How to use Winrar effectively – 7 tips

WinRAR is one of the most popular compressing tools used to reduce the size of files, allowing you to send a large file over email or a popular file-sharing service. Winrar is similar to WinZip but with additional functionality. So in this post, I am putting down my hands-on experience, which will help you know how to use WinRAR productively.

How to use Winrar effectively - 7 tips

1] Enable Explorer-like view

Single pane view is the default view; using that, you will have to keep changing folders one by one to reach your file. But there is an easy way. On the WinRAR interface, go to “Options > Folder Tree > Show Disk Folder”. This will give you an explorer-like window, and selecting a file is easy now.

2] Enable Detail View

By default, you will get to see the list, but we need to see the details from time to time. “Goto “Options > File List > Details”

3] Check how much it will be compression and how long will it take to compress

This a unique feature of  Winrar.  If you have a huge folder structure to zip, how do you know how much it can be compressed and how much Winrar will take it to compress? Winrar has an inbuilt functionality that can help you find that.

  • Select one or multiple files you want to compress, then on the WinRAR, look for an “Info” Tab.
  • Click that, and you will get another window with 4 tabs.
  • The first tab contains an “Estimate Button”. Clicking in this, the tool will tell you how much your data can be compressed in percentage and how much time it will take to compress.
  • This is extremely useful as it will save a lot of time of yours instead of sitting and waiting for it to finish.

4] Split Files using Winrar

What would you do if the compression measurement tells you that size can not be compressed more than 90% and size is too big to fit on cd or mail? Winrar acts more than a compression tool. Here is how you can use it to split.

  • Choose a file or folder you want to split.
  • Right-clicking on it and click “Add files to archives.”
  • It opens a tab. You need to find the “Split to file, bytes” drop-down menu, which is present at the lower part.
  • Either you can enter tha value in bytes or select a predefined format like 1.44 Mb floppy, CD ROM, DVD, or even auto-detect. The auto-detect feature can check the destination space and split files according to that.
  • Now archive it. You will see a list of files generated which are according to your need.

5] Make a Self Extracting archive:

It’s a general problem that if I send you a WinRAR compressed archive, you might not have the same software to open it, or worst, you don’t have any compression tool.

So what can you do? Easy, You can create a self-extracting archive that will act like the software installed in one step.

  • Click on the Existing file you want to compress and make a normal archive.
  • Now select the archive you just made, “Go to Tools > Convert archive to SFX.”
  • One more way is while creating an archive. You can ask it to make an SFX.

6] Compress and Mail

Winrar also allows you to send any file by mail by automatically compressing and then attach to mail. There is a Compress and email feature that has to be enabled if it’s not.

  • Go to Options > Settings.
  • It opens up another screen with a lot of tabs. Click on the tab named Integration.
  • On the tab, look for a button with the label Context Menus. Click that
  • This will open another window, which shows the list of features that pops up when you right-click a file.
  • Enable the Compress and email by checking it.
  • Now right-click on any file, and you will see the menu enabled.

7] Change The Temporary Folder

Winrar requires to use of a temporary place when it tries to compress a file. By default, it’s located somewhere in C drive. If you don’t have much space there, you can always change the location.

  • Goto Options > Settings .
  • This opens up another screen with tabs. Now go to Paths Tab.
  • Click on “Choose a folder for temporary files” and select a path that suits you.

8] Create Windows Installer :

Winrar also helps you create an installer program, i.e., similar to setup files to install anything. This can be used to create a simple program using your files and folder to install it on your friend’s computer and make it look professional. Check out “How to create a professional installer using WinRAR.”

Test an Archive before extracting it :

You can right-click on any archive and select  Test Archived Files. This will make initial checks like header corrupt etc., and tell you if the unarchiving operation will be successful or not. This is useful when you have a big archive file. In case you find a corrupt archive, you can right-click and select Repair Archive to fix it.

Resources :

  • Download Winrar
  • Windows and Mac OS X, Dos, Linux, Free BSD supported
  • Available in trial or buy packages

So what is the archiving tool you are using? I find WinRAR very useful. Does your archiving tool give more features? Share with us in the comments, and we will get to know more.


  1. Thanks you so much,

    i’ve been trying to figure how to compress and cut up a .iso file to fit on my 2 gig flash drive to move to my other computer. Thank you very much for the tip.

  2. How will i open a RAR file that was downloaded from torrent?
    I downloaded a game but i can’t open it from WinRAR, pls help.

  3. To extract a file that has been archived into many parts, simply select a part (can be any part) and select Extract Files. It’ll recognize the other files as being connected to each other as long as they’re all in the same directory.

  4. How do u archive (abc.rar,abc.r00,abc.r01,abc.r02… I’ve seen such type of files which I downloaded.

  5. Why is it that my rar files are of the same size as the files inside the archive? I wanted to ‘compress’ the files but the size remains the same! Please help.

  6. hi dere
    i ve seen some file says rar file is NOT password protected
    how we watch ths type of file
    cuase when we download it doesnt support by vlc player alone
    i dont ve win rar also
    n i m wondering how its work

    thank u in advance

  7. may i know how to get files from a rar file?
    how to get the songs compressed from that single rar file using the winrar? thanks. urgent

  8. Hey Dudes, its cool…. winrar 14.5. Have u tested it?. Its available in x32bit & x64bit. Everything you want comes in one package…..compress, split etc.


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