Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Regarding .RAR Files

I've received several emails and read several 4Shared comments regarding the inability to download .rar files. .Rar is very common these days, and is indeed able to be downloaded and extracted by anyone on any computer.

If you're on a Mac, you'll need a program like Stuff It or Zipeg, which I believe is a freebie. Both programs work with various file extensions and also work with Windows. The host program, WinRAR is also available in both Windows and Mac versions, but only has a free 30-day trial.

If any Windows XP users with a zip program already installed are experiencing difficulty with .rar files, first check to see that your zip program is a) capable of handling .rar (most of them are) and b) that you've enabled the .rar extension within the zip program itself. ;)

If that passes inspection, next check to see that .rar is a recognized file type in Windows and is assigned to your zip program. To do that, open any Windows Explorer window, such as My Documents. Click Tools at the top, then Folder Options. (Or go to Control Panel/Folder Options.) You'll see several tabs on the next screen; click File Types. Give the list a minute to load, then scroll down to see if .rar is included in the roster of extensions. If not, add it by clicking the New button, then entering RAR in the box that pops up. Click OK to close, which brings you back to the File Types tab. Click Apply first, then click OK.

If .rar is already listed, but WinRAR or your current zip program doesn't display on the right as the correct "opener" of .rar files, highlight the line by clicking once, then click the now-active Change button. There will be a list of programs on the next screen. Find your zip program and double click it to select. If you don't see your zip program in the program list, click the Browse button below and navigate to it manually. If you're not sure what your zip program is called, go back and scroll down to the .zip extension to see what's entered there, then use the same program for .rar. Click Apply and OK as you did before. You should now be all set. :)

Windows Vista users (Thanks, Anita! Totally forgot about you guys! LOL!!) have a bit of a different setup. Folder Options no longer contains the File Types tab. Nevertheless, if you need/want to access Folder Options, it's still in the same place as it is in XP, but Vista "hides" the menu by default in Windows Explorer. Apparently the ALT key toggles it right back, though. Another quick way to access it is via the search box in the Start Menu. Simply type "Folder Options" in the search field, and the first result should be the Folder Options shortcut. You can also go to the Control Panel. Folder Options is now under Appearance and Personalization.

As for making sure Vista recognizes .rar and is properly assigned to your zip program, first let's make sure .rar is on your system. If not, we'll add it. Go to Control Panel/Indexing Options. Click the "Advanced" button. In the following Advanced Options window, click the File Types tab. Scroll down to see if .rar is in the list. Checking/unchecking the box next to an existing file type will add or remove it accordingly.

To add new a file type, type the new extension (RAR, in this case) at the bottom, then click the "Add New Extension" button right next to it. After adding the new file type, you can also set how the file will be indexed, then click OK twice to close the Indexing Options window. During the next indexing cycle, your changes will either be added or removed from the search index.

If .rar appears but isn't properly assigned to your zip program, we'll need the Set Associations window to fix it. Go to the Control Panel, then click Programs. Under Default Programs, select "Make a file type always open in a specific program." The Set Associations window will appear. Click the line with the .rar extension to highlight, then click the "Change Program" button. Or, you can right-click the file extension, then select Properties. On the General tab, click the Change button.

Hope that helps to get PC users ".rar-in" to go. LOL! Thanks again to Anita for pointing out my XPonential oversight! ;) Hoping Mac users have a little better luck, as well. :)


Maria said...

Thank you! Your blog post will be advertised on the DigiFree Digital Scrapbooking Freebie search engine today.

AnitaDK said...

Didn't see an email for you so will post here... it's great we can do it this way instead of having to download the 30 day trial for windows. The only problem is that in Vista the "File Type" tab is not under folder options. I found it on my desktop which still has XP but still can't find it on my laptop which has Vista. Any recommendations on another way to access the "file type" area so I can add the rar extension?

twinsmom1 said...

thank you for this wonderful kit!! I am with the lady above me, I have no idea where to find some things on VIsta!

Jody said...

Unrar works perfect for Mac users as well It is free