What is a RAR

What is a RAR file? (or a ZIP)

A RAR file (or a ZIP file) is essentially a container.  These files have the extension .RAR (or .ZIP)

RAR is the native format of the application WinRAR.  WinRAR is probably the most popular archiver in existence.  Like other archives, RAR files are data containers, they store one or several files in a compressed form.

RAR files and ZIP files are very common on Usenet, or the internet in general.  Instead of uploading the application, or the data with the information as-is, most people will “archive” it in a RAR or a ZIP file.

After you downloaded a RAR file from Internet, you need to unpack its contents in order to use it.

How do you Open a RAR file? (or a ZIP)

WinRAR provides the complete support for RAR files, so you may both create and unpack them.  If you installed WinRAR on your computer and downloaded RAR file from Internet, you may double click on RAR file icon to open it in WinRAR, select all files, press “Extract To” button, enter a destination path and press “OK”.  Another way is to click on the RAR file in Explorer using the right mouse button.  If you enabled “Shell integration” option when installing WinRAR, the file context menu (Right Click in Windows Explorer) will contain “Extract to …” item.

How do you Open a RAR volume? (.ro1, r.02, part1.rar, etc.)

Some RAR files can be parts of multi-volume sequences.  In WinRAR you can split a huge archive to a few smaller files, which are called volumes.  They may have extensions .rar (the first volume), .r00, .r01, …, or .part1.rar (the first volume), .part2.rar, …, etc.  If you need to unpack volumes, place all them to the same folder and start extraction from the first volume.

Volumes are very common for large files (>500MB).  Make sure you download all of the volume so that you can fully extract the files!

Where can you get an application to open a RAR or a ZIP?