RAR Files Explained – What they are and how to open

You may have just downloaded a file with .rar extension, but you are not sure how to open it. Perhaps you tried a lot to open that strange file, but your windows reply that it can’t open such files. What would you do next? Don’t worry, if you’re trying hard to open the RAR file in your computer, this page would help you a lot. The following post entails detailed information about the RAR files and things you will need to open such files. Before we start, let us try to understand file compression and difference between these several file compression formats.

What Is File Compression?

Well there are loads of file formats that offer file compression facility. File compression is a process in which multiple documents, files and folders are bundled together into a single file, which is also called as an ‘archive’. The compressed file takes very low memory space than that of the individual files, thus making the transfer of large files easier.

RAR and ZIP are the most general compression formats. Windows natively supports packing and unpacking of ZIP files, but you need special software whenever you try to open/extract RAR files.


RAR Files Explained

RAR (.rar) file extension is used to compress and archive large number of files for easy data transfer and storage online. For instance, the RAR file may consists of several images compressed to make a single archive. In order to view these images (or any data in RAR), you will need to first unpack or ‘extract’ the RAR archive.

If the original file is too large, the .rar archive could be split into number of volumes or pieces. After splitting, you can transfer each of these bundles separately. These separate files are later reassembled with the help of file compression program. Each piece of a large multi-volume RAR bundle is named as file.part2.rar, file.part1.rar, and so on, or file.r01, file.rar, file.r02 and so on.

How to open .rar archive

For opening RAR archives, you should download and install the specific compression utility. This software allows you access or extract the original files, in their usable form. For this, no OS has in-built function to unpack RAR files and thus you have to download any 3rd party software tool to do this. You find a lot of free programs for RAR extraction, like Winrar for example.

Once you successfully complete the installation process, you are ready to extract the RAR files on your PC. For that, simple double click or right-click on the file and choose the correct option from context menu. Most of the file extraction utilities are integrated with Windows Shell, and you can see the options for file extraction right in the Windows context menu. You can also choose to extract files at your preferred location on PC.

To open multi-volume RAR file, you must have all pieces accessible. The extraction will not take place if you miss even a single file. Assuming that, you have all parts intact in one folder, double-click on the first piece of the archive. Now, click on the ‘Extract or Unpack’ button, all the parts will be automatically extracted to your specified location.