Windows 11 announced that very soon will offer native support for RAR, 7-ZIP and other compressed file formats. The technology giant took advantage of the start of its Build 2023 conference to show all the news that will come to its operating system. Although artificial intelligence has been the protagonist of the event, Microsoft also dedicated space to small details, such as this feature.
In an entry published in the official blogPanos Panay, product manager for Windows and Devices, confirmed the news. “We’ve added native support for additional archive formats, including tar, 7-zip, rar, gz, and many others using the open source libarchive project,” Panay said. “You can now get improved performance of the archive functionality during compression on Windows,” he said.
Native support for RAR files comes after decades of relying on third-party programs. Those coming from Windows 98 SE or Windows XP will remember that WinRAR was ever used to unzip documents (or game cracks). The application had a trial period of 40 daysalthough we could use it for years without paying a penny, just like WinZip.
While many relied on apps trialware (like WinRAR) for years, the new generations adopted 7-Zip. The open source file archiver became the best alternative, thanks to its high compression rate and compatibility with multiple file types. Added to that, AES-256 encryption allowed us to protect our documents before sharing them.
How to unzip a RAR file in Windows 11
Microsoft did not confirm the availability for native support of RAR or 7-ZIP archives. It may arrive in the next software update, or in a later patch. Nor is it very well known how it will work, although we could assume that it will be identical to what we see with the ZIP format. Users will not have to use a third-party application to open a .rar, .gz or .7z file.
Native RAR and 7-ZIP support ensures that people will be able to double-click a file and view the content or extract it directly from Windows 11 Explorer. This would be convenient for the average user who is not very familiar with archives. Microsoft has tried to facilitate the user experience in its latest version of the operating system, leaving aside the dependence on additional software.
For people who zip and send files, native RAR support could go unnoticed and blame it on Microsoftt. The experience with ZIP files hasn’t changed much since Windows XP. the technological has never offered advanced controls to control the compression ratio or support for splitting files.
The enthusiast will continue to rely on tools like 7-zip that ensure a more robust experience. While thanks to Microsoft for providing native support for RAR, its implementation is two decades late.