Have you recently downloaded a file that either ends with a suffix like “.RAR” or “.ZIP” and found yourself at a complete loss as to what you’re supposed to do with it? Indeed, it can be a little intimidating to encounter files that your computer wouldn’t normally be able to open.
For those who aren’t too tech-savvy, this can prove to be a difficult obstacle to overcome. Nonetheless, as long as you invest time to learn how to open these types of files, you’ll soon find out that they aren’t really as hard to manage as you initially thought.
The mere fact that you’ve taken the initiative to learn about how to open RAR or ZIP files is already a good step towards the right direction. It’s very much worth your time too since these RAR and ZIP files are rather common, especially if you frequent any form of downloading platform online.
After all, zipped files are one of the most convenient ways to bundle up groups of files into a single archive for easy sharing and grouping. Furthermore, it takes significantly less space in your system as well because zipped files are essentially compressed.
RAR and ZIP Files: Is There a Difference?
In terms of technical differences (e.g. in speed and density of compression) there are, but they probably won’t interest you much. What’s certain is that both are compressed files. It’s important to note, though, that ZIP archives are more popular and numerous than their RAR counterparts. This is why it’s almost always recommended to opt for a program that would always be compatible with the former.
Using the Best Program is Key
Know that there is more than one program out there that makes it possible for you to open ZIP and RAR files. Also, keep in mind that being able to open the said files forms only half of the equation. This is because you almost always have to extract their contents (the files that were compressed into the specific archive) as well.
With that said, the program that we recommend for a beginner like you, assuming you are using Windows, is WinZip. Most of the reason for this hinges on the program’s ability to open files that end in both suffixes. Other good programs include WinRAR or 7Zip, but you certainly won’t go wrong with WinZip.
How to Download and Install WinZip
What’s good is that WinZip offers a free 21-day trial for users. You can make use of all of its functionalities within that duration, the most of important of which is its ability to open and extract RAR and ZIP files. That being said, just follow these easy steps:
1. To download it, you only need to go to this site where there is a WinZip free download link
2. After you get there, just click on the DOWNLOAD WINZIP’ button.
3. Afterward, you only have to launch the exe file that you downloaded then open it. This file would then subsequently download and install WinZip for you.
4. Once you have installed it, WinZip becomes the default program for opening RAR and ZIP files, assuming it’s the first of its kind that you installed in your computer.
How to Open and Extract RAR and ZIP Files Using WinZip
1. Before beginning, take note of the exact location of where you downloaded the RAR or ZIP file that you want to open. If you downloaded it from the Internet, it would probably be in your ‘Downloads’ folder.
2. Open WinZip from its shortcut on the Desktop then click on ‘File’ then ‘Open’. Go to the directory where the ZIP or RAR files is placed. Otherwise, if WinZip is already associated with both suffixes, you only have to double-click on the said archived files.
3. You would be given an overview of the compressed files with specific checkboxes located beside them. If you mean to extract or unzip them all, just select ‘All Files’ the menu above. Otherwise just mark the ones that you want to put into your computer then click on ‘Selected Files’.
4. On the same portion, there is a 1-Click Unzip button. Click on that after you’ve decided on which files to download. Choose the option to Unzip to PC then just set the exact destination where you want to place the files. Lastly, click on the Unzip button. This should effectively extract the files and you can now open them. Congratulations! You’ve just learned how to extract RAR and ZIP files!
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