How to Download RAR Files

by Aurelio Locsin

If a file grows too large, it may become too unwieldy to download through a website or send via email. For example, Gmail restricts file attachment sizes to 25 MB or less, which is already too small to handle many multimedia videos. One way around this is to compress the file into a smaller size using a program like WinRAR. This produces a smaller archive known as a RAR file because of its ".rar" extension.

Right-click the link containing the RAR file and choose "Save Link As" from the popup menu. The "Save" dialogue appears with the title ending in a RAR extension such as "mymovie.rar." If an extension ending in a number, like "mymovie.r01" appears instead, you have a split RAR file. Because the compressed version may still prove too big to send, it may be split into smaller pieces, each of which have sequential file extensions like "mymovie.r02" and "mymovie.r03." Make sure to download all the parts.

Choose the folder in which to store the download. When downloading split RAR files, make sure all the pieces go to the same folder.

Enter a file name as needed or accept the default one. Then click "Save" to download the file.

Download, install and run a decompression program like the commercial WinRAR or the free Rar Extract Frog, both of which are linked under Resources. Open the RAR file through the application to restore it to its original size. If you have split files, your software may only show the first one in the sequence. But if all the parts are in the same directory, it will automatically assemble the pieces.

About the Author

Aurelio Locsin has been writing professionally since 1982. He published his first book in 1996 and is a frequent contributor to many online publications, specializing in consumer, business and technical topics. Locsin holds a Bachelor of Arts in scientific and technical communications from the University of Washington.