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File type: RAR

What is RAR?

RAR is a file archive format that allows for data compression. RAR files typically contain multiple files within them that have been compressed to save space and to allow for easier transfer electronically.

While RAR files can only be created with the WinRAR application, they can be opened by many programs.

More on RAR from Wikipedia

Why can't I open RAR files?

In order to open RAR files, you must have a program installed on your computer that is capable of opening them. FileRatings can help you find an appropriate program.

The Unarchiver rar.png
A rar archive icon from The Unarchiver's icon set.
Filename extension.rar, .rev, .r00, .r01.
Internet media typeapplication/x-rar-compressed
Developed byEugene Roshal
Type of formatArchive format

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

RAR stands for Roshal ARchive. It is a non-documented archive file format that supports data compression, error recovery, and file spanning. It was developed by a Russian software engineer, Eugene Roshal (the first letter of his surname contributing to the name of the archive format), and is currently licensed by win.rar GmbH.

The filename extension used by RAR is .rar for the data volume set and .rev for the recovery volume set. In previous versions, if a RAR-archive was broken into many smaller files (a "multi-volume archive"), then the smaller files used the extensions .rar, .r00, .r01, .r02 etc.

Version 1 and 2 archive files were often used in conjunction with a parchive file archiver to create parity files for error recovery when using less-than-perfect file transmission and storage media such as newsgroups, satellite transmission, and optical discs. Version 3 has eliminated the need for third party post-processing.


RAR files may be created only with commercial software WinRAR, RAR, and software that has permission from the licensor, Alexander Roshal (Eugene's brother). RAR for Pocket PC is the only freeware for creating RAR files.

Third party programs that can only read (unpack) RAR files include: WinZip (Windows), RarZilla (Windows), 7-Zip (multiplatform), IZArc (Windows), PeaZip (Windows, Linux), Zipeg (Windows, Mac OS X), ALZip (Windows), along with the free version of unrar (which is available for Linux and FreeBSD). Mac OS X readers include Stuffit Expander, The Unarchiver and Zipeg. Stuffit Expander is also available for Mac OS Classic with RAR support for this platform.


WinRAR is commercial software (or 40-day trial) available for Microsoft Windows. It is the only graphical tool that can write modern RAR files (RAR version 3). WinRAR's command line equivalent, RAR, is also commercial software (or 40-day trial), available for Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, MS-DOS, OS/2 and FreeBSD. Additionally, the unrar tool from the same distributor can be used on the aforementioned platforms to extract RAR files but not to write them.

Roshal created the RAR file format and developed programs for packing and unpacking RAR files, originally for DOS which were later ported to other platforms. The main Windows version of the archiver, known as WinRAR, is distributed as trialware, requiring payment after 40 days (although it can still be used after this period, albeit with nags); shareware versions of this program are also available for GNU/Linux, Mac OS X, DOS, OS/2, and FreeBSD, though they are all called simply "RAR". RARLAB distributes the source code and binaries for a freeware command-line "unrar" program, although it is not under a free software license. This program can only decompress/extract, not create RAR files.

Other programs

There is a free software decompression library called "unrarlib", licensed under the GPL, based on an old version of unrar with permission from the author Eugene Roshal, but it can only decompress archives created by RAR versions up to 2.x. Archives created by RAR 2.9 and later (which are most RAR archives found today) use a different format which is not supported by the free library.

Stuffit Expander (freeware associated with the paid-for Stuffit compression program) also decodes RAR files.

Free RAR Extract Frog (Windows freeware with instructions in 50+ languages) also decodes RAR files.

The open source software archiver 7-Zip decompresses newer RAR files using a closed-source free of charge plug-in under the "unRAR license"; the license makes the plug-in source-available but not free software. The free software Linux archivers File Roller, Ark, and Xarchiver can use the non-free unrar program to decompress RAR files, if it is found in the system path.


Is a free of charge Dll and Library that can be downloaded from the official WinRAR site. It is found under Extras.

Use one of the following applications to open RAR files:

  1. Info7-Zip

    License: Free
    Operating system: Win 7, Vista, XP, 2008, 2003, 2000, NT, ME, 98

  2. InfoWinZip
  3. InfoWinRAR (32-bit)
  4. InfoWinRAR (64-bit)
  5. Info7-Zip
  6. InfoFree RAR Extract Frog