How to Open a .RAR File Extension

By Andrew Todd

Updated September 15, 2017

A RAR file acts as a container for files.
i Business briefcase image by Dumitrescu Ciprian from

A RAR file is a compressed archive of files and folders. RAR files allow users to easily reduce the sizes of files and folders. RAR files can be stored or shared via email and peer-to-peer networks while consuming less hard drive space and bandwidth. To create and extract RAR files, you will need a RAR extraction utility such as WinRar, UnRarX or 7-Zip file manager.

Locate the RAR archive that you would like to extract using Windows Explorer, or Finder (for Mac users).

Double-click on the RAR archive to launch your system’s default RAR extraction tool, and to display the contents of the folder in the RAR extraction tool.

Click “Extract” to extract the contents of the RAR archive to an uncompressed folder.

If prompted, choose the location of the folder to save the contents to and click “Save” or “Extract.” Otherwise, the contents will be saved in the same location as the RAR source file.


In many RAR extraction utilities, you can simply highlight the contents of the RAR file from within the program and then drag them into a new folder.