How to Unzip RAR Files on Mac: A General Guide

Hello there! Are you a Mac user who is struggling to unzip RAR files? No worries, you have come to the right place! In this article, we will guide you through the process of how to unzip RAR files on your Mac. It’s actually easier than you might think, and we will make sure to explain each step in detail so that you can follow along easily. So, grab your Mac and let’s get started!


Step 1: Download Unarchiver

The first thing you need to do is download a software called Unarchiver. This software is specifically designed to extract files from different formats, including RAR files. You can download Unarchiver for free from the App Store or from their official website.

Step 2: Install Unarchiver

After you have downloaded the software, open the installer and follow the instructions to install it on your Mac. This should only take a few minutes.

Step 3: Open Unarchiver

Once you have installed Unarchiver, open it from your Launchpad or Applications folder. You should see the Unarchiver icon on your dock.

Step 4: Choose Your RAR File

Locate the RAR file that you want to extract and right-click on it. Select “Open With” and then choose “Unarchiver” from the list of applications.

Step 5: Extract the RAR File

The Unarchiver will automatically start extracting the RAR file once you have chosen it. The extraction process may take a few minutes depending on the size of the file.

Step 6: Choose Your Destination Folder

Once the extraction is complete, you will be prompted to choose a destination folder where you want to save the extracted files. Choose a folder of your choice and click on “Extract”.

Step 7: Check Your Extracted Files

Go to the destination folder that you have chosen and check whether the extracted files are there. If they are, then you have successfully extracted the RAR file!

Step 8: Delete the RAR File

It’s always a good idea to delete the RAR file once you have extracted it to save space on your Mac. Simply right-click on the file and choose “Move to Trash”.

Step 9: Use Terminal to Unzip RAR Files

If for some reason, you cannot use Unarchiver, you can always use Terminal to unzip RAR files. Simply open Terminal and type in the command “unrar x [name of file].rar” and hit enter. The RAR file will be extracted in the same directory as the original file.

Step 10: Use RAR for Mac

If you frequently deal with RAR files on your Mac, you may want to invest in a software called RAR for Mac. This software is specifically designed to work with RAR files and is a great alternative to Unarchiver.

Step 11: Use Online Extractors

If you don’t want to download any software, you can always use online extractors to unzip your RAR files. Simply search for “online RAR extractor” on your browser and pick one of the many options available.

Step 12: Ask for Help

If you have tried all the methods above and still can’t unzip your RAR file, don’t hesitate to ask for help from friends or professionals. They may be able to provide a solution that you haven’t thought of.


Now that we have gone through the steps, let’s explain some of the concepts mentioned above in more detail.

Unarchiver is a software that supports multiple archive formats, including RAR files. It is free to download and easy to install.

Terminal is a built-in tool on Mac that allows you to interact with the operating system using text commands. It can be a bit intimidating for beginners, but it is a powerful tool that can be used to accomplish various tasks.

RAR for Mac is a software that is specifically designed to work with RAR files. It has more features than Unarchiver and is a good option for those who deal with RAR files frequently.

Online extractors are websites that allow you to extract files from archives online. They are free to use but may not be as reliable as software installed on your Mac.

Asking for help is always an option, especially if you have exhausted all the methods above. Someone with more expertise may be able to provide a solution that you haven’t thought of.

Tips and Tricks

1. Always scan your downloaded RAR files for viruses before extracting them.

2. Make sure you have enough storage space before extracting large RAR files.

3. Keep your Mac updated to ensure that you have the latest security features.

4. Use Unarchiver for ease of use and convenience.

5. Use Terminal for greater control and customization.

6. Use RAR for Mac for advanced features and support.

7. Choose your destination folder wisely to avoid cluttering your Mac.

8. Delete RAR files after extracting them to save space.

9. Use online extractors with caution as they may not be as secure as software installed on your Mac.

10. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it!

And there you have it! A comprehensive guide on how to unzip RAR files on your Mac. We hope that this article has been helpful to you and that you are now able to extract RAR files with ease. Remember to follow the tips and tricks mentioned above to ensure that your Mac stays safe and clutter-free. Happy extracting!

Advantages and Disadvantages of How to Unzip Rar Files on Mac


1. Convenient: The process of unzipping RAR files on Mac is quick and easy, making it convenient for users who need to extract files on a regular basis.

2. Compatibility: Almost all Mac devices have built-in software to unzip RAR files, making it compatible with different types of Mac devices.

3. Space-saving: RAR files use compression techniques to reduce the size of files, which can help to save space on your Mac’s hard drive.

4. Security: RAR files can be locked with a password, ensuring the security of your files.

5. Multiple Archive Formats Support: Mac’s default archive utility can decompress and create ZIP, TAR, and Gzip archives, expanding the range of supported archive formats.

6. Free: Users do not need to purchase any additional software to unzip RAR files on Mac, as the built-in archive utility is free to use.

7. Support for Large Files: RAR format can handle large files, making it convenient for transferring large data over the internet or backing up data.

8. Error Detection and Repair: RAR files can contain recovery records that are used for error detection and repair.

9. Automated Extraction: The default archive utility on Mac allows for automatically extracting files after downloading is completed, reducing the time and effort required to extract files.

10. Variety of Tools: There are a variety of third-party tools available on the internet that offer more advanced functions for managing RAR files on Mac.


1. Limited Editing: RAR files are compressed archives, which limits the user’s ability to edit files within them.

2. Incomplete Extraction: In rare cases, the default archive utility on Mac may fail to extract all the files from a RAR archive.

3. Lower Compression Ratio: RAR files offer a lower compression ratio compared to other popular formats such as .7z or .tar.gz.

4. Limited Operating System Support: RAR files cannot be opened natively on some operating systems, such as Linux, without installing third-party software.

5. Security Risks: Password-protected RAR files may still be vulnerable to hacking attacks or brute-force attacks, compromising the security of your files.

6. Compatibility Issues: RAR files created on a different operating system may not be readable on a Mac device.

7. Extraction Errors: Occasionally, the archive utility may encounter errors while extracting, causing the process to fail or corruption of the files being extracted.

8. Lack of Repair Tools: In some cases, RAR files may become corrupted and require repair tools, which are not built into the default archive utility on Mac.

9. Dependency on Third-Party Software: If the default archive utility on Mac fails to extract RAR files, users may need to seek out third-party software to perform this function instead.

10. User Error: Unzipping RAR files on Mac can involve complex operations that may be confusing for some users, leading to errors in properly extracting or managing the files.


1. What is a RAR file?

A RAR file is a compressed file format used to store multiple files and reduce their overall size for easy transfer and storage.

2. Can I unzip a RAR file on a Mac?

Yes, unzipping RAR files can easily be done on a Mac with the use of third-party software.

3. What software do I need to unzip RAR files on a Mac?

You can use either The Unarchiver or StuffIt Expander. They are both free and can be downloaded from the App Store.

4. How do I install The Unarchiver on my Mac?

To install The Unarchiver, simply search for it in the App Store and click on the “Get” button to download and install it onto your Mac.

5. How do I install StuffIt Expander on my Mac?

StuffIt Expander can also be found in the App Store. Just search for it and click on “Get” to download and install it onto your Mac.

6. How do I use The Unarchiver to unzip a RAR file?

Right-click on the RAR file and select “Open with” then choose The Unarchiver to unzip the file.

7. How do I use StuffIt Expander to unzip a RAR file?

Right-click on the RAR file and select “Open with” then choose StuffIt Expander to unzip the file.

8. Is there any difference between The Unarchiver and StuffIt Expander?

Both software have the same basic features, but The Unarchiver can handle more file formats compared to StuffIt Expander.

9. Can I create RAR files on a Mac?

Yes, you can create RAR files on a Mac with the use of a third-party application like WinZip and WinRAR.

10. Do I need to purchase WinZip or WinRAR to create RAR files on a Mac?

Yes, you need to purchase a license key to activate both WinZip and WinRAR after the end of their free trial period to continue using their services.

11. How do I extract only specific files from a RAR file?

Open the RAR file with either The Unarchiver or StuffIt Expander and select the specific files you want to extract before dragging and dropping them to your desired location on your Mac.

12. Can I password protect my RAR file on a Mac?

Yes, you can password protect RAR files on a Mac with the use of both WinZip and WinRAR.

13. Will my Mac’s performance be affected by unzipping large RAR files?

Unzipping large RAR files may take a while to finish, but it shouldn’t affect your Mac’s performance as long as your Mac’s hardware is sufficient enough to handle the workload.


Unzipping RAR files on Mac may seem complicated, but it is actually quite simple. With the right software and a few easy steps, you can have your files unzipped and ready to use in no time. Whether you need to extract a single file or an entire archive, there are plenty of options available to help you get the job done. By following the tips and tricks outlined in this article, you’ll be able to unzip RAR files like a pro, and enjoy the convenience and accessibility that they offer.


Thank you for reading this article on how to unzip RAR files on Mac. We hope that you found it helpful and informative, and that you are now able to easily extract RAR files for your personal or professional needs. As always, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to us. We are always happy to help, and we look forward to hearing from you. So, until next time, happy unzipping!