RAR file format

1. What is a RAR file

RAR is the native format of WinRAR archiver. Like other archives, RAR file is a data container storing one or several files in compressed form. If you downloaded RAR file from Internet, you need to unpack its contents in order to use it.

2. How to open a RAR file

WinRAR provides the complete support for RAR files, so you can both create and unpack them. If you installed WinRAR on your computer and downloaded RAR file, you can double click on RAR file icon to open it in WinRAR and browse its contents. Then you can select all files, press "Extract To" button, enter the destination path and press "OK" to start extraction. Another and likely simpler way is to right click on the RAR file in Explorer and select one of WinRAR extraction commands in the context menu. "Extract to ...", "Extract Here" and "Extract to <folder>" commands are available in RAR file context menu if "Shell integration" option left enabled when installing WinRAR.

Some RAR files can be parts of multi-volume sequences. WinRAR can create a few smaller archive files instead of a big one. Such file are also known as volumes. Their names end with .part1.rar for the first volume, .part2.rar for the second and so on. Place all volumes to the same folder and start extraction from the first volume to unpack them all.

3. RAR versus ZIP

Compared to ZIP file format, RAR provides a number of advanced features, such as more convenient multivolume archives, tight compression including the special solid mode, recovery records to repair an archive even in case of physical data damage.

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