If you’ve ever gotten a mail with a RAR or ZIP file attached, and have not been sure how to open it, then this guide is for you. These are two popular compressed file formats used to reduce the number of space files take up. This guide explains how to open RAR and ZIP files on a PC, Mac, or Mobile device. You might know how to open them on your computer but still find it more difficult on your phone or tablet. The good newsis that it’s easy to do with the right software, no matter what device you’re using. On the Mac and PC, software like WinZip and WinRAR easily open all kinds of archives, but they’re not the simplest tools we found. Read on to find out the easiest way to unpack an archive.
If you have Windows 7 or 8, the OS can open ZIP files without any software. Opening RAR files will require a free tool called 7-Zip. Once you install 7-Zip, follow these steps to open RAR files:
- Right-click the rar file to be opened.
- Select “7-Zip > Extract files”.
- In the pop-up box that shows up, choose the folder where you’d like to extract the compressed files and click “OK.” If you choose “Extract Here” instead, then the files are saved in the folder where the archive is saved.
Install a free RAR extractor app such as “RAR Extractor Free” to open RAR files on Mac OS X. Once installed, follow these steps:
- Right-click the RAR file and select “Open With.”
- Now choose “RAR Extractor Free” from the list of programs. This automatically extracts the contents of the archive in the directory the RAR file is in.
After opening an archive with “Open With” once, you can unpack future archives by double-clicking on the file.
You can also use the free app “The Unarchiver,” which has excellent support for multi-part archive files. After installation, you can launch The Unarchiver to associate file types with the app.
After associating file types, you can extract a RAR archive by simply double-clicking the file. The Unarchiver creates a folder with the same name as the archive and then extracts its contents to the new folder. Note that if you’re working with a multi-part RAR archive, you’ll need to open the first file in the set. The Unarchiver will handle the additional files in the set automatically.
Due to iOS’s restrictions on access to the file system, opening compressed files is not straightforward. Most apps will ask you to pay for access to cloud storage services such as Dropbox. However, there are ad-supported free apps such as “Zip & RAR File Extractor Free” that let you open compressed files. Here’s how to do it.
- Open the app which has your RAR file. If it was sent over email, then open the email app. If it is in a cloud storage app, then open that.
- Tap the ZIP or RAR file you want to open.
- Depending on the app, you will either see a menu pop up asking you which app you want to open the file with or an error saying the app can’t open the file.
- Hit the share button (a box with an arrow pointing upward) if you see the latter.
- This will show you the menu mentioned in step 3. Next, select “Open in Zip Extractor” to open your compressed file.
- Tap ‘Extract’ to see the files in the RAR file.
Extracting compressed files is very easy on Android. Here’s how you can do that quickly.
- Install the “free RAR” for the Android app.
- Open the app and navigate to the folder that has your RAR file. To find your SD card, tap the “three books” icon on the top left.
- Once you’ve found the RAR file, tap on it to open it.
If you’re a BlackBerry 10 user, you can install Android apps installing the Amazon Appstore to simplify the process.
- Head to Amazon and follow the instructions to download and install the Appstore.
- Now, from the Appstore, install “Easy Unrar” and open the app.
- If you get a RAR file as an email attachment, tapping the file will open it in “Easy Unrar.”
- If the file is on your phone, open “Easy Unrar” and go to the file folder.
- Check the RAR file you want to open, then tap “Open Archive.” Now select the files you want to extract and tap “Extract.”
Microsoft’s Windows Phone has a free app to help you open RAR files. Go through these instructions to open them.
- Install ‘Archiver’ from the Windows Phone store.
- Once the app is installed, it will open all RAR files in email attachments as soon as you tap those.
- You can also open the app to open downloaded RAR files. Then, all you need to do is swipe left to sign in to SkyDrive and open RAR files stored in the cloud.
That is how you open RAR files on any device for free.