Can Windows 10 open RAR files? Yes, Windows 10 can open RAR files. Just like any other compressed file, RAR files are a proprietary archive file that supports data compression, error recovery and file spanning. While you can open RAR files in Windows 10, it’s not supported by default. We will have to use third-party free compression software to uncompress a RAR file to extract all the files and folders inside it. By default, Windows doesn’t recognize RAR file format.
If you are wondering why was there a need for another compression technology? It’s about functionality. The primary software, RAR Lab that can manage RAR files offer tons of functionality including better compression, the option to split compressed files, and later rejoin them, higher security feature, and so on.
You can download the software from RAR Lab, and unarchive, but it keeps prompting you to buy the software. A better alternative is 7-Zip. It supports WIM files, RAR5 archives, UEFI BIOS files, ext2/ ext3/ ext4 images, GPT, VMDK, VDI images, and single file QCOW2.
Open RAR files in Windows 10
- Download and install 7-Zip.
- Open the location of your .rar file, and right-click on it.
- Look for a contextual menu which says “7-Zip”.
- Hover your mouse over it, and choose extract files.
- In the next window, you can select a path
- Enter a password if the RAR file is protected, and other options.
Your RAR file is extracted now.
List of other free software that can open RAR files:
- Extract Now: The biggest advantage of using this software is that it can extract contents of multiple archive files quickly and easily – all at the same time
- PeaZip is a free software RAR unarchiver for Microsoft Windows, Linux, and BSD, with GUI. It supports both old and new RAR file formats
- RAR Opener is a Windows Store app that can open popular archives like RAR, 7Z, ZIP, TAR, LZH, etc.
- The Unarchiver is also a free software unarchiver for RAR and other formats.
- You can also extract RAR files on Windows 10 using these free Microsoft Store apps.
So it is possible to open RAR files on Windows 10 for free, and without paying anything. However, it is possible that you might miss the extended functionality of the original software. So unless you need to manage, create, and split RAR files professionally, the free options are more than enough to get the job done.
Read next: How to open CFG files?