ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Open RAR Files in Windows (for Free)

Updated on March 1, 2020
I have some important files in a .RAR. This guide will show you how to unRAR a file/folder.
I have some important files in a .RAR. This guide will show you how to unRAR a file/folder. | Source

If you've downloaded a file with the .rar extension and you've made it here, you're probably wondering how to open the folder. There are a few issues when it comes to opening .rar files:

  • Unlike a zip file, you can't just right click the folder and click "open."
  • WinRAR, very popular software that unRARs files, can set you back a few bucks

So how in the heck do you get that folder open!? Don't worry, it's actually super easy!

There is an awesome, free, open source program to open rar files called 7-Zip. In fact, 7-Zip will also allow you to quickly and easily pack and unpack .7z, .bzip2, .gzip, .tar, .wim, .xz, and .zip files. In addition, it will allow you unpack .arj, .cab, .chm, .deb, .dmg, .fat, .hfs, .iso, .lzh, .lzma, .msi, .ntfs, .rpm, .udf, .vhd, .wim and .z files (among a handful of others.) Pretty nifty and powerful software, right?

This guide will show you how to extract a .rar file using 7-Zip, so let's get started!

The 7-Zip download page
The 7-Zip download page | Source

Did you know?

RAR stands for Roshal ARchive. This archive file format was designed by Eugene Roshal.

Download 7-Zip

To unRAR your file, you'll need to download and install 7-Zip. To do this, download the 7-Zip installer from the 7-Zip website.

Once the file downloads, double-click it and follow the steps in the installation wizard to install it. Once it installs, you're ready to unRAR files.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Right click and select 7-ZipSelect "Extract files..."Choose the extract locationYay, it's extracting!
Right click and select 7-Zip
Right click and select 7-Zip | Source
Select "Extract files..."
Select "Extract files..." | Source
Choose the extract location
Choose the extract location | Source
Yay, it's extracting!
Yay, it's extracting! | Source

How to Open a RAR File

Once you've installed 7-Zip, follow these steps to open the file:

  1. Right click the .rar file you would like to extract
  2. Select 7-Zip from the list.
  3. In the next menu, select "Extract files..."
  4. Select where you would like the file to extract to. (I usually select the same folder the rar file is in or the desktop.)
  5. Click "OK" and wait for 7-Zip to finish extracting.

Now you're ready to use your newly extracted files and you didn't have to pay a cent!

The original RAR and the extracted folder
The original RAR and the extracted folder | Source
Yay! Extracted files! I can actually use these!
Yay! Extracted files! I can actually use these! | Source

After you extract your RAR, you'll have two files/folders: Your original folder that's still in its original .rar format and an extracted version which is usually in a folder.

You're free to delete the .rar file after extraction. Removing it won't harm or delete the files in your extracted folder.

If you'd like to play around with packing files with 7-Zip, right click on a file, select 7-Zip, and click "Add to archive..." Here you can pack your file into an archive. Select the format you would like to use and click OK.


Before extracting a file, you'll really want to consider where you got the file. If it's a file from a trusted source (like a close friend or a company you trust), then you should be fine.

If the file is from a less than reputable source like a torrent site, you might be risking your computer's security by extracting the file. Torrented RAR files are notorious for containing viruses, links to survey sites, and not actually containing the files you intended to download.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)