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How to Open a RAR file on your Macbook(macOS)?

Posted in Tricks   JULY 21, 2021

To share large files, the best format on the Internet is .rar which is used widely to share files like raw pictures, ISO images for games, large video files, etc. To see the content of the .rar ZIP file, you have to open the RAR file to see its content.

RAR is a file format used which can hold many files inside a folder in a compressed format. RAR file format is ideal for sharing or downloading large number of files.

In Windows operating system, you can use WinRar to extract the content of a .rar file, but in the case of Mac, how to open a .rar file?

By default, macOS doesn't comes with any application or utility to decompress or extract the content from a RAR file.

If you have VLC player installed on your Mac, the RAR file will be shown as if its a VLC media player compatible file. But you cannot use VLC player to open a .rar file, so don't try that.

To open a RAR file on your Macbook, you can use the Unarchiver application available for FREE for the Macbook.

open rar file in macbook

Step 1. Download The Unarchiver App

You can download The Unarchiver app from Apple play store or from the Unarchiver official website. You will get the .dmg file, double-click on it to mount it and start the installation.

Once you have installed The Unarchiver application, you can open it if it doesn't start automatically. When you first open the applicaiton you will get to choose what all extensions you want The Unarchiver app to pick automatically to unarchive or extract.

choose RAR extension TheUnarchiver

Step 2. Open the .rar File

Once you have installed The Unarchiver application successfully, go to the .rar file location, and double click on it to open it with The Unarchiver application. If that doesn't work, then right click on the file, then select Open with... and click on The Unarchiver app option.

open RAR file in Mac

Step 3. It' done

Yes, after you select the The Unarchiver application to open the .rar file, The Unarchiver app will take some time to open the RAR file depending upon its size. In the default setting, this application creates a new folder at the same location with all the content of the RAR file in the folder, if there are more than one files inside the RAR file.

Other Applications for opening RAR file in Mac:

WinZIP is another good application which can also be used to open .rar files on Macbook to unarchive and extract its content. The WinZIP application works well with RAR files and its super simple to use it just like the 'The Unarchiver' application.


The .rar files are very commonly used to share large files over the Internet. From Game files, to high resolution raw camera pictures, videos, etc. are generally shared as a RAR file, to reduce the size of the file, which makes it easier to share and download.