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Don't pay for WinRAR! Windows 11 will soon support RAR files

The dozens of WinRAR license-holders are in a shambles right now, probably.

Published onMay 24, 2023

Windows 11 stock photo 5
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
  • Microsoft has quietly announced that it will support opening RAR files on Windows 11.
  • The file format typically requires WinRAR or another file compression app.

ZIP is a popular file compression format, but Windows has allowed you to natively open ZIP files for years now. However, the platform doesn’t support the long-running WinRAR file compression format at all.

Fortunately, Microsoft has now announced (h/t: The Verge) that Windows 11 will natively support RAR files. Furthermore, the operating system will also support other file compression formats like 7-Zip, tar, and gz.

This is all thanks to Microsoft leveraging the open-source libarchive project, which opens a variety of file compression formats.

How do you open RAR files on your Windows PC?

882 votes

This is a pretty notable move for the platform, as you currently need to download WinRAR or an alternative app like 7-Zip if you want to open RAR files. The WinRAR app in particular has long pushed users to buy a license, but you can get by just fine on the indefinite free trial.

Either way, you won’t have to download a separate file compression app if you simply want to open a variety of archive formats on Windows 11. And it’s about time, as WinRAR in particular first launched back in 1995.