WinRAR

WinRAR

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4.3 
5

excellent

9.0
This program received 26 awards

Video tutorial & screenshots

  • Settings
  • Archive Information
  • Add to Archive Dialog
  • Main Window
  • Viewing Settings
  • General Settings
  • Archive Conversion
  • File Info
  • The Wizard

Editorial review

All comments (122)

Alexandru Andrei Senior editor

Even though these days it's not usually necessary to compress files to save disk space, this utility can be used for more than just saving a few hundred megabytes. Splitting a huge file across several DVDs, encrypting a PHP project for safe keeping or grouping thousands of files in one single file are just a few things you can do with this program.
It's not the most powerful archiver but it's one of the most popular for a simple reason: the algorithm is fast and very efficient, considering its speed. Other formats offer a far better compression ratio but they require a huge amount of time to finish the job.

WinRAR can open a lot of archive formats but can only compress to RAR or ZIP. Recently, the new RAR5 format has been defined which promises a slightly better compression ratio, mainly because it supports larger dictionaries. Also, the latest version has added support for opening ZIPX files and 7z (7-zip) split archives.

The interface has been altered a little bit too in the latest releases. Encrypting RAR files with a password wasn't very straightforward in the past but now that this option has been moved to the main tab in the archiving dialog it's very easy to spot and use.

The default settings give satisfactory results but if you're a power-user, you can tweak more advanced options like the dictionary size, recovery record and more.

As it is the case with almost every mature and popular program, you probably won't find any problems. However, if you're an occasional user, the price for the full version might seem just a little bit too high. But you can test it out for 40 days and decide if it's worth every dollar.

Pros

  • Fast compression/decompression
  • Good compression ratio
  • Can open all the popular archive formats.
  • Default settings are better than average
  • Lets you tweak advanced archive settings
  • Supports recovery records
  • Can create self-extracting archives (EXE files)

Cons

  • None
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What's new in version 5.1

1. Added extraction support for ZIP and ZIPX archives using
BZIP2, LZMA and PPMd compression.
2. Added extraction support for 7z split archives
(.7z.001, .7z.002, ...).
3. Added support for AES-NI CPU instructions allowing to improve
RAR encryption and decryption performance.
4. Default theme images are scaled up with better quality
in high DPI display mode.
5. Environment variables, such as %temp%, can be used
in "Files to add" field of archiving dialog.
6. Switch -ai can be used when creating RAR archive,
so predefined values, typical for file and folder,
are stored instead of actual attributes.
Previously this switch could be used only when extracting.

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
codes.
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
( https://blake2.net ) 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
profile;
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
operation.
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

New:
- RARLAB.COM website design.
- WinRAR themes

What's new in version 3.9

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.

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

WinRAR is a powerful archive manager. It can backup your data and reduce the size of email attachments, decompress RAR, ZIP and other files downloaded from Internet and create new archives in RAR and ZIP file format. You can try WinRAR before buy.

Latest comments

  All comments (122)
  • 3
    Guest 4 days ago

    how can download the pending download file

  • 51
    Guest 2 months ago

    What an amazing program - I like it!

    • 7
      Guest 11 days ago

      It is perfect! I agree with you)

  • 7
    Ahtisham ali 3 months ago

    It is the best RAR program, I like it so much and I'm its regular user.


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