How to Open a RAR File in macOS

This guide will show you step by step how to open a RAR file in macOS.

Install The Unarchiver

Without going into much detail, a .RAR file is a lot like a .zip file. It contains one or more files and/or folders that are all combined into one file – a RAR. In order to get to those files and folders inside the RAR, you need to open it. Unlike ZIP files, RAR files require software that doesn’t come included with macOS. Fortunately there’s a fantastic, small and free app that does let you open RAR files. Head over to the Unarchiver website and download the latest version. Once the download has completed open the .dmg file and drag The to your Applications folder to install it, the same way you do most macOS Apps.

install the unarchiver for macos

Once you’ve done that you can unmount the .DMG file and delete it.

Open RAR Files in MacOS

  1. Launch The Unarchiver from your Applications folder. When prompted, click the Accept button.
  2. accepting the terms for the unarchiver

  3. Now you’ll need to configure The Unarchiver, which takes about 3 seconds. Start by removing the check-mark from the Zip Archive box. It’s not critical that you do this, but you might as well let macOS open your .zip files as it’s a built in feature of the operating system. The important part is to place a check in the box labelled RAR Archive – that’s why you’re here after all. Now you can close this window.
  4. configuration window for the unarchiver

  5. Locate the .RAR file you want to open and double-click it.
  6. an unopened RAR file in Finder

  7. The Unarchiver will automatically open, extract all of the files and folders stored inside of the .RAR file, and then close itself. All of those files and folders will now be in the same folder that the .RAR is in.
  8. an open RAR file in macOS

  9. That’s it! Now you know how to open RAR files in macOS, and you have the software you need installed.

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