Are you looking for how to open RAR files on Mac? Many of the files you download from the Internet are .rar files. And you need to extract RAR files with a RAR file opener before you can view and use them on your Mac.
About RAR Files
RAR files (Roshal Archive Compressed file) are one of the most common archive file formats, used extensively on the Internet for high data transmission and sharing. People use these compressed archive files to reduce the overall size and bundle together files and even folders into a single file.
That single RAR file is then small enough to send via email or other sharing methods.
Similar to other archive file types (such as ZIP files,) RAR files are data containers. After you download RAR files from the Internet, you must unpack its contents to use it.
RAR versus ZIP
Although your Mac natively accesses ZIP archive files, RAR files require third-party software to unlock its contents. There are some advantages to using RAR files instead of native ZIP.
Compared to the ZIP file format, RAR files feature strong AES-128 encryption and have higher compression ratios. For those reasons, many people and businesses prefer to send RAR files over other archive file formats.
The file extension is .rar (ex. appletoolbox.rar)
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How-To Open an Archive RAR Mac File
Unlike the ZIP files, Apple’s macOS and OS X does NOT include a built-in archive utility tool that opens RAR files. Apple’s Archive Utility supports a number of file formats like ZIP, TAR, and GZIP. It does not support RAR files.
The Solution: Use a RAR File Opener!
You need a third-party app to open a RAR file and extract its contents. There are more than a few apps that help.
But in this short article, for demonstration purposes, I will show how to open RAR files using The Unarchiver. This app is just one of many archiving App found in the utility section of the Mac App Store.
Other third-party RAR File Openers include Dr. Unarchiver, Open Any Files, and RAR Extractor. We recommend reading the user reviews to make a decision.
The Unarchiver is a free, small, and easy to use program that unarchives many different kinds of archive files. It is also an open source program and supports formats such as Zip, RAR (including v5), 7-zip, Tar, Gzip, and Bzip2.
For those of you trying to open some older formats, like Stuffit or DiskDoubler, this is the app for you! It even opens ISO and BIN disk images and some Windows.EXE installers.
And Support for iOS
Unarchiver also offers a companion app called Archives on the app store for iDevices. This iOS app also opens most archive files, especially important in the era when most files are now downloaded from the Internet, received via email or shared through a variety of methods.
How-To Use The Unarchiver to extract RAR files:
1-Download and install The Unarchiver
There are two options here. Download via the Unarchiver site or the Mac App store. The developer prefers downloads from its site rather than the Mac App Store, due to limitations set by Apple and its sandboxing requirements. The developer contends that sandboxing limits the capabilities of the app.
The Minimum system requirements are Mac OS X 10.7. However, for those of us with older Macs, there is an older Mac version available via the Unarchiver site.
2-Open RAR File(s)
After you install The Unarchiver via the Mac App Store or the Unarchiver site, it’s time to open your RAR file.
Just drag & drop your RAR any compressed file onto the Unarchiver’s icon or right-click the RAR file on your Mac then select Open With and choose The Unarchiver OR double click the RAR file.
The Unarchiver extracts the compressed files into that same folder.
After that, use these files as you would any other file. They are now the same!
Updated Your Mac OS?
If you recently updated your mac’s operating system, and you discover that Unarchiver isn’t working regularly. Try uninstalling the app then going back to the site or your Mac App Store and reinstalling the app. For some reason, OS updates sometimes mess up the app, with no particular pattern.
Additionally, your firewall may be getting in that way of the Unarchiver.
So give the app a refresh and see if that helps! So make sure you allow the Unarchiver access by enabling it to receive incoming connections.
Firewall: Allow specific applications
- Open System Preferences > Security or Security & Privacy > Firewall
- Click the bottom left lock icon and enter an administrator name and password when requested
- Select Firewall Options
- Click the Add Application (+) button
- In Applications, scroll down and click on The Unarchiver and tap Add
- Click OK to close the menu
- Click the lock icon to prevent any additional changes
- Close System Preferences
To remove The Unarchiver’s permission, follow the same steps except click the Remove App (-) button in step 4.
Obsessed with tech since the early arrival of A/UX on Apple, Sudz (SK) is responsible for the editorial direction of AppleToolBox. He is based out of Los Angeles, CA.
Sudz specializes in covering all things macOS, having reviewed dozens of OS X and macOS developments over the years.
In a former life, Sudz worked helping Fortune 100 companies with their technology and business transformation aspirations.