How to open RAR files without WinRAR [Full Guide]

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
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  • RAR files are a popular format for transporting data and saving disk space.
  • The guide below will show you exactly how to extract RAR files on Windows 10.
  • To read more about this versatile file format, visit our dedicated RAR Hub.
  • For more tutorials on how to open various files, visit our File Opener page.
Extract RAR Files windows 10

Extracting your .rar files in Windows 10 can be a task that will take you no more than five minutes of your time but you will have to be aware of the software needed for you to be able to extract your files.

The software available for Windows 10 in order to extract your files can be free if you use a trial version or you can buy the full version depending on your needs.

Usually, the best application suitable for Windows 10 is the WinRAR app that you can buy from any available Windows Store or you could download the7 Zip and not pay anything for it.

We will explain how you can use both of the applications and get your files extracted in no time. Follow the tutorial below for detailed explanations on how to extract the .rar files in Windows 10.


How do I extract RAR files in Windows 10?

Decide what software you will use to extract RAR files

Despite the file format’s name and the fact that we associate RAR files by default with WinRAR, there are certainly better alternatives out there.

While WinRAR is indeed free to use, it is somewhat dated and hasn’t seemed to have evolved past the basic archiving and unzipping phase.

That being the case, and given this guide’s topic, here is one tool that can certainly handle RAR file just as better as WinRAR.

There are plenty of tools out there that can handle archiving, and unzipping files, but few of them are reliable and error-free. As such, we’ve decided to recommend WinZip in the case at hand.

This product offers unparalleled compression capabilities, allowing you to store data and files in a lossless manner at almost half the storage space as other file compression tools.

More so, it runs very fast when it comes to compressing and unzipping large amounts of data. All in all, if you want a tool that will extract RAR and ZIP files fast and efficiently, WinZip is the solution for you.

WinZip

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Follow the steps from below for a quick understanding of how to extract the .rar files:

  1. After you successfully installed the WinZip application to your Windows 10 device you will need to locate your .rar file.
  2. Right-click on the .rar file to open the folders menu.
  3. Left-click on the feature WinZip you have presented in that menu.
  4. Now, after left-clicking on the WinZip feature, you will have a series of options available to choose from.
    • If you want to extract the .rar files to the location you have the .rar folder then you will need to left-click on the feature Extract Here.
      • Note: For viewing the contents of the .rar folder you only have to double click (left click) on the folder.
    • If you want to extract the .rar files to your /Downloads directory you only have to left-click on the feature Extract to Downloads.
    • If you want to extract the .rar file to a specific directory left click on the Extract files… and under the Extract to: feature select the directory you want to copy them to and then left-click on the OK button presented in the lower side of the screen.

So now that you have your .rar file extracted you can go ahead and carry out your work on the Windows 8 and Windows 10 device without any issue. If you have any questions regarding the extraction of the .rar file, please write us below and we will see what we can do to help you further


How to extract RAR without WinRar

If you don’t want to use WinRar to extract files, you can use an alternative solution. For example, you can download Directory Opus, a very powerful file manager for Windows 10.

Many users believe that the best file managers should be versatile and powerful enough to handle any file management needs and requirements that users may have. However, not all file managers can handle archiving and unarchiving files.

Directory Opus brings many useful features and options to your computer and can easily replace WinRAR’s archiving functionality.


How to extract RAR without password

Some .rar files may be password protected. The good news is that you can extract them even if you forgot the password.

The easiest way to do that is to download and install a dedicated RAR password recovery tool, such as the RAR Password Genius developed by iSunShare Software.

directory opus extract rar file

This small, yet powerful password recovery utility can help you recover lost or forgotten passwords for RAR archives create by various file compression tools.

RAR Password Genius can recover complex passwords within minutes. The tool comes in two versions: a free version and a premium version. You can use the free version to recover passwords of up to three characters.


Extract RAR file access denied

 

Sometimes, even if you have the most reliable RAR extractor and you recovered your password, the error message Access denied occurs.

This issue may be triggered by access permission limitations, among other things. The good news is that you can fix that by taking ownership of the respective folder.

  • Right-click on the RAR folder > select Properties
  • Go to the Security tab > click on the Advanced button

rar permissions

  • Go to the Owner tab in Advanced Security Settings
  • Select Edit > select the problematic user account from Change Owner. You may give everyone permission by adding everyone.
  • Click on Other users or groups > type Everyone in the field provided > hit OK.
  • Select User/Group > click Apply >OK.
  • Change the owner name > click OK > exit the Properties windows.

You have now taken ownership of the folder. Now you need to get permission to access it.

  • Right-click on the folder > select Properties
  • Select the Edit button > click OK
  • In the permission windows, select user/group or click Add to add other users

add rar permissions

  • Under Allow > check Full Control to assign full access rights.
  • Click OK > confirm > exit Properties

There you go, we hope that this guide helped you extract your RAR files. If you have any questions or suggestions feel free to use the comments section below.


The guide above also covers some of the following topics as well:

  • Windows 10 RAR file extractor – All software mentioned in this article can be used to extract RAR files in Windows 10.
  • Unpack RAR files Windows 10 – Both WinZip and WinRAR can be used to unpack RAR files in Windows 10

FAQ: Learn more about RAR files

  • How do I open RAR files?

RAR files can be opened by using the proper archiving and unzipping tools.

  • How do I open a RAR file without WinZip?

If you don’t own WinZip, one solution is to try WinRAR instead.

  • What does RAR mean?

The file type has its name from the developer that created it, Eugene Roshal.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2017 and has been since revamped and updated in July 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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