How Can I Open A Rar File – Some Practical Advice For Opening Different File Types

A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing.
~ Emo Philips

RAR stands for Roshal Archive which is a proprietary archiving format that compresses data files. It is similar to the ZIP file format and in fact if you’re wondering how you can open a RAR file then you can use many of the same software applications that open ZIP files.

RAR was developed by the Russian software engineer Eugene Roshal, hence RAR’s name. You know you are dealing with a RAR compressed file by the extension which is .rar.

In order to create a RAR file you need to buy commercial software such as WinRAR and this is one of the reasons why at One Plate One Bowl we prefer .zip or ZIP files as most operating systems already come with software that allows you to compress files into .zip which for all intents and purposes is just as good as .rar compressed files but free.

Both .rar and .zip uncompressing or reading .zip and .rar files is now native to both PCs and Macs. Though the ability to write or compress files to .rar is limited to having a paid program like WinRAR for Windows based systems and RAR for Mac based computers. Though both PCs and Macs can write or compress files to .zip.

My best advice for you if you want to find the simple, living lightly way to learning how to open a RAR file is to use the software already installed in your PC or Mac.

When researching to write this blog post practically all the top sites showing how to uncompress .rar or RAR files wanted to sell me BitZipper or WinRAR or some other program. Why can’t there just be free options right at the front of the search engines. So I’ve decided to give you the free way.

At OPOB we’re all about living lightly and frugally. And buying a piece of software when there are free ways of doing the same thing seems not only redundant but crassly commercial.

So, even though you can get WinRAR for both PCs and Mac, and even though it will keep working after the trial period, you’ll keep getting inundated with upsells.

If you really feel that you need to be able to compress or write to the .rar extension then you’d do well to buy a paid software program like WinRAR which as mentioned is available for both PCs and Macs. However, this is not a review of paid programs so check out which one is the best for your needs.

But today we’re only interested in finding out how to unrar a RAR file or how to open up a RAR file. This is very easy.

I’ll be doing it on a Mac because that is the computer system I am using at the moment to write this. But I’ll give you the Windows version too.

How to open a RAR file on the Mac

  1. Right click the .rar file or compressed file or “control” + click
  2. Choose “Open”
  3. You’re done πŸ™‚

How to open a RAR file on the PC

  1. Right click on the .rar or compressed file Β or “Ctrl” + click
  2. Choose “Extract All…”
  3. Choose the location you want to extract the files too
  4. Click on “Extract”
  5. Voila! You’re done πŸ™‚


This is basically the same approach if you want to know how to unzip or open a .zip file or any compressed filed on your PC or Mac. Or should I say at least the most common ones.

The key here as with everything, is just take a moment to look for the information you need before you allow yourself to get sold down the river with a real bill of goods. Our most precious resource is time and we spend a lot of our time earning money to buy things that we don’t need.

You don’t need fancy unarchiving software when your computer comes with a sufficient one already installed. Live well, think before you act and guard your time rabidly.

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