Windows users who have been using WinRAR or other third-party software to open RAR files will soon be able to do so without the extra hassle. Microsoft announced that it will add native support for RAR files, including tar, 7-zip, and, gz formats, to Windows 11, using the libarchive open-source project.
RAR, short for Roshal Archive, is a proprietary file compression format, created by Russian software engineer Eugene Roshal in 1993. It supports data compression, error correction, and file spanning, making it useful for splitting large files into smaller chunks for easier transfer and storage.
Unlike ZIP (which is natively supported on Windows), RAR requires its own dedicated software to create and extract files. WinRAR is the most popular of these software, but it is not free. Users who do not pay for a license have to endure a pop-up window every time they use WinRAR.
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Microsoft did not specify when exactly RAR support will be available in Windows 11, but it is likely to be part of an upcoming update.