RAR File Extension  What is .Rar and how to unzip? ▷ 2020

Probably you downloaded a file from the internet, or you received an email with multiple files attached to Gmail, you decided to download them all at once and when looking at the download folder you have noticed that you downloaded a file whose icon is made up of three color books, mounted one on another.

Basically these are multiple files compressed into one that allow us to save a large amount of space, since its size is smaller due to the compression process.

To learn more about it in this tutorial you will see what files with RAR extension are, how to open them on computers or mobile devices, what are the best programs to run these files and what differences are they from the ZIP format.

What is .RAR files and what are they used for?

files with .RAR extension

A file with RAR extension it is nothing more than a multiple folder files that have been grouped into a single file compressed and reduced in size.

Those files they are usually compressed by a program called WinRar or some others that work in a similar way. There are many extensions for compressed files, but this is one of the most used.

As usual are used to reduce the size of a specific series of files and put them together in the same file, thus saving a significant amount of space on our computer.

How to open .RAR files on smartphones or computers?

If you have received a file of this type, you will surely think that it came with defects, but the truth is that it is not. So Today we will tell you how you can open it to review its content with different operating systems Take note!

On Windows PC

open RAR files in Windows

Download WinRAR for Windows

Opening a RAR file is extremely easy from a Windows computer. We will only have to use the program par excellence to open this type of files: WinRar. So if we don’t have it, we must download and install it in order to unzip our file.

open these types of files: WinRar

Simply locate the compressed file with the extension RAR whose content we want to view and right click on it.

We will mainly have four options:

  • Open: Through this selection we will be able to view the files contained in the compressed file and navigate through their folders.
  • Extract archives: This option will allow us to extract the content of our compressed file in the folder we want. Once we select it, a window will be shown where we can locate a destination folder for our files.
  • Extract here: If we select this option we will be able to decompress our archive and save all the files in the current folder.
  • Extract to (Folder Name): We will use this option if we want to extract our files in a more orderly way in the same place where we are, but saving them in a folder whose name will be the same as the compressed file.

On Mac computers

The Unarchiver

In our computer with MacOS we can also decompress the RAR files that we want, downloading from the App Store an application called The Unarchiver.

  • To run the program once we have installed it we will use the option “Search for” in our team and in the search bar we will place “Unarchiver”.
  • We will locate the application The Unarchiver which will surely be in the first option.
  • When we have opened the application, a pop-up window will appear and we will click on “Always ask” at the time we are told, so that we can always select the location to unzip.
  • We will open the Finder and we will look for the file that we want to decompress.
  • We will select the file and then go to “Files> Open with> theunarchiver.app”.
  • We will now choose the destination folder where we want to extract our file and when we are in it we will click on “Extract”. In this way, our file will proceed to decompress.

On Android mobile phones

WinZip android

If we have an Android device we can open RAR files with an app called WinZip that we can download from the Google Play Store. We must remember that the compressed file must be on our device or in a removable memory, so if it is in our email we must download it before performing this operation.

  • When we have downloaded and installed the application, let’s run it.
  • Once we have opened WinZip on our Android we will click on “Start”. Although we may have to circumvent several ads before we can.
  • We will locate the RAR file browsing through our files, either on our mobile or in the removable memory.
  • We will click on the compressed file for a couple of seconds until you see a pop-up menu displayed.
  • We will select the option “Unzip to” and subsequently we will choose the destination folder or if we want to send them to Google Drive or Dropbox.
  • Once we are located inside the folder where we want to unzip the files, we will select “Unzip here”, a blue button in the lower right.
  • Ready, our RAR file will have been unzipped in the folder we have selected.

On iPhone devices with iOS

iZip apple

If we want to open and extract a RAR file on our device with iOS it will be very simple, for this we will have to download the iZip application from the App Store for free.

  • Once let’s download and install iZip On our device, we will look for the file we want to open, either in email or in a cloud storage application.
  • We will select the file and then the option “Open in” A containing a rectangle with an up arrow.
  • In the pop-up menu we move to the right until we find the iZip icon. We will select the option “Copy to iZip”.
  • The RAR file will run. After this we will be shown the dialogue “Would you like to extract all files?” and we will select “Okay”.
  • Ready, our file will have been unzipped and we can access it.

List of the best alternative applications and programs to open a document with a .RAR extension

Yes, WinRAR is definitely the program par excellence when compressing, opening and decompressing files with a RAR extension or similar, more however it is not the only that will allow us to do so. If we need to open or extract the files from a compressed archive, we can easily do it through a series of alternative programs that we will present below.


PeaZip program

This open source software represents a very useful alternative to WinRAR, since it will allow us to compress and decompress files easily and quickly. 7-Zip is a totally free program that supports a large number of formats including the RAR extension. As it is an open source application, it will not only allow us to work in Windows but we will also find different third-party versions for Linux and MacOS.


PeaZip program

This application is undoubtedly another great open source alternative to WinRAR, capable of decompressing files of different formats, including RAR. The program is available for both Windows and Linux And the best of all is that there is a version that we can run from a USB memory so that we do not need to install it on our computer. Great right?



This tool is extremely simple to use and represents a great alternative if we want to decompress a RAR file or some other compressed file in another format. This program has two versions, a basic one that will help us to unzip our RAR file and another for companies with more advanced functions.

B1 Free Archiver


There is no doubt that one of the best alternatives to WinRAR is B1 Free Archiver, an open source application that can help us to decompress RAR files and other formats easily and very quickly. This program has official versions for Windows, Linux, MacOS and Android.

What are the differences between .Rar and .Zip files?

What are the differences between .Rar and ZIp files

Yes, surely we have noticed that the files with RAR and ZIP extensions are identified in the same way, they are opened with the same software and they also work in a similar way. We know that both files can be created by WinRAR and that fulfill the function of being compressed files in order to reduce their size.

Now, these two files have some differences between them:

  • The first is the age of the files in ZIP format It has been used long before the existence of RAR so it is compatible with many more programs.
  • While compression to ZIP files is much faster, RAR is much better and allows file recovery.

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, we will answer you as soon as possible, and it will also be of great help to more members of the community. Thank you! 😉

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