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Video tutorial & screenshots

  • Viewing Settings
  • General Settings
  • Archive Conversion
  • File Info
  • The Wizard
  • Creating Archive
  • Context Menu
  • Main Window
  • The About Window

Editorial review

All comments (37)

Margie Smeer Senior editor

As long as there will be plenty of cases when the file sizes represent a problem, compression tools will still be popular and widely-used. And when it comes to popular compression tools, there’s no better example than the famous WinRAR. WinRAR makes sure that you can manage your archives in a lot of ways, being a powerful and comprehensive tool that offers unparalleled and undeniable advantages which made it the popular compression solution that everyone appreciates.
WinRAR doesn’t support only the RAR format, but a lot of archive types, including ARJ, CAB, UUE, ACE, ZIP, 7-Zip, and so on. It even supports JAR or ISO files. It’s a truly comprehensive tool that comes packed with a lot of features. Its powerful compression algorithm ensures that you will be able to shrink your files to a maximum. It simply makes smaller archives than the ones made by competing compression applications. There are plenty of advanced options and features available, including the possibility of creating self-extracting and multivolume archives or the possibility to fix and recover broken archives.

I also like about it the fact that it can be used with a lot of ease, especially thanks to its effective integration with the Windows right-click context menu. Right-clicking files and selecting the proper menu entry is enough to create archives or to extract files from archives. Furthermore, there’s a neat wizard that help the complete novices deal with archives without any trouble. The interface is intuitive and self-explanatory as well.

Describing all the advantages that WinRAR offers will take a lot of pages. Cutting long story short, WinRAR remains the trustworthy compression tool that will never let you down. Its latest version brings a lot of enhancements, such as the support for the new RAR 5.0 archiving format, making it an even more powerful and reliable tool.


  • Supports a lot of file formats.
  • Easy-to-use.
  • Comes packed with a lot of features and functions.
  • The trial version offers plenty of time for thorough evaluation.


  • None.

What's new in version 5.0

Version 5.00
1. New RAR 5.0 archiving format. You can use "RAR 5.0" option
in archiving dialog or -ma command line switch to create
RAR 5.0 archives.
2. Changes in RAR 5.0 compression algorithm:
a) maximum compression dictionary size is increased up to 1 GB
in 64 bit WinRAR.
b) default dictionary size for RAR 5.0 is 32 MB, typically resulting
in higher compression ratio and lower speed than RAR 4.x 4 MB.
c) -md switch syntax is modified to support larger dictionary
sizes. Append 'k', 'm' and 'g' modifiers to specify the size
in kilo-, mega- and gigabytes, like -md64m for 64 MB dictionary.
If modifiers are not present, megabytes are assumed,
so -md64m is equal to -md64;
d) RAR 5.0 format includes Intel IA-32 executable and delta
compression algorithms, but RAR 4.x text, audio, true color
and Itanium algorithms are not supported.
e) RAR 5.0 decompression can utilize several CPU cores.
3. Changes in RAR 5.0 archive format:
a) file times are stored as Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)
instead of former local time, making file exchange among
several time zones more straightforward;
b) file names and archive comments use UTF-8 encoding.
4. RAR 5.0 recovery record is based on Reed-Solomon error correction
5. "Test" command verifies validity of RAR 5.0 recovery record.
Recovery record is tested after processing all archived files.
6. Changes in RAR 5.0 encryption algorithm:
a) encryption algorithm is changed from AES-128 to AES-256 in CBC mode.
Key derivation function is based on PBKDF2 using HMAC-SHA256;
b) special password verification value allows to detect most of
wrong passwords without necessity to unpack the entire file;

7. RAR 5.0 archives allow to utilize 256 bit length BLAKE2sp hash
( ) instead of 32 bit CRC32 as a file checksum.
8. Features removed:
a) authenticity verification feature did not provide the required
level of reliability and was removed;

b) switch -en (do not add "end of archive" block) is not supported
by RAR 5.0 archives, which always have the end of archive block.
c) old style extension based arcname.rNN volume names are not
supported by RAR 5.0 archives, which use only arcname.partN.rar
volume names;

d) file comments are not supported anymore both in RAR 4.x
and RAR 5.0 archives. Console RAR 'cf' command is removed.
9. "Set password" command and "Dictionary size" option are moved to
"General" page of archiving dialog.
10. You can use "Save symbolic links as links" option on "Advanced" page
of archiving dialog to save and restore NTFS symbolic links
and reparse points as links, so their contents is not archived.

Additional changes available on the developer site.

What's new in version 4.2

1. Changes in RAR compression:
a) RAR general compression algorithm is optimized for better
utilization of several processor cores. While some speed gain
is possible even in single processor mode, best results
are achieved in multi-core environment.
Speed gain depends on data type and average file size.
Several cores are utilized more efficiently when compressing
large files.
b) we had to increase memory requirements to achieve higher
compression speed. General RAR compression algorithm allocates
about 120 MB comparing to 40 MB in WinRAR 4.11;
c) RAR text compression algorithm cannot utilize several CPU cores
efficiently, so its performance in multiprocessor environment
is much lower than for general algorithm. Also its decompression
speed is much lower than in general algorithm regardless of
CPU number. So we decided to disable the text algorithm by default.
If you need maximum possible compression ratio for plain text data
regardless of speed, you can enable the text compression
in "Advanced compression parameter" dialog. Press "Compression..."
button on "Advanced" page of archiving dialog to access it.
You can also change this option permanently in default compression
In the command line mode the text compression can be enabled
with -mct switch;
d) "Fastest" (-m1) compression mode also supports several processor
cores now. In 4.11 it could use only a single processor core.
2. RAR general decompression algorithm speed is slightly improved,
though not to same extent as RAR compression. RAR decompression
is not able to use several processor cores, so its performance
does not depend on a number of cores.
3. Changes in ZIP compression:
a) now ZIP compression supports several processor cores resulting
in noticeably higher performance in multi-core environment.
Single CPU ZIP compression is also faster than in 4.11;
b) memory use for ZIP compression is increased to about 15 MB.
4. Recovery volume creating and processing can use several CPU cores
resulting in higher speed. Though, typically hard drive seek speed
is a limiting factor for recovery volumes, so this gain is most
noticeable when working with solid state drive.
5. Now the allowed value for -mt switch is 1 - 32,
not 0 - 16 as before.
6. "Find files" command can search data in 7-Zip archives.
Previously "Find files" did not support .7z archive format.
7. Windows 2000 is not supported by WinRAR and WinRAR self-extracting
modules anymore.
8. "Save current settings" button in "Advanced SFX options" dialog
is now available only when converting an existing archive to SFX.
Options saved with this button are applied only to convert to SFX
If you create or update SFX archive, only SFX options stored
in default compression profile are used. Options saved
in "Advanced SFX options" dialog are ignored for these operations.

What's new in version 4.1 beta

1. Improved detection of UTF-8 encoding in file names in ZIP archives.
WinRAR attempts to recognize Unicode names, even when UTF-8 flag is not present in ZIP archive headers.
2. Bugs fixed:
a) If switch -t was set in RAR environment variable, WinRAR "View"command failed to open archived files
b) ""Autodetect" string" option in "Define volume sizes" dialog did not work;
c) If "Split to volumes, size" in default compression profile was set to "Autodetect", "Delete" and "Add comment" commands refused to modify ZIP archives.

What's new in version 4.0

- RARLAB.COM website design.
- WinRAR themes

What's new in version 3.9 beta

1. This version can decompress 7-Zip archives created with LZMA2 algorithm.
2. Now a password is requested only once when unpacking 7z archives with encrypted file names from context menu. WinRAR 3.90 asked it twice.
3. This version can unpack tar.bz2 archives consisting of several smaller bz2 streams merged together. Previous versions unpacked only the first nested bz2 stream in such composite archive.
4. WinRAR displays CRC32 of files inside of usual .gz (not .tar.gz) archives. Previous versions left this field blank for GZIP files.
5. Bugs fixed:
a) WinRAR 3.90 displayed "Save" button instead of "Open" or "OK" in "Find archive" dialog ("Open archive" command in "File" menu and "Browse..." command in archiving dialog);
b) WinRAR could display incorrect file names when browsing malformed ZIP archives;
c) WinRAR 3.90 failed to decompress LZH archives created with "-lh7-" algorithm;
d) WinRAR 3.90 could fail to delete a part of files after archiving if delete to Recycle Bin was enabled. This bug was present when working in Windows XP, but not in Windows Vista and Windows 7;
e) when unpacking ISO file using WinRAR "Extract files..." command in Explorer context menu, WinRAR could unpack same archived files twice during the same operation. It displayed the overwrite prompt when unpacking files for the second time;
f) hexadecimal search in WinRAR 3.90 "Find" command and console RAR "ih" command failed to find matches if first byte in search string was greater than 127.

Publisher's description

- Using WinRAR puts you ahead of the crowd when it comes to compression by consistently making smaller archives than the competition, saving disk space and transmission costs.
- WinRAR provides complete support for RAR and ZIP archives and is able to unpack CAB, ARJ, LZH, TAR, GZ, ACE, UUE, BZ2, JAR, ISO, 7Z, Z archives.
- WinRAR offers a graphic interactive interface utilizing mouse and menus as well as the command line interface.
- When you purchase WinRAR license you are buying a license to the complete technology, no need to purchase add-ons to create self-extracting files, it's all included.
- WinRAR is easier to use than many other archivers with the inclusion of a special "Wizard" mode which allows instant access to the basic archiving functions through a simple question and answer procedure. This avoids confusion in the early stages of use.
- WinRAR offers you the benefit of industry strength archive encryption using AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) with a key of 128 bits.
- WinRAR supports files and archives up to 8,589 billion gigabytes in size. The number of archived files is, for all practical purposes, unlimited.
- WinRAR offers the ability to create selfextracting and multivolume archives.
Recovery record and recovery volumes allow to reconstruct even physically damaged archives.
- WinRAR features are constantly being developed to keep WinRAR ahead of the pack.

Latest comments

  All comments (37)
  • 9
    A.hisham 19 days ago

    Oh, really! What about the B1 software? I think it's one of the best.

  • 12
    Guest 27 days ago

    One of the best app for archiving!

  • 31
    Albert Last month

    One of the best app for archiving.

.7z WinRAR archive
.rar WinRAR archive
.bz WinRAR archive
.rev RAR recovery volume
.bz2 WinRAR archive
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