How to Unzip RAR Files on Windows 10

What is a RAR file?

A RAR file is a data container or compressed file containing single or multiple files and folders. Simply put, Roshal Archive Compressed file is another format of reducing file sizes and putting them into an archive.

If you have ever interacted with a ZIP file, RAR files work in a similar manner. Think of a RAR file as a folder on your PC that contains other folders and files for organizational purposes. RAR files differ from normal folders in that they require special software to unzip the contents.

Are RAR files dangerous?

RAR files are safe in themselves. Like zip files, their purpose is to have other files. But it is worth noting that the files present in the RAR file can be dangerous. In fact, cybercriminals usually spread malware through archived files such as RAR files.

Basically, opening a RAR file and viewing its content is not harmful. However, be cautious not to extracts its files unless you are confident the RAR file is malware-free by performing a virus scan. Once you download a RAR file, you receive a compressed archive, perhaps with multiple files.

Although most of them may be legitimate, there is a chance that one or more could be malicious. Therefore, you should take time to scan the RAR file, ensure it is clean before exposing your PC to the contents within. For example, in a RAR, if you expect to have a video, but you find a file with a .exe extension it is likely to be malware. RAR technology is excellent in compressing files, so you don't have to shun it. However, you must evaluate the payload present within a RAR archive.

How to unzip a RAR file

Unzipping means opening the RAR file in your computer to see the files contained. Computers lack an inbuilt tool to open RAR files. When you double-tap or double-click a RAR file without special software for that purpose, you get an error notification or a message asking how you would like to open the file.

Perhaps you now wonder how to unzip a RAR file in Windows 10. WinRAR, a software by RAR files developer, is the default choice for opening such an archive. Unfortunately, it has its drawbacks; thus, you won't get the best experience unzipping your RAR files with it. You need a third-party tool such as Parallels Toolbox. Besides RAR files unzip in Windows 10 computer, this special software goes beyond and allows users to also unpack archives in other formats, including XAR, RPM, 7z, and Z. Below is the process of how to unzip RAR files in Windows 10 with the Parallels Toolbox.

  1. Visit the Parallels product page to download the tool.
  2. Launch the software.
  3. Hit the 'menu bar,' then 'Archiver,' and finally 'Unarchive.'
  4. You can drag an archive to the window that appears or hit 'open and select an archive.'

If you unzip a password-protected RAR file, you will need to enter a password.

What does it mean to extract files?

Extracting a file means decompressing and transferring one or several files in a compressed file, such as a RAR file, to an alternate location. To better understand what extract files are, you should know the process of creating RAR files in the first place.

As mentioned above, a RAR file results from compressing several files in one archive. For you to access these files, you have to decompress the archive. Extracting a RAR file is the process of decompressing the file and moving them to an alternate location where you can access its content.