you can consider considering 7-Zip. It is a totally free and open source software that allows you to extract all the most popular compressed archive formats, such as those in RAR format. It also allows you to intervene on password-protected and multi-volume files and to generate new compressed archives in various formats. It does not allow you to create RAR archives (while it allows you to create ZIP, 7Z and other compressed archive formats).
To download the program, visit its website and select the link Download that you find at the Windows version in use on your PC (64 bit or 32 bit), at the top of the displayed page. Once the download is complete, open the file .exe obtained and, in the window that is shown to you on the desktop, click on the buttons Yes, install e Close, but will conclude the setup.
Once the installation procedure is complete, right-click on the RAR file you want to extract and select, from the context menu that appears, the items 7-Zip> Open. Then click on the button Extract in the window that is shown on the screen, indicate the location on your computer where you want to save the extracted files and press the button OK. If the RAR file is protected by password, before continuing you will need to enter the latter
Through the context menu, you can also choose other options to extract RAR archives, depending on what your needs are: by selecting the items 7-Zip> Extract here you can extract the files to the current location; choosing the items 7-Zip> Extras and files you can indicate an exact location on Windows to extract the files; selecting items 7-Zip> Open you can proceed with the extraction of some specific elements, dragging them out of the window that is shown to you and then dropping them in the position you prefer.
How to Open RAR Files on Mac
If you are using MacOS, the resources you need to turn to in order to open RAR files are those indicated in the following lines. They are specifically designed for Mac and are quite simple to use, you have my word.
The Unarchiver is a specific application for Mac, completely free and very easy to use, thanks to which it is possible to extract RAR archives, even those protected by passwords, and all the other popular compressed file formats. It also allows you to access the contents of ISO and BIN image files and Windows executable files. It does not allow you to create archives.
To download The Unarchiver on macOS, visit the relevant section of the Mac App Store, click on the button See in the Mac App Store (if necessary) and, in the window that opens, press the buttons Get e Install. If requested, also authorize the download by typing the password dell’account Apple or through touch ID (if you have a Mac equipped with this component).
Once installation is complete, The Unarchiver should automatically set itself as the default application for managing compressed archives. So, by double clicking on any file in RAR format, its contents will be automatically extracted to the current location.
Alternatively, right click on the file, choose options Open with> The Unarchiver from the context menu and, if necessary, also indicates the position in which to extract everything. Also, if the RAR file you want to open is protected by password, you will be asked in advance to enter the latter.
I also inform you that, if you deem it necessary, you can go to act on the program settings, for example to indicate the location in which to save the files once extracted and to determine which actions to perform on the compressed files following the extraction. To do this, access the main window of The Unarchiver and intervene on the items available on the screen.
Another Mac tool that you can consider using to open RAR files is Keka. It is a free software that, through a simple drag and drop, allows you to extract RAR files and all major compressed file formats, including 7Z, ZMA, ZIP etc. It also allows you to create new compressed archives in 7z, ZIP, TAR, GZIP, BZP2, DMG and ISO format. It is free, but on the Mac App Store it is available in a paid variant (costs 3,49 euros) that can be purchased to support and reward the work of developers.
To download Keka on your computer, go to its website and click on the button Download vx.x.xx. Once the download is complete, open the package .dmg ottenuto e trascina l 'Keka icon in the folder Applications of macOS. Next, right click on it and select the item apri from the context menu, in order to open the program going to circumvent the limitations imposed by Apple on non-certified developers (an operation that must be performed only at the first start).
Now that you see the program window on your desktop, drag the RAR file you want to extract over it, dropping it at the entry Release here to extract, then waits for the extraction procedure to start and complete. The contents of the archive will be saved in the same location as the source RAR file. If the RAR file you want to extract is protected by password, you will also be asked to type it to continue.
If necessary, I inform you that you can change the settings relating to the operation of the software to, for example, choose which actions to perform on the compressed archive after extraction. To do this, call up the menu Keka> Preferences located in the upper left part of the screen and adjust the options in the window that is shown to you.
How to Open RAR Files Online
If you need to open a RAR file but you do not want or cannot install new programs on your computer, know that you can also do everything directly and comfortably online, resorting to the use of specific Web services, as in the case of B1 Online Archiver. It is, in fact, a free application accessible from the browser window, which allows you to extract compressed archives in RAR, ZIP, 7Z etc. format. The only thing to be aware of is that the maximum supported size for each file is 300 MB. It should also be noted that the uploaded and extracted files are deleted from the service servers shortly after the page is closed.
To use B1 Online Archiver, open the browser that you usually use on your PC to browse online (eg. Chrome), go to the home page of the service, click on the button Click here placed in the center and select the RAR archive to extract on your computer. Alternatively, you can drag the file directly into the browser window.
Wait, therefore, for the archive to be processed, after which you will be shown a new page with the list of all the files contained within it. If the archive is protected by passwordin addition, you will also be asked to type the correct keyword, in order to continue.
When the extraction is complete, in order to download the elements obtained on your computer, click on the button with the blue arrow that you find next to the name of each file.
How to Open RAR Files on Android
Stai using a smartphone or tablet Android, to open RAR files you can rely on the use of the app RAR. It is an application developed by RARLAB, the manufacturer of WinRAR (the program I told you about in the step at the beginning of the guide). It allows you to extract archives in RAR, ZIP, TAR, GZ, BZ2, XZ, 7z, ISO and ARJ formats, even those protected by passwords, and to create archives in RAR and ZIP format. It is free, but contains advertisements that can be removed by subscribing to a paid subscription (costs 1,19 euros / year) through in-app purchases.
To download RAR on your device, access the relevant section of the Play Store and tap the button Install. Then start the app by pressing the button apri comparso sul display oppure sfiorando the relative icon which has been added to the home screen.
Now that you see the main screen of the app, grant RAR the necessary permissions to access the memory and / or SD of the device by tapping on the item Allow, then press the buttons No, see ADSL that are less relevant e Agree, to disable advertising tracking.
Next, select the RAR file to open by tapping the button with the lines horizontally located at the top left, choosing the reference position and then the compressed archive. In the screen that will be shown to you later you will find the list of all the files contained in the archive: to open them individually, tap on their title and indicate the app in which you want to view them.
To extract files in a given folder, instead, put a check mark next to the file name, select the button with the book and the up arrow located at the top right and choose the destination path, pressing the appropriate button, then press the button OK located at the bottom right.
In all cases, if the archive you intend to extract is protected by password, to view or extract the files it contains, you will first have to enter the relative access key.
How to Open RAR Files on IPhone and IPad
Also on iPhone e iPad you can open RAR files. You ask me how? Simple, indeed, much more: using apps suitable for the purpose. Among the various available on the square, I recommend Zip. Despite the name, it is an application that allows you to open not only ZIP files but also those in RAR format. It is very simple to use, has a clean user interface and is free, but allows you to edit files with a maximum weight of 5 MB. To get around this limitation, you need to switch to the Pro variant, for a fee (at a cost of € 7,99).
To download the app on your device, visit the relevant section of the App Store, press the button Get, quindi quello Install and authorize the download by Face ID, touch ID o password dell'ID Apple. In segito, avvia l'app, premendo sul bottone apri appeared on the screen or by touching the relevant icon which has been added to the home screen.
Now that you see the main screen of the app, select the location where the RAR archive you want to extract is located, select the reference file and tap the button YES, to access the contents of the archive. Next, click on the button OK, to extract all the files contained in the archive, or press the button Cancel, individually choose the ones you are interested in and tap the button Unzip down below.
At this point, if you want, you can decide to open the extracted files through a specific app or you can share them by tapping on dedicated buttons located at the bottom of the screen and then making your choice from the menu that appears.
How to Open RAR File with Unknown Password
You have to open a RAR file with unknown password and would you like to understand if there is a system to deal with it? Well, know that you can do it using special programs, the ones that I have pointed out in my guide dedicated specifically to the topic in question.
I already anticipate that these are software capable of finding the reference access key by exploiting “brute force” attacks or using the “dictionary” method. In the first case, the program used tries to identify the password set by trying all the possible combinations of letters, special characters and numbers, while in the second case lists of known passwords included in ad hoc dictionaries are tested.
How to Open Damaged RAR Files
You need to access the contents of a RAR file but you can't because the reference archive turns out to be damaged? Do not despair, you can cope with this by resorting to the use of software designed specifically to remedy situations of this type, going to repair RAR files (and not only) which, in fact, are damaged and cannot be opened correctly. For all the details of the case, read my specific tutorial on the subject.