RAR Converter

These are not the droids you’re looking for.

Let me clear this up for all the people looking for .rar file converters (and trust me, there are many) : RAR files are simply archives, just like ZIP files. They contain other files and folders in a compressed form. The compression, encryption and volume splitting features of the RAR format are the reason it is often used when putting stuff online and sending big files over the Internet.

So you probably don’t need a “.rar converter” per se, but a way to extract RAR files. One program that can do this is 7-zip, a free file archiver that supports various compressed file formats. 7-zip can run on various operating systems including Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. Source code is also available for those so inclined. And if for some reason you can’t use this program check out other alternatives on my .rar extractor list.

By the way, if you were really, deliberately looking for a way to convert RAR files to another (archive) format, here’s how : extract the .rar file using 7zip or whatever, then pack the extracted files using another format. Simple. Most archivers (including 7zip) can compress to popular formats such as ZIP. It’s possible to automate this process but I won’t discuss that in-depth in this post. Hint : it involves command line πŸ˜‰

Phew. I believe this will be the last post of this file format-oriented kind for a while. I’ve run out of prepared topics anyway. Moderate rejoicing is surely in order, as those few regular readers I have *waves* are probably bored with these bland articles.

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16 Responses to “RAR Converter”

  1. skateaddict says:

    Thanks for this, I seriously had no idea.
    I will no longer delete rar files! lol

  2. White Shadow says:

    Heh, everybody makes mistakes πŸ™‚

  3. steelhawk says:

    hey, I’m just asking. what if I accidentally changed my .001 file into a .rar file via “rename”. how do I change it back? Thanks πŸ˜€

  4. White Shadow says:

    First, enable the display of file extensions. In Windows XP, you can do it by goint to Tools -> Folder Options… in Windows Exporer and unchecking “Hide extensions for known file types” in the “View” tab. It’s probably similar in other OS’s.

    Then just rename it back to .001 πŸ™‚

  5. Keith says:


    I would like to know how to open a rar file on the web without being requested to pay a fee for using software such as 7zip etc. Is it possible to bypass this scam?


  6. White Shadow says:

    …what? 7zip is completely free and open source. You don’t need to pay anything to use it.

    As for your original question, Zamzar is an online converter that can convert rar files to the zip format.

  7. writerman says:

    I don’t want to go on and on with all the blabbing , but let’s get this clear – I think to most of us there is a NEED of an article titled RAR vs. ZIP! Even now my coworkers ask frequently which to chose…

  8. agd2you says:

    hey, I accidentally changed my .001 file into a .rar file via β€œrename”. how do I change it back?? i am using windows 7 ! thx..i tried the stuff u recommended for win xp but it ddnt work

  9. White Shadow says:

    I’m guessing you need to turn off the “Hide file extensions for known file types” option to be able to change it back, but I don’t know how to do that in Win 7.

  10. Roger says:

    7Zip is the best archive program I have used (I have been through quite a few). It even opens ISO files – what other ones can do this?


  11. I personally like 7Zip because it is a all rounder support all formats, But! winrar is always best is own place

  12. karu lal says:

    right click 7zip. goto add your file ..it will work fine.

  13. Cody says:

    Quite a few programs can open iso files. Of course, with windows, you (far as I remember) have to have special programs but there’s many: magiciso, winrar, 7zip you say, and many others. For all I know it is possible in more recent versions of windows. And those programs also support other types.

    And then there’s unix based operating systems that don’t even need a special program – one of the most necessary utilities in it – the one that mounts a disk partition i.e., mount, – allows for mounting iso images (remember an iso image resembles a disk volume or more so it contains a file system) to wherever you want. And many unix based archive programs support many different file types. The ones that don’t are the ones that are named after the actual format. E.g., tar actually is for tar format (though it can use a variety of compression algorithms). zip is for zip, unzip is you guessed it to unzip a zip archive.

    And rar versus zip. It’s simple. They offer similar capability but different algorithms to contain and compress files in them. They’re both archive formats, just have different strengths and weaknesses. Note that generally speaking compressing (or trying to) compress media files (images or music / video) will result in equal size or it’s actually possible (and likely) to be bigger (archiving without compression is certainly useful though). See also:


    In general, a file type can ‘appear’ (by say extension) to be a different type. But try opening an executable in a graphics editing program and you might have some issues. Okay, definitely unless it’s really strange program; how or why would a graphics editor have a program interpreter? It’s all the file format and that’s the difference between zip and rar: different file types = different file formats. They just both happen to have similar functionality. There’s many other types of archive types; see the list at the link I provided for example.

    Kind regards,

  14. Guy Grizz says:

    When you say automate involves command line. I get the feeling creating a script would be involved!?!?

    Have you done it? Could I possibly pick your brain a little? Any help would be grateful.

  15. Tanya Pearl says:

    I’m a mac user and this worked beautifully.


    Thanks a million!!

  16. BBlu says:

    I can mention PeaZip http://peazip.sourceforge.net/ as freeware to convert RAR files.
    It of course extracts and then re-compress the archive, but avoids users to do it by hand or using scripts. Handy, and avoids possible human error for less expert users.

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