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Things to know about the RAR File

RAR files are data containers or compressed files that hold one or more other folders and files in them. But these files need special software to extract and open out the contents. Here is some information about this file type.

Uses of RAR Files

When downloading software for your computer, you may run into RAR files. Software distributors and file-sharing sites may put their files in this format to quickly compress them down to a smaller size. This allows users to download the file faster. Some of the files are also split into different parts for seamless transmission.

These files also come in handy when sharing a long list of files with your friends or family. For example, if you have to share photos. Instead of downloading every single image file, you can compile the pictures into a RAR file and share it with your friends or family.

Besides helping you save on download time, these files can be protected with encryption, so their contents remain hidden.

Pros of RAR Files

  • Multiple files are bundled together so you can share various files simultaneously. So you don’t have to waste time sending files one by one.
  • The file type supports the error recovery mechanism where the chances of data loss are significantly reduced.
  • It compresses data and reduces the file size during transfer. Therefore, the transfer process is faster.
  • The files are encrypted, so you can securely share your photos or other files.

Cons of RAR Files

RAR requires a third-party tool called WinRAR Archiver to extract and compress files. Unfortunately, the file type is not free and does not offer password-based encryption. Furthermore, you cannot create RAR files using WinRAR.

These are some drawbacks of RAR, and these are overcome by ZIP. So ZIP files are created using programs like WinZip, Freebyte Zip, and WinRAR. Also, it provides password-based encryption. The best part about ZIP is that the file is a free and open standard archive supported by several software across the world.

Since ZIP is a universal format recognized by most platforms and devices, you may wonder how to convert RAR to a ZIP. Online converters are readily available that you can use to convert these files.

How to Create RAR Files?

  • macOS

The first step is to install WinRAR on your Mac, and for this, go to the WinRAR download page > click on RAR on macOS and download the installation package.

Double-click to download the package, and then it will extract the files to a RAR folder. Head to the RAR folder > right-click on RAR to open the file.

In case you get a warning about the source, click Open.

Now that you have WinRAR command line tools on your Mac computer, it will be easy to create RAR files quickly, and you don’t have to deal with Terminal.

You can create a Quick Action for creating RAR files by opening Spotlight search and opening Automator. Then, go to File > New > select Quick Action. Next, scroll down the actions menu and double-click on Run Shell Script.

  • Windows OS

You can create a RAR file on your Windows computer by installing supported software on your system. However, it would be best if you had WinRAR to create RAR files, so you must start installing it on your system.

After downloading WinRAR on your system, open Windows Explorer and head to the folder containing the files you need to convert to the RAR format. For instance, head to This PC > Desktop > click the file you want to convert on your desktop. You can also go to Drive D or E and choose the file you wish to convert.

If there are multiple files in the folder, you need to select all of them with Shift + Click and then right-click to get the menu options. Choose the option to Add ‘file name’.rar. This will create a RAR folder, and all the files will be grouped in the same folder.

The converted files will be placed in the same location as your current files.

You can also create RAR files in other ways. For instance, click Add to Archive to create RAR files or choose the Compress and Email option. In both these cases, you can change the location and name of the RAR file you are making and then use the Add to Archive option.


So if you need to compress your files and share them with others, you can choose the RAR format. However, the format requires specialized software to open the compressed files and also to create RAR files. This is why a lot of people continue to rely on ZIP. Luckily, RAR files can be easily converted to ZIP, and then you can share them or upload them according to your requirements.