Open and UnRar RAR Files on a Mac
If you need to open and expand rar files in Mac OS X, you can unrar files with two free utilities available for the Mac. Not only will either of these apps quickly open and decompress .rar files, but it also has the ability to restore corrupted and missing archives using par files. Archive restoration using par2 is often essential when working with torrent and newsgroup downloads.
The two unrar apps we’re discussing here the free UnArchiver or UnRarX tools. UnRarX is predominately a rar application with par2 restoration abilities, whereas UnArchiver will open rar files and many other file formats as well. You can download either, or both, they work essentially the same in OS X, and both being free it’s easy to try them out.
How to Open .rar Files and Unrar in Mac OS X
Once you download the app, opening and expanding rar files is similar to .zip and .sit archives:
- Download an app from the these link which can identify rar files, both apps are fine but we like UnArchiver for multi-use function
- The Unarchiver is a free download from the Mac App Store and will open rar files
- UnRarX is also a free download and you can get it here
- After the app has downloaded, launch the unrar application – with unarchiver, associate it with the rar file formats
- Now either drag and drop any rar archives into the open application to unrar them instantly, or double-click the rar file to decompress it and extract the contents
After downloading and installing The Unarchiver you can also choose to right-click on the rar file and choose “Open with The Unarchiver” to extract the file, though double-clicking it after the rar has been associated with the app is likely the easiest method of extracting the files.
UnRarX has a simple interface for extractions as well, but is limited to rar documents:
The unrar’ed contents will be placed into the same directory as the rar file originated. For example, if the rar file is in the ~/Downloads/ folder, that’s where the extracted rar file contents will be located as well.
After either Unarchiver or UnRarX has been run, it will now be associated with .rar archives on your Mac, allowing you to just double-click on any rar file to extract it in the future. You can also just open the rar file and explore the archive without uncompressing it.
The Unarchiver, seen below, can be associated with many other package file types as well as rar archives.
Rar files are often thought of as part of the Windows world, but Mac users frequently come across them too. I get asked on a somewhat regular basis “What is a RAR file and how do I use it?” from both Windows and Mac users. After explaining it’s an archive format, I always come back to recommending these utilities frequently to be able to open them, and if there is a better free solution for Mac OS X I haven’t found it yet.