So you just downloaded a file on your Mac that came in the form of a RAR package. You’ve never seen anything like it before, and no matter what you do, you can’t seem to bust it open to get to the delights within.
This fast guide will teach you all you need to know about RAR files, why they exist, and how to read and extract RAR files on a Mac.
What Is a RAR File?
If you already know this, or just don’t care, go to the next section for the real instructions.
RAR files are comparable to ZIP files. Both are “archive” file formats that combine many distinct files into a single file. That way, you just have to make one file available for download (or attach one to an email), and recipients only have to download one file rather than several distinct ones.
RAR is an acronym for Roshal ARchive, which was designed by Eugene Roshal, a Russian software developer. The RAR format was developed to solve various shortcomings in the ZIP format and offers numerous advantages, including reduced file sizes, the ability to break a RAR into multiple parts, and error recovery.
However, since the days of ZIP and RAR, we’ve gone a long way, and we now have better methods to compress, encrypt, and transport data. The 7-Zip format is a popular choice, although it is far from universal. As a result, understanding how to work with RAR files is still essential.
How to Open and Extract RAR Files on Mac
Because the RAR format is proprietary, it’s no surprise that Mac computers lack a built-in program for dealing with it. The remedy, however, is as simple as installing a free third-party program that can read RAR files on Mac.
Here are five RAR extraction options you can pick from.
1. Open RAR Files With Keka
Keka is a compression and extraction program that is available as a standalone installation as well as on the Mac App Store. Once installed, all you have to do to extract a RAR file is double-click it or Control-click it and choose Open.
The disadvantage of using Keka, at least for certain users, is that it does not allow you to examine the contents of a RAR file without first extracting it. You may never require this feature, in which case this is an excellent tool. However, if you appreciate being able to go through an archive’s contents and just extract the things you need, Keka isn’t the program for you.
It should be noted that although Keka can generate its own compressed archives, it does not support the RAR format. You can only use ZIP, 7-Zip, TAR, GZIP, and BZIP2 files.
Download: Keka (Free)
2. Use unRAR in Terminal on Mac
To use the Terminal to extract a RAR file, you’ll need to install Homebrew, which is an all-in-one utility for installing other utilities.
For example, you may install a RAR extraction program with one line using Homebrew:
brew install unrar
You must enter this information into the Terminal, which can be accessed by opening Spotlight (using the Cmd + Space keyboard shortcut), entering “terminal,” and launching the Terminal program.
As illustrated below, you may get a notice stating that unRAR must be constructed from source.
In such scenario, use the following command to install the Xcode command line tools:
After installing unRAR, you may extract any RAR file by browsing to it in Terminal and using the following command:
unrar x example_file.rar
Do you have no idea how to use the command line? First, have a look at our Mac Terminal beginner’s tutorial.
The Unarchiver is a free RAR extractor for macOS that allows you to open any RAR archive with a single click. This application, like Keka, does not enable you to see what’s inside your RAR files before extracting them.
Nonetheless, the application includes a plethora of customisable choices for extracting your archives the manner you choose.
Its support for non-Latin characters in archive file names is one of its useful features. This method allows you to extract RAR files with foreign characters in their names.
Other archive formats supported by the Unarchiver include ZIP, 7Z, GZIP, CAB, and more.
Download: The Unarchiver (Free)
4. Use The Unarchiver With Automator to Unzip RAR Files
If you often extract RAR files, the tools listed above may seem inefficient. Fortunately, you can automate the RAR extraction process using Automator.
The Unarchiver will collaborate with Automator to build a folder action that automatically decompresses all of the files included inside your RAR archives.
Once you’ve generated this action in Automator, all you have to do to extract your RAR archives is place them in the given folder. Here’s how to put the action together: When you simply need to extract a few archives, an online RAR extractor might be useful. You do not need to install anything on your computer while using an online tool. These applications operate via your web browser and allow you to extract files in the same way as desktop apps do.
- Make a new folder on your desktop called Unrar.
- Launch The Unarchiver, go to the Extraction tab, and choose Same folder as archive from the Extract archives to dropdown option.
- Turn on Move the archive to the trash so that it is removed when it has been extracted.
- Launch Automator, then pick File > New, Folder Action, and Choose.
- Pick Other from the top dropdown option, then select your Unrar folder.
- Drag the Find Finder Items action to the right workflow.
- Choose your Unrar folder from the Search option in the newly added action, then Any from the following menu. Next, choose File extension, then contains, and type rar into the box.
- Click and drag the Open Finder Items action to the right pane.
- From the Open with dropdown option, choose The Unarchiver.
- Press Cmd + S, give your workflow a name, and then click Save. Then exit Automator.
- Move any RAR archives you wish to unzip to your desktop’s Unrar folder. Your archive will be extracted instantly, and all of its contents will be stored in the same Unrar folder.
Extract Me is a web-based program that allows you to extract RAR and many more archive types. You may import archives from your PC, cloud storage services like as Google Drive and Dropbox, or even direct web URLs.
Read more: The Best Online RAR Extractors
Wait a few seconds after uploading an archive for the site to extract it. Individual files inside your archive may then be downloaded to your PC.
You no longer have to worry about encountering a RAR file. These simple RAR extraction techniques for Mac can get the job done quickly.
Opening RAR Files on Mac Made Easy
While your Mac’s built-in utilities cannot handle RAR files, there are several wonderful default programs that come with all Macs. A lot of the time, you don’t even need to download a third-party software since native Mac applications are often very decent. It’s recommended investigating them before installing any third-party software.
While your Mac can’t handle RAR files with built-in tools, there are some great default apps that come installed on all Macs. A lot of the time, you don’t actually need to download a third-party app because stock Mac apps are pretty good in most cases. It’s worth checking them out before downloading any third-party tools.
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