So you downloaded a great new application. Unfortunately, when you try to open it, Windows tells you it doesn’t know what to do with a RAR file. In this article, we will explain what RAR files are and how to open them in Microsoft Windows.
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RAR files are a type of file archive – similar to ZIP files. Archives contain one or more files or folders. The archive not only neatly packages the files, but also shrinks them without modifying them. This is called compression. In order to decompress the files, you will need to install a piece of software that can read the RAR file.
The RAR format was created by Eugene Roshal to allow for better encryption and compression than the popular Zip archive format. The RAR format also has better support for multi-part archives over its competitors.
Although you need a license for WinRAR to create RAR archives, there are free decompression applications you can use to extract the contents of a RAR file. In this article, I will show you how to use a free archive extraction program called 7-Zip to read your RAR file. Note that 7-Zip is compatible with Windows 7, Vista, and XP as well as older versions of the Windows operating system.
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How to open RAR files in Windows
First, you will need a client that can open and extract the contents of a RAR file.