WinRAR: The Complete Guide on WinRAR

winrar how to use

As the internet proliferates many areas around the globe, it's the first option for people who want to share files online. But bulky files may be too complicated or cost too much bandwidth, to send via the internet from one point to the other. This is where WinRAR, an efficient and innovative compression tool, comes into the picture.

What is WinRAR?

WinRAR is a powerful archive manager with the ability to unpack RAR, ZIP, and other compressed files downloaded from the internet. These files are compressed using a compression tool, such as WinRAR before they can be shared over the internet. Compression makes it easy to condense large files into just a few kilobytes or megabytes before attaching them to emails.

If you have received multiple files over the internet, you are certainly looking at the RAR file format. Your device won't be able to open or unpack them without a decompression tool. You will find a variety of decompression tools out there, but WinRAR should be the lightest and most efficient since it handles most compression formats.

Your device may also have a native app for decompressing downloaded files, so you may not need a third-party unpacking application to do the job. But native apps may have certain limitations, such as not being able to unpack some compression file formats. Ensure you can decompress any file by installing WinRAR on your device.

How to get WinRAR

Obtaining and installing WinRAR shouldn't be a difficult task if you know where and how to get it. Naturally, people look for a free app before going for the paid version. The question on your mind could be: is WinRAR free? And in this age when cyber threats are on the rise, you may also be asking: is WinRAR safe?

Here is how to obtain WinRAR for Windows and other common software platforms:

For Windows

the tool on Windows than on any other platform.

Here are the steps to getting WinRAR for Windows:

  • Visit to choose the version of WinRAR that corresponds with your Windows version. RARLAB is the official home of WinRAR and RAR archivers, hence, the safest place for downloading RAR- related applications.
  • On the left of the RARLAB page, locate and click Downloads. A list of RAR versions will show up. Choose the one for your specific version of Windows, for example, if you're running the 32-bit version, choose the 32 bit WinRAR.
  • Once the archiver has been downloaded to your Windows device, locate it in the Download folder, and launch the installer. It will install on your PC, and be ready for use.
  • To use WinRAR, locate the compressed file with RAR extension, right-click, and choose Open With. Select WinRAR in the list that shows up, and the tool will unpack your compressed file.
  • For Mac

    To find WinRAR download for Mac, visit the official WinRAR website, and select the version for Mac OS. It would be labeled RAR for Mac OS X. Download the file to your Mac OS X device. You will need to use the embedded Archive Utility to extract files from the TAR archive (the WinRAR installation file will download as a TAR archive utility).

    To complete the installation, copy unrar, rarfiles.lst, rar and default.sfx to the Bin folder. You may need a password to complete this action.


You need to know what WinRAR is, and where to get a safe copy of WinRAR so you can download the archiver to your device, and use it to unpack various compression formats. With this tool on your device, you may not need a WinRAR alternative.

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