How To Get WinRAR For MAC OS To Open RAR Files On MAC

WinRAR for Mac OS is available as freeware. If you have recently installed Mac OS on your PC or got a new Mac and want to extract RAR files, then this tutorial is for you. Most of the users that switch to Mac Os find it difficult to find the correct application that supports a definite file format. They also cannot find the right place to get that application form and moreover cannot install it properly from an installer file.

It’s quite complicated to install and use WinRAR on macOS and is only recommended to expert users only. If you are just looking to extract RAR files or compress your files into a RAR file, you can do so with other applications as well. Other alternatives to WinRAR for a macOS system use the same technology to compress and uncompress RAR files and you can use their GUI to get it done fairly easier.

READ: How does WinRAR make money actually

Winrar For Mac OS : Downloading And Installing

Please bear in mind that if you are expecting to open RAR files on Mac OS the similar way you do on a Windows operating system, you should look into the alternatives.

The only way to use Winrar for mac OS is from the terminal entering commands and this can be quite confusing for someone that has never used the terminals before.

First, let’s look into downloading and installing Winrar on your Mac OS.

Downloading The WinRAR Installer

Go to the Winrar website’s download page and download the latest version of WinRAR for Mac OS for free from there. The latest version as of the time me getting this guide ready is RAR 6.02 for macOS (64 bit).

Once the download is completed, open the downloads folder. Double click on the file which should extract the “RAR” folder or a folder with all the contents required to run Winrar on your macOS.

Open the folder and select three files and copy them from inside the folder, press and hold the commands key to select multiple files at once on macOS.

default.sfx, rar, rarfiles.lst, unrar

Assuming you are already on the finder app, if not open the finder application and click on Go > “Go to Folder”. Enter the following folder URL in the box that opens up.


In the folder that opens up, paste the three files that you copied earlier.


That’s the end of the process of installation of WinRAR on a Mac OS system.

Next, let’s see how to open RAR files on Mac using the files we just copied over.

How To Open RAR Files ON Mac OS

Open the terminal app from the dock or using the launcher,

Type rar and hit the enter key. You will most probably get a warning that “rar” cannot be opened because the developer cannot be verified. This is normal, all you need to do is allow macOS to open these files that it thinks are not verified.


Go to Settings > Security & Privacy, make sure you are on the “General” tab on the window.

At the bottom of the page, you should see the same error message that you saw earlier. Next to the message you will find an “Allow Anyway” button, click on it and enter your login password to allow the app.


Now go back to the terminal and this time type unrar and hit the enter and follow the previously mentioned process again to allow the unrar app too.

The main reason behind this is to simply allow these apps to be run to extract RAR files or create RAR files on your Mac OS.

You can have these files anywhere on your operating system, but I always bring them into my downloads folder or the desktop as it makes it easier to enter the commands. If not, you can always simply drag and drop the files into the terminal, and this will give you the exact URL for that file.

The main reason I have not used that process here is that sometimes the RAR file extraction and creation completes without any failure but I cannot see any files created under that folder. Maybe I am missing some command that will make sure the file is created, if you know please get in touch from the comments section below.

Enter cd downloads, which will change the current working folder to “Downloads”

cd downloads

In the screenshot below, “test.rar” is a file that I am looking to extract. You should also do the same and open the location of the file first.

Once you have located the file, open the terminal and type unrar(space)x followed by a spacebar, next drag the file and drop it into the terminal. The terminal will automatically detect the exact URL path of the folder.

unrar x test.rar

Hit the enter key and all the contents of the RAR files will be extracted inside the same folder.

How To Create A RAR File In Mac OS

In the same way, you opened a RAR file, you can also create one easily. The process of creating a RAR file is also fairly easy and simple.

I have a beamoff folder and I am looking to create a beamoff.rar fille. To achieve this, I will enter the following command.

rar a beamoff.rar downloads
beamoff.rar - filename for the RAR file to be created 
downloads - where you would like to file to be created, which is usually the same you are in as it makes it easier or you can leave this blank. Leaving it blank will create the file wherever you are in the terminal. 

Best WinRAR For Mac OS ALlternatives

If you do not want to get your hands dirty and install WinRAR for Mac OS from the terminal, there are other applications that provide a UI and easy-to-use interface. Unarchiever was a very popular WinRAR alternative for mac OS in the past but since then better applications have come out.

The problem arises when a file is compressed with the most latest compressions algorithm that might be only available in the latest version of WinRAR. For sure, you can use a windows system but that would defeat the whole purpose.

WinRAR – RAR ZIP 7Z Unarchiver


Go to the AppStore and search for WinRAR, this should be the first one that pops up. Installation only takes a single click.

Once installed, open the app and simply drag and drop the RAR file that you are looking to extract.

In the next window, you can either select all the files to be extracted or pick and choose which files to extract from the RAR.

Finally, click on Export and choose where you would like those files to be extracted and hit the “Export” button.

That’s how to get WinRAR for mac, how to use it to open RAR files on mac, and the best alternatives for Winrar for mac OS.

If you have other suggestions, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below.

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