WinRAR is one of the most well-known archiving tools for Windows, and there's a good reason for it. It is straightforward and provides easy tools for file compression and also uncompression of existing archived files already on your computer.
When you install and open it for the first time, you'll be greeted with the WinRAR home page, which is essentially a built-in file browser that navigates through the files on your system. With a few clicks, you can navigate to different folders or drives. Alternatively, you can use the find tool to locate a specific archive file saved on your PC.
Once you have navigated to an archive file, you'll be able to extract it in a number of ways. You can extract it to a specified location from within WinRAR, or you can use Windows File Explorer, find your archived file, right click it, and click extract. Uncompressing abilities of WinRAR are quite straightforward. Fortunately, the same can be said about compressing files and making your own archives.
To make a new archive, you'll be better off using Windows Explorer. Navigate to the files or folders you'd like to archive, highlight the items, right click on them and click 'Add to archive…'. You'll now have options for choosing the archive name, archive file format, and selecting what you'd like to do with the original files once the archive is created. Just like with uncompressing, the compression feature works quickly, although larger archives do take reasonably longer to process.
Although there are not many, there are some negative aspects of WinRAR. One of them is that it can only compress RAR, ZIP, and RAR5 archive formats. The plus side is that it can uncompress most of the archive types. For example, .7Z archives can be uncompressed, but it'll require another software to compress.
WinRAR comes as unlimited trial, but you'll still get pop-ups asking you to buy it, after the trial period is over, which can become frustrating at times. If you can ignore those, you've essentially got a fully-kitted legal archiving tool for free.
Reviewed by Ollie Green
(editor rating 4 out of 5 stars
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