How to Create a RAR File

By Contributing Writer

RAR files are a form of compressed data files, similar to a Zip or Zipped file. Data compression is used to shrink file sizes so as to save space on a hard drive (or portable drives such as a USB Thumb Drive) or to decrease the time it takes to send a file across the Internet, either as an attachment to an email message or as a file stored on a website as a download.In order to create a RAR (compressed) file in Microsoft Windows or to \"Expand\" (otherwise known as extract or decompress) a RAR file you will need a software program that will handle this type of file for you. Fortunately, there are several easily obtainable software packages that will answer this need, either available a \"shareware\" (try before you buy) or \"freeware\" which is available for free.

Step 1

Locate the file you wish to compress into a RAR format by (Microsoft Windows) opening up My Computer, clicking on the C:\\ drive (or in systems that have multiple drives, whichever drive the file is located on) and then clicking on the folder where the file is located.

Step 2

Highlight the file with a single click of your left mouse button. Right click and choose \"Create Archive.\"

Step 3

Add a password to your file to secure to protect your information by clicking on the Edit menu and choosing Password. (Please note that the password option may be under a different menu heading depending on which RAR program you have installed.)

Step 4

Double click the file to extract it and answer the onscreen questions as to where you want the extracted file saved. (Please note that you will be prompted for a password if one is required during this process.)

Step 5

Use the newly extracted file by opening it with the required program as you would with any other file of the same type.

Tips & Warnings

  • Archiving your unused files will save disk and when password protected will discourage unwanted snooping.
  • RAR files can contain a virus which your anti-virus software cannot recognize until it is extracted.

References & Resources