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How to Open RAR Files

How to Open RAR Files

This write-up is your complete guide to opening RAR files using tools on Windows and Mac OS X operating systems.
Shashank Nakate
A 'RAR' file stores data in a compressed format. These files are also known as compressed archives that contain folders to store files. Different mathematical techniques are used to reduce or compress the space required to store these files. The format is named after a Russian programmer, Eugene Roshal. RAR is the acronym derived from two words, Roshal Archive. These files can be compressed to a greater extent in comparison to the zip files due to the advanced algorithms used by them. The percentage of file compression achieved here is around 8-30% greater than zip files.

Opening RAR Files

The instructions for opening RAR files in both the 'Windows' and 'Mac' operating systems can be found below.

Windows Operating System
Tools like BitZipper, WinRAR, 7 Zip, and Alpha Zip could be used to open RAR files on a Windows OS platform.

BitZipper: One of the best Windows archive managers available in the market, BitZipper is useful in opening RAR, as well as Zip files. The user-friendly interface of the program allows even first-time computer users to access RAR files with ease. The classic interface of this tool enables experienced users to access the different functions of the product through the menu and toolbar options.

WinRAR: The archive manager called WinRAR can either be downloaded for free or one can just use its 40-day trial version. The WinRAR tool has the capability of opening RAR files, as well as decompressing them. This utility supports many formats other than RAR, such as ACE, ARJ, CAB, BZIP2, ISO, GZIP, TAR, LZH, etc.

7 Zip: It is an open source utility that works on the Windows OS platform. The 7 Zip tool has the following features:
  • This RAR extractor can be used with different formats like TAR, GZIP, BZIP2, 7z and ZIP.
  • The compression ratio is 2-10 % greater than WinZip and PKZip.
  • The 7 Zip utility provides a plug-in for the FAR Manager.
  • It can be integrated with the Windows Shell.
Alpha Zip: It is a plug-in used to work with RAR, Zip and Cab files. With the help of AlphaZip, the RAR files can be accessed, just like any other file.

Mac Operating System
The utilities like Stuffit and iArchiver are used to open RAR files on a Mac Operating system interface.

iArchiver: It is one of the most commonly used tools to open RAR files in the Mac OS environment. Along with them, it can also open Stuffit and Zip files. It is easy to use and provides the user with facilities like conversion from one format to another and archive creation.

Stuffit: This is one of the many utilities that allow a user to open RAR files. It contains a set of tools which helps in creating and opening different types of compressed archive files found on the Internet. The 'Quick Look' feature of Stuffit gives a 'peek' view of archives without the necessity to open them.