WinRAR is one of the best applications for managing compressed archives available for Windows. It allows you to easily open all major compressed archive formats (ZIP, 7Z, RAR, etc. including multi-volume archives) and create archives in RAR format, a feature that almost all competing products lack.
The software is paid for but is available in a free trial version that allows you to use all of its features for 40 days. After the trial period, you lose access to a number of advanced features, such as the ability to create password-protected archives; you will also see a number of advertisements inviting you to purchase a license, but the program will continue to run.
WinRAR is compatible with all major Windows editions, from the old Windows 2000 to the recent Windows 10, and is also available in an x64 version that lets you take full advantage of the power of 64-bit processors. It has an interface completely translated into Italian and is extremely easy to use. Let’s get to know it better.
Before getting into the heart of the guide, I’d say to see the requirements to download WinRAR. That way, you’ll be able to find out if the computer you have meets them and, if so, you can proceed with the program’s installation.
First of all, you should know that WinRAR is available for all major Windows editions.
- Windows XP
- Windows 2003
- Windows Vista
- Windows 2008
- Windows 7
- Windows 8/8.x
- Windows 10
The program can be downloaded and used for free, even though it is a shareware software: the license costs 36.54 euros (in promotional periods it can be discounted) and can be used without limits and free of charge for a trial period of 40 days.
At the end of the trial period, the program continues to work, but does not allow you to use some advanced features (such as the one that allows you to create encrypted archives) and frequently shows nag screens that invite you to purchase the license.
I would also like to tell you that WinRAR is also available for macOS and Linux, but only in a version that works from the command line, therefore without a graphical interface.
As for the mobile side, instead, WinRAR is available in the form of an app for devices equipped with Android 4.0 (or later). An app developed by RARLab, the software house responsible for WinRAR’s development, isn’t available for iOS/iPadOS, but there are some good alternatives you can turn to. I’ll tell you about them later.
WinRAR Free Download
Having said all of the above, we can get down to business. Let’s see, then, how to download WinRAR for free in Italian. I’ll show you how to download the application on Windows and Android and how to find good alternatives both on macOS and on iPhone and iPad.
WinRAR Download: Windows 10
To download WinRAR to your Windows 10 PC (and the same goes for any other edition of Microsoft’s operating system), you need to go to the program’s website and click on the Get button located next to the words WinRAR for Windows Xp/2003/Vista/2008/7/8/10 64-bit or WinRAR for Windows Xp/2003/Vista/2008/7/8/10 32-bit, depending on the version of Windows you’re using.
Once downloaded, open the .exe file you have just downloaded and, in the window that opens on the screen, click on the Yes, Install, OK and Close buttons to finish the setup. If you are also interested in understanding how to use the program, you can consult the chapter I have dedicated to its operation.
WinRAR Download: Mac
If you have a Mac, as I mentioned in the previous lines, you should be content to use WinRAR on the command line. I guess you’re not excited about that, are you? Then I would say to fall back on some valid alternative, such as the famous Keka.
Never heard of it before? Basically, this macOS application lets you extract RAR files and all major compressed file formats (7Z, ZIP, etc.). It also allows you to create compressed archives in the main formats (7z, ZIP, TAR, GZIP, BZP2, DMG and ISO; not RAR unfortunately, as this is a proprietary format that you can’t include in free programs without paying a regular license fee).
Keka can be downloaded for free from the Internet, but to support its development you can purchase it for a fee from the Mac App Store at a cost of 4.49 euros. The functions, however, are the same as the free version available on the official website.
To download Keka for free, go to its download page, click on the Download vx.x.xx button and, once the download is complete, open the .dmg package you obtained. Then drag the icon of Keka to the Applications folder of macOS. When the program starts for the first time, answer Open to the warning that appears on the screen (to “bypass Apple’s restrictions on non-certified software) and give Keka all the necessary permissions to run.
To use Keka, you simply have to open the program, drag the archive you are interested in to its main window, drop it at the Release here to extract indication, and wait for the procedure to be successful. The contents inside the archive will be saved in the same location as the original RAR file.
If you need an application to create RAR files on Mac, you can instead rely on RAR Archiver, which is available on the Mac App Store for €2.29. More info here.
WinRAR Download: smartphones and tablets
You can download WinRAR for free on Android smartphones and tablets or, to be more precise, you can download the mobile transposition of the application, called RAR and developed by RARLab, the software house behind WinRAR.
The app is free, allows you to extract archives in RAR, ZIP, TAR, GZ, BZ2, XZ, 7z, ISO and ARJ formats, and create new ones in RAR and ZIP formats. By subscribing for €1.19/year you can eliminate advertising.
To download and install RAR on your Android device, go to its section on the Play Store and click on the Install button (if you use a smartphone without Google services, you can download the apk package of the application from the official WinRAR website)
After installing and launching the app, then grant it the necessary permissions to work and press the No, thanks button to disable customization of ads via tracking.
To import the RAR file you want to open with the app, press the (?) button in the top left corner, specify the location of your interest and select the archive you want to open. The new screen will show you all the files in the archive.
In case you want to extract the files to a different location, place a checkmark next to their names, select the book icon and the up arrow (top), specify the destination path and press the OK button (bottom right).
Are you going to create a RAR archive? In this case, after checking the files you want to include in the archive, tap on the book symbol with a (+) (top), adjust the settings for creating the RAR archive on the newly opened screen, click the OK button and you’re done.
If you have an iPhone or an iPad, as already mentioned, you can’t install any official app dedicated to extracting or creating RAR archives, however you can count on several very good alternatives, for example iZip which I told you about in detail in another tutorial.
How to use WinRAR
If you have downloaded WinRAR on Windows and are having some difficulty using the program, don’t worry: I’m going to explain to you in general terms how to use WinRAR.
To open an archive in RAR format, after installing the program, locate the archive in question, double-click on its icon and decide whether to view the files contained in the archive or extract them to a folder. In the first case, all you have to do is locate the files you want to view, double-click on their icon and wait a few seconds for WinRAR to process them.
In case the archive does not open with WinRAR when you double-click it, try to right-click on it and select Open with > WinRAR from the context menu. To make WinRAR the default program for opening RAR archives, follow the instructions in my tutorial on how to change default programs.
To extract the contents of an archive to a folder, instead, select the files you are interested in from the WinRAR window and drag them to the destination folder using the mouse. Alternatively, if you want to extract all files contained in an archive and copy them to a folder, click the Extract to button in the upper left corner, choose the folder where the files are to be copied and start data export by clicking the OK button. The duration of the procedure varies depending on the amount and “weight” of the files to be extracted (as well as the computing power of your PC of course).
Do you need to extract a multi-volume archive divided into several parts? In this case you have to copy all volumes that compose it (e.g. archive.part1.rar, archive.r00, etc.) into the same folder and open the one with the lowest numerical extension (e.g. part1 or 00) or without numbers in the name (e.g. archive.rar). The rest of the procedure for exporting or opening files is identical to the one we saw before for single archives.
Do you want to create a new RAR archive with WinRAR? In this case all you have to do is select the files you want to include in the archive, right-click on any of them and select Add to Archive from the menu that appears. In the window that opens put a check mark next to RAR and type the name you want to assign to the file in the Archive name field.
Then choose the folder where you want to save the RAR file by clicking the Browse button and set the compression level of the archive using the appropriate drop-down menu. Remember: the higher the compression level the smaller the size of the archive, but increasing the compression level will also increase the time to create the RAR file. Once all preferences are set, click OK and the procedure for creating your archive will start.
If you want to create a multi-volume archive (split into several parts) with WinRAR, follow the procedure we have just seen for creating a new RAR file and use the Split into volumes with size drop-down menu to select the weight that each “piece” of the archive should have. You can use custom sizes or adopt one of the standard sizes in the menu (e.g. 100MB or 700MB).
If you want to create a password-protected RAR file instead, click the Set Password button, type the password you want to use to protect the archive in the Enter Password and Re-enter Password for Verification fields of the opened window and click OK twice to complete the operation.
If you don’t need to create RAR archives but only to extract them, you can also consider using some free alternatives like 7-Zip for Windows, which I have told you about in detail in my guide on how to open RAR files.