Softonic review

Swati Mishra
Swati MishraUpdated 10 months ago

Free compression and extraction tool

WinRAR is a popular trialware program that is used to extract files from a folder or compress them into one. Released in 1995, WinRAR is a staple compression and extraction software that users have on their devices. The tool is compatible with Android, iOS, Linux, and Microsoft Windows electronics on both 32-bit and 64-bit equipment. People can use WinRAR on Windows 11, 10, XP, Vista 7, 8, and 9.

Is there a free version of WinRAR?

People have the ability to either buy the paid program or download trial version of WinRAR. The option that does not cost money prompts users to convert into the purchasable version. WinRAR notifies people of the benefits of paying for the tool through frequent pop-ups. If users are tolerable of the notifications, then they are able to use the free version inevitably.

What is the use of WinRAR?

While Microsoft Windows computers and laptops are equipped with native compression and extraction capabilities, the ability to manage RAR files is not possible. WinRAR is a hub for file management. The application has an intuitive interface, which lets people easily and quickly navigate the system of compressing and extracting data into RAR and ZIP files.

Is WinRAR safe?

The WinRAR download is completely safe to install. While the program is secure, you should use caution when downloading external files from emails or website browsers to zip and unzip them with WinRAR. Certain files can be malicious and disrupt the WinRAR application and the Android, Mac, or PC device.

Since WinRAR is a lightweight platform, the download and installation process is quick and does not use a lot of space on devices. Before the app can be used on a computer or laptop, people need to accept the license agreement. Within this pop-up window, people can accept the terms and choose a destination folder for WinRAR to be installed by selecting ‘Browse’.

After clicking ‘Install’, the ‘WinRAR Setup’ window will appear. Users can choose which file types they prefer to associate with WinRAR: RAR, ZIP, 7Z, ARJ, BZ2, CAB, GZ, ISO, JAR, LZ, ZIPX, etc. Adjacent to this section is the ‘Interface’ area where people can select whether they want to add WinRAR to the Desktop, Start Menu, or create a program group.

Within the ‘Interface’ segment, the options of adding WinRAR to the Desktop and Start Menu can allow for easier access to the app. Underneath that group is the ‘Shell integration’ section, which lets features appear in the archive context menus: ‘Extract’. Press ‘OK’ and then ‘Done’ in the next window to complete the installation of WinRAR.

How do I use WinRAR software?

Upon opening the application, people can view the WinRAR command line: ‘Add’, ‘Extract To’, ‘Test’, ‘View’, ‘Delete’, ‘Find’, ‘Wizard’, ‘Info’, and ‘Repair’. Aside from opening the app to compress and extract files, users can also access those capabilities by right-clicking on the files and folders. Within the context menu, users can tell which actions are associated with WinRAR by identifying the icon next to the texts.

Options within the shortcut menu include ‘Add to archive’, ‘Compress and email’, ‘Open with WinRAR’, ‘Extract files’, etc. You can select ‘Add to archive’ to determine the name and parameters of the file or folder. There are tabs in the upper portion of the pop-up window: ‘General’, ‘Advanced’, ‘Options’, ‘Files’, ‘Backup’, ‘Time’, and ‘Comment’. Underneath these labels,  there is the possibility to create the file name.

You can choose from the file formats: RAR, ZIP, etc. Within the window, depending on the command selected from the context menu, there will be a dropdown menu to select the ‘Compression method’. Choose the size of the archive with the ‘Dictionary size’ dropdown menu. You then create a password to access the archive by clicking on the ‘Set password’ button within the bottom right corner.

Users can extract files from RAR and ZIP folders. This can be done by right-clicking on the folder to access the context menu as well as in the application. Within the shortcut menu, you click on ‘Extract Here’ to pull the file into the same area as the compressed folder.

To complete the extraction process through the application, you then have to open the .RAR or .ZIP folder by either double-clicking or right-clicking and choosing ‘Open with WinRAR’ in the shortcut menu. Once the app is open, you can navigate to the command line and choose ‘Extract To’. A window will appear to let the community choose the destination, modes, etc.

Additional compression and extraction applications

WinZip, 7-Zip, and PeaZip are alternate software options to compress and extract files. WinZIP and WinRAR are both trialware. They are initially offered for free and then suggest payments to continue using the services. 7-Zip and PeaZIP are freeware. 7-Zip is a comparable alternative to WinRAR because of its straightforward user interfaces and capabilities.

Along with WinRAR, 7-Zip has an easy to use UI. While both apps are similar in their appearances, WinRAR has additional utilities: the Repair and Wizard tools. The Wizard tool assists beginners in understanding the software. The Repair tool can easily fix corrupt information. Although WinRAR has extra features, 7-Zip has better compression times.

Pack and unpack files

The cross-platform archiver performs essential operations: packing and unpacking files and folders. The system has a simple user interface with tools of assistance: the Wizard feature which guides novices through the best process. WinRAR functions with RAR and ZIP files lets people view and create content. The app is available in a multitude of languages: English, Chinese, Indonesian, Turkish, etc.

What’s new?

You can visit the RARLAB website to read about new software updates, privacy policy, and cookie information, etc. WinRAR GmbH consistently updates the platform to improve the user experience. While the program’s utilities are well maintained, the design of the application is outdated yet clean.


  • Light weight
  • Cross platform
  • Clean user interface
  • Frequently updated
  • Includes supportive tools for novices
  • Easy access through the icon and context menu


  • Outdated design
  • Unclear trial period

Older versions

Also available in other platforms

Program available in other languages

WinRAR for PC

  • Trial version
  • In English
  • V 6.11
  • 4

  • (34507)

User reviews about WinRAR

  • Rakesh Badgali

    by Rakesh Badgali

    Its very friendly to use. I would recommend to all of my friends and relatives.

  • bargaoanu alex

    by bargaoanu alex

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  • Jeet Pakistan

    by Jeet Pakistan

    Useful software for everyone. it help me a lot sine I'm using this software.

  • Kerry Murphy

    by Kerry Murphy

    The software works adequately in trial mode although it has security problems that are daunting. My problem is with the company. I bought the softwa More

  • Swastik Krishna

    by Swastik Krishna

    its a very great application to use and i'm having loads of fun using it.

  • Jun Lebosada

    by Jun Lebosada

    very useful app and intuitive one. it's my chosen app for viewing compressed file in zip format. it's also user friendly and very much functional with More


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