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PeaZip, free file archiver utility, Open Source WinRar / WinZip alternative software providing unified cross-platform portable GUI for tools as 7-Zip, FreeArc, PAQ, UPX.
Create 7Z, ARC, BZ2, GZ, PAQ, PEA, self-extracting archives, TAR, WIM, XZ, ZIP files
Open and extract 150+ archive types: ACE, CAB, DMG, ISO, RAR, UDF, ZIPX files...
Features includes: extract, create and convert multiple archives at once, split / join files, strong encryption with two factor authentication, encrypted password manager, secure delete, find duplicate files, calculate hash value, export job definition as script to automate backup / restore.

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Free RAR files utility: open and extract RAR format

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How to open and extract RAR files

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How to open and extract RAR files

RARrar file format is a proprietary archive format introduced by WinRARwinrar download (shareware, free for 40 days) for Microsoft Windows platform, and ported to Linux (only as command line extractor tool unrar) by the same Author of WinRAR Eugene Roshal. Initial release dates back to 1995, last RAR5 standard revision is from 2013.

RAR format is well known, and has a solid reputation for the high compression ratio, strong encryption and advanced data recovery capabilities (recovery records); those advantages over .zip format (even comparing to later WinZip's improvements), made WinRar and its native RAR format extremely popular.
Part of the success of RAR file type is also due to unrar algorithm being made available for free (with no reverse engineering clause) so the standard can be supported by third parts archival utilities -  even freeware ones, being the extraction algorithm, and code, not encumbered from patents and fees for developers.

PeaZip supports by default RAR browsing, testing and extraction on MS Windows and Linux, through the Open Source implementation rewritten as free software by Igor Pavlov for 7-Zip and p7zip projects.

To extract RAR files (one or more) through PeaZip you can:
  • Use context menu entry "Extract here" or "Extract here (to new folder)" to start immediate, complete de-compression of selected file(s)
  • Use context menu entry "Extract..." for full featured extraction form providing more options, as choosing output destination, provide password, skip or replace existing files, etc. before confirming with "Ok"

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To open a RAR archive in PeaZip (i.e. to inspect if it contains the expected data) double click on it if .rar file extension is associated to the program (it is the default for Microsoft Windows installable packages, but installing other archive managers afterwards can change file associations), otherwise rightclick it and use system's context menu "Open as archive" entry created by default by PeaZip (can be used also to attempt reading non-associated or unknown archive types), or system's "Open with" dialog to associate once or permanently .rar extension to PeaZip.
  • Within PeaZip archive explorer, rar file can be browsed and searched, and:
    • "Extract all to..." button (or Ctrl+E hotkey) triggers quick extraction, simply asking to select output path
    • "Extract" button shows extraction interface to extract all or selected content with full access to custom options
    • use context's menu Extract branch for unpacking all, displayed (all files and folders in current path inside the archive, or matching current search filter), or selected objects
    • drag & drop items from the archive to the system for direct extraction
    • doubleclick on an archived file to preview it
To convert RAR file to another archive type use "Convert" button.
Due PeaZip read-only support for RAR files, it can only work as converter from .rar format to a write-supported format (i.e. ZIP, TAR, or 7Z), but not convert existing archive into RAR format.
During archive conversion, content is extracted and then re-compressed in the new format, for maximum compression efficiency.
Archive conversion can work on single or multiple input archives at once, either converting each single package or consolidating all the input data in a new archive in the chosen format.

Multi-volume RAR files (archives split in multiple parts) can be opened and extracted as explained above, operating on the first volume of the set which usually has .R00 or .R01 extension (or some times .001, or .001.RAR).
Please note that for complete extraction of a spanned rar file all parts of the set needs to be saved in the same directory so PeaZip can read them and take care of merging data from different volumes when required.

To extract an encrypted RAR archive enter password in PeaZip from locker icon encrypted rar which is placed in the status bar (in the file/archive browser) or below output address field (in extraction screen), or click main menu Tools > Enter password / keyfile in main menu (F9 accelerator key).
Rar file's table of content (names of files inside the archive container) can be optionally encrypted when the archive is created, in this case the password will be necessary even for simply opening the file for listing or testing its content.

Due proprietary nature or WinRar's RAR compression algorithm, PeaZip provides read-only support for .rar format, working as opener (open to list archive content, navigate and search inside archive), extractor, and .rar file integrity test tool.
At current level of development, PeaZip cannot: archive data in proprietary .rar format (workaround to write rar format from PeaZip frontend is possible), repair broken rar file, edit (add to / delete from) or update existing rar file, handle newer RAR5 format.

Topics: extract RAR files, free RAR extractor, Open Source RAR file extractor and viewer, freeware RAR format tool, handle / manage RAR archives, view, explore, browse, navigate .rar file, open RAR files, download rar player program, rar opener, freeware rar utility, WinRar replacement, open source WinRar alternative, download rar software, UNRAR, unzip, de-compress, unpack, .R00 files, .R01 extension, rar converter.

Related articles: Convert RAR to ZIP or 7Z, How to extract encrypted files, How to create RAR files?, 7-Zip 7z files, Extract ACE files, Extract CAB files, TAR files, Zip/Unzip files, Extract ZIPX files, Split and merge files

FAQ > Archive management > Unrar, .R00, .R01, extract .rar archives

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