How to open a RAR file in Windows with a .rar extractor opener online

  • Extension: RAR
  • Description: Roshal Archive, winrar compressed file format, rar archive, rar compression file
  • File Type: Archive Format


What is a RAR File?

RAR is an acronym for ‘Roshal Archive’. RAR files are highly compressed files that can be stored on both Windows OS and Mac OS devices without taking up much storage space.

RAR files may be large email attachments that are compressed and therefore have the ‘.rar file extension’ appended to their names.

With RAR file format, large file data can be downloaded all at once rather than separately. This makes RAR one of the best forms of data storage used by individuals and corporate entities. In this guide, you will get to know some of the programs that you can use in opening RAR files on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS devices.

RAR is referred to as a compression native format of WinRAR and it is a file extension for an archiver. The RAR format, like every other archiver, is used for storing files. It can be used for storing single or multiple files and the files are stored in a compressed form.

If you ever download a RAR from the internet or from any other sources for that matter, you will need to first unpack the contents of the RAR before you can use any of them. The file works just like any other zip folder.

How does the RAR format differ from the ZIP format? RAR comes with some advanced features that are not found in the Zip file format.

For one, a RAR file comes be used for convenient multivolume archives and it equally provides a tighter compression than the ZIP file format. It equally comes with a special solid mode and can help repair any of the damaged files stored in it. It can also be password protected.


How to open RAR files

The steps below will help you to open the winRAR file and extract files from it:

  • First of all, double-click on the RAR you have downloaded on your computer system. This will open the file in WinRAR
  • You can then browse the content
  • Click on the file you want to open and click extract To button
  • Provide the destination path to which you want to extract the file and then press “Ok”. This will start the extraction process.
  • The extracted file or files will be in the downloads folder specified.


Programs that open RAR files

There are quite a few compression programs that you can use to open a RAR file. Many of these programs will not only extract RAR, but will also help you create a RAR  if needed.

Some of the more popular utility programs for extracting and creating RAR include:


WinZIP is very popular and widely used for opening ZIP files and can be used for opening RAR as it is also a rar compressor and rar extractor.

WinZip will not only extract ZIP files, but will also open different popular archive formats, such as; ISO, CAB, 7z, and RAR to mention a few. WinZip is available for free download on iOS, Android, Windows and Mac devices.

It offers 128 and 256-bit AES encryption that enables you to encrypt files. This app also comes with many added features like file editing and sharing functions. WinZip offers a 21-day trial version after which you would be required to pay less than USD $40 to purchase the full version.  It has a free trial and paid version,

  • It is also useful for opening several other file formats, like ISO, CAB and 7z
  • The interface is very simple.



WinRAR is yet another very popular proprietary compression software for RAR.

WinRAR is an unarchiving app that you can use to open most file formats including: ZIP, CAB, RAR, and 7Z on Windows OS devices only. It supports both 128 and 256-bit AES encryption as well as multi-volume archives.

This app also comes with an easy to operate user-interface that is very intuitive and easy to use. You can get a 40 day free trial version or pay for the full version of WinRAR for less than USD $40.

Just like WinZIP, you can use it to open other file formats, like ARJ, CAB and ZIP. It has a free trial and paid versions

  • Also, you can use it for creating RAR.
  • It is also possible to split archives into volumes.



7-Zip is a free-to-download program that you can use to open RAR files on Windows OS devices only. It comes with 256-bit AES encryption and supports a majority of archive formats. This program offers a simplistic design with an intuitive, user-friendly interface. You can easily open multi-volume compressed file using 7-Zip.

To extract RAR files using 7-Zip, you first need to download and install the free app on your Windows OS device.

  1. Start by simply visiting the 7-Zip official website at and adhere to the on-screen prompts in order to install the program.
  2. Once installed on your Windows PC, go to the file and highlight a menu by right-clicking the file. Click on ‘Unzip To’ from the highlighted pop-up menu to open the app.
  3. Go to the left sidebar to select your preferred destination for the RAR.
  4. Then click the ‘Unzip’ function.

Note that if you download a free trial version of 7-Zip, you need to click on the pop-up that prompts you to – ‘Use Evaluation Version’. Also, as soon as the file is opened, a destination folder having a similar name to the opened RAR is automatically created.



ExtractNow is also a free-to-download Windows OS only archiving software application that can be used to open a RAR file.

It comes with a disk space of just 4.4MB when fully installed. This is why it has the reputation of the lightest RAR extracting program available.

This app also supports multiple languages with a simplistic, user-friendly interface design, and intuitive controls. ExtractNow will automatically scan through folders looking for RAR to open.



PeaZip is a free program for opening RAR. Aside from RAR, it can also open 7z, ZIP and TAR files.

  • It comes with a user-friendly interface
  • You can use it for converting the RAR to another format

You can download PeaZip for free on both your Linux and Windows OS devices. PeaZip supports a number of popular archive formats, such as; XAR, CAB, RAR, ZIP, and 7Z. With PeaZip you have an app that is easy to navigate and use.

You can browse your device for the RAR file you intend extracting then simply double-click on the file to open it once the file is located.

If you want to extract files to a location of your choice, you can click on the command button labeled ‘Extract’ to execute the extraction.



IZArc is another open-source extracting program that supports most of the popular formats. IZArc is comparable to ExtractNow because of its lightness and consumption of low disk space.


With IZArc, you have a minimalistic interface design with no unnecessary animations that may compromise overall performance.

Nevertheless, IZArc offers a number of functions to optimize user experience including multi volume archive file creation. Some other cute features of this app include: virus scan, and zip encryption. You can download IZArc to either your iOS or Windows OS devices.


The unarchiver

The Unarchiver is a free to use RAR extracting app that is available to Mac users. This program offers a seamless user-interface supporting several well-known file formats including Deb, RPM, and XAR.

The Unarchiver has many cool features to enhance your user-experience. One of such functions includes reading non-Latin characters.



Bandizip can be used on either Mac or Windows OS devices. You can download a free version of Bandizip or you can pay for the full version which costs less than USD $40.

With Bandizip you have an RAR file extracting program that supports over 30 different archive file formats including; 7z, ZIP, RAR, and RAR5. Some of the features that come with the full paid version are a password manager with password recovery capabilities and an archive repairer.


Other programs 

Some other programs you can use to open and convert RAR files are below:


  • B1 Free Archiver: extractor, viewer and converter
  • Zipware: extractor, viewer, scanner
  • Bandzip: extractor, viewer and creator
  • Hamster Zip Archiver: extractor and viewer
  • Zip Extractor: extractor, viewer, downloader


Can you Convert RAR Files?

Yes, you can convert a RAR file to ZIP, 7Z,TAR MP3, MP4, JPG and ISO.

You can use the cloud convert RAR converter and convert it online. You can also use Zamzar.


Problems opening ?

Try the following:

  • Right click on the RAR file in Windows Explorer.
  • Browse the context menu and select any of the WinRAR extraction commands to browse its content.
  • You can select «Extract To», «Extract Here» or «Extract to» to complete the process


Other file types related



The programs mentioned in this guide offer you amazing features that will enhance your user experience. But make sure to always download the free versions of these programs from their official websites.

You can avoid downloading malware with your RAR extracting app, if you do not download the app from untrusted websites.

Users of Mac OS devices can also use ‘B1 Free Archiver’ while Windows OS device owners can try out the ‘Ashampoo ZIP’ app, both are also good free-to-use programs for RAR.

If you have any more questions on this topic, please feel free to send us your enquiries or you can simply leave a comment in the box below.