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The other day I had an old developer friend of mine send me a bunch files from his archives so that I could complete a project. However, he had archived them using an older file compression with the file extension .RAR. The problem is that I use an Apple Macintosh computer using updated Apple OS software which does not support that file format by default. So what to do?

Fortunately, there are many file compression solutions that are available for free! The one that we will discuss in this article is called Dr. Unarchiver: RAR & Zip Tool. Note: This free tool is specifically for uncompressing files.

What is RAR? RAR stands for Roshal Archive - named after the Russian software engineer who developed it, Eugene Roshal. This archive type allows for data compression, error recovery, and file spanning. You can find more information on the RAR file format here.

Loading Dr. Unarchiver on your Mac

Like most applications for Apple, installing Dr. Unarchiver is a very simple process. You will need to be able to access the software through the Apple App Store.

  1. Login to your Mac.
  2. Access the App Store.
  3. In the top right corner you'll see the Search field. Click in blank field and type (without the quotes) "Dr. Unarchiver".
  4. Get the Dr. Unarchiver app Click on the Get option under the logo in the top left corner.
  5. Get the Dr. Unarchiver app Once the installation completes you will see the option to Open the application. Click on Open to see the application.

Using Dr. Unarchiver

Using a file decompression tool like Dr. Unarchiver is fairly quick and easy. In this case, we have some .RAR files that need to be uncompressed.

  1. If you have not already opened the app after installing it then you can easily launch it by simply clicking on the magnifying glass (Finder) and then type "Dr. Unarchivers" and hit enter.
  2. Click on Open in the top left corner.
  3. Open the RAR file Navigate to the location of your .RAR files and then click select the files. If you have a separate Finder window open already showing the files you can also simply drag-and-drop the files into the window for the Dr. Unarchiver application.
  4. Extract options After you have located and selected your files, click on Extract. This will uncompress the files for you. There is also an option to use called Secure Extract. This option will scan the file for malware before extracting it. Use this option if you have received something from a non-secure or questionable source.

And that's it! See, quick and easy, right? Having to compress files using .RAR is a little different and will require that you have an application that supports that format. For information on using file compression utilities and other file management options, please see these other articles.

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