Those of you using a computer for years might find this guide very funny but this guide is aimed at users who have just purchased a new computer and trying to learn a thing or two about computer. As they say, we might be geeks now but should not forget the fact that all experts were beginners at one time and did use Google to figure out how to accomplish certain tasks.
May be you have downloaded a file from the internet with .RAR extension, or may be your friend has sent you a file with .RAR extension and you are wondering how to open it safely. As you know by now, Windows doesn’t support .RAR files out of the box and you need to install a third-party file compression utility in order to extract file(s) from a .RAR file.
What is a .RAR file
In simple words, when you use WinRAR to compress a file or set of files to form an archive, you get a file with .RAR extension. In other words, you get a file with .RAR extension when you use WinRAR software to reduce the size of a file or when you create a single file out of many files using WinRAR.
How to open or extract a .RAR file
Even though, you can create a .RAR extension using only WinRAR, there are a couple of free and paid tools out there to extract or open the .RAR file in Windows. The WinRAR software is a trialware, meaning that you need to purchase the license in order to get certain features.
There are plenty of free utilities out there that support .RAR extension. The best free software for this job is 7-Zip. In this guide, we will show you can open/extract a .RAR file with WinRAR as well as the popular 7-Zip software.
Method 1 of 2
Using WinRAR to open a .RAR file
These methods are compatible with Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.
Step 1: First of all, you need to download and install WinRAR. Visit this page to download WinRAR and then double-click on the downloaded setup file to begin the installation. Please note that the download page offers separate installer for 32-bit and 64-bit Windows but if you aren’t sure about your Windows type, please download the setup available for 32-bit.
Step 2: Once WinRAR is installed, right-click on the .RAR file that you want to open, click Extract files and then select a location to save extracted files. That’s it!
Method 2 of 2
Using 7-Zip to open a .RAR file
Follow the given below instructions to learn how to install and use 7-Zip software to open or extract .RAR file.
Step 1: Visit this page and download 7-Zip software. It’s absolutely free! Just like WinRAR, the download page of 7-Zip also offers separate setup file for 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64). However, if you’re not sure which one to download, please download the one for 32-bit.
Step 2: Double-click on the downloaded 7-Zip setup file and follow the simple on-screen instructions to install the same.
Step 3: Next, right-click on the .RAR file that you want to open or extract, click 7-Zip, click Extract files, and then select a location to save extracted file(s). That’s it!