File compression has become a common feature as more people share files online. Compression makes it easier to send files via the internet because it condenses them into smaller sizes which are easier to upload and download. One common file compression standard is the .RAR extension used to create more densely packed archives compared to other formats.

Once you receive a file with the .RAR extension, you may not be sure how to go about it, especially if you have no file extractor on your device. This guide will help you learn how to extract RAR files.

What is a RAR file?

Learning to how to extract RAR can be much easier if you understand what a RAR file is, in the first place. It's a compressed file created by the WinRAR archiver, which can condense a file several megabytes to just a few kilobytes.

Similar to the Zip file, RAR files require extraction in order to read or use them. Your device may not open them natively, hence, the need for an efficient RAR file extractor, such as WinZip. But regardless of the tool you use, it shouldn't be too difficult to extract RAR files.

How to extract RAR files

You certainly need a RAR file extractor before you can think about the process of extracting RAR files on your device. Here is how you can extract RAR files on common software platforms:

Extracting RAR files on Mac

It should be easy to learn how to extract RAR files on Mac because the process is relatively simple. First, you need to ensure the RAR file is saved on your Mac before proceeding. You have several options to extract RAR files Mac:

  • Option 1: Locate the RAR file on your device and right-click it. On the drop-down menu that opens, choose Open With. This should haul up a list of programs available on your Mac that can open the RAR file. The RAR extractor will decompress the file and deposit the contents in the directory of the RAR file.
  • Option 2: Double-click on the RAR file and the RAR file will decompress automatically using the RAR extractor on your Mac.

Extracting RAR files on Windows

You may not need a RAR extractor if using a Windows 10 device. However, this may not always work, so you need to have a RAR extractor tool on the device. The steps to extract RAR files Windows 10 are pretty similar to those on Mac.

  • Locate the RAR file and double-click on its icon. It should begin to extract the files in the same directory as the RAR file. If nothing happens, check to be sure you have the right RAR extractor on your PC.
  • Alternatively, you can right-click on the RAR file, and select Open With. Choose your favorite RAR extractor from the list that shows up, and the process to extract RAR files Windows 10 will begin.

Extracting RAR files on Android

Many of the tools for opening RAR files on Android can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. Once you have one of them on your Android device, all you need to do is to launch the app. This process opens up a file explorer interface from which you can choose the RAR file you want to extract.

Extracting RAR files on iOS

Your iPhone has a native RAR extractor, but it works only with Zip files. This means that you will have to download a third-party app to decompress other RAR file formats. Locate Document browser, and select the RAR file you wish to open. The system will ask if you want to open it. Accept to initiate the process.


RAR files have become common as many people share files online. You need to find the right RAR file extractor to compress and decompress the files before uploading or downloading them. Learning how to extract RAR files should be easy with the right tools in place.

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