Can Not Open Rar File As Archive?

RAR files are commonly used to compress and secure large files, making them easier to transfer and download. However, encountering an error message that says “cannot open file as archive” is not uncommon when trying to access these files. This error can be frustrating, especially if you need the file urgently.

There are various reasons why you may not be able to open a RAR file as an archive. It could be due to the file being corrupted during the compression process, or the software used to compress the file may not have completed the process successfully. Additionally, incompatible software versions, an outdated version of the WinRAR software, or a failure in the storage device that houses the file can also cause this error message. In the following paragraphs, we will explore some possible solutions to this problem.

Can Not Open RAR File as Archive

Possible explanation:

RAR is a popular file compression format that can reduce the size of files by grouping them together and applying various algorithms. However, some users may encounter an error message that says they cannot open a RAR file as an archive. This problem can be caused by various factors, including:

– Incomplete or corrupt RAR file: If the RAR file is not fully downloaded or has been damaged during transmission, it may not be possible to extract its contents. In this case, you may need to re-download the file or try repairing it using a RAR repair tool.
– Wrong file extension or program association: If the RAR file has a wrong extension, such as .rar.part or .rar.exe, or is associated with the wrong program, such as WinZip or 7-Zip, it may not be recognized as a valid archive. To fix this, you may need to rename the file with .rar extension or change the program association to WinRAR or another compatible tool.
– Insufficient disk space or permission: If your computer does not have enough disk space to extract the RAR file, or if you don’t have permission to write to the output folder, the extraction process may fail. Check your disk space and permissions and try again.
– Virus or malware infection: If the RAR file is infected with a virus or other malware, your antivirus program may quarantine or delete it, or prevent you from opening it. Run a full virus scan on your system and follow the recommended actions.
– Incompatible or outdated software version: If your version of WinRAR or other RAR-compatible software is too old or too new for the RAR file, you may not be able to open it. Check for updates or try using a different software version.

In summary, if you cannot open a RAR file as an archive, you may need to check its integrity, extension, program association, disk space, permissions, antivirus status, or software version. By resolving these issues, you can extract the contents of the RAR file and access its original files and folders.


1. What should I do if I can’t open a RAR file as an archive?
There could be multiple reasons why a RAR file won’t open, such as corruption or a wrong file extension. Try unzipping the file with a dedicated RAR extractor tool like 7-Zip or WinRAR.

2. Why am I getting an error message saying “cannot open as archive” when attempting to unzip a RAR file?
The error message appears when the RAR file is not in a valid archive format or is corrupted. Re-download the RAR file and try again, or repair the corruption with an archive repair tool.

3. Is it possible to open a password-protected RAR file without the password?
No, password protection is designed to prevent unauthorized access to the contents of the RAR file. Without the password, it is not possible to open the RAR file.

4. Why does my RAR file only partially extract?
Partial extraction can occur if the RAR file is mistakenly copied, or part of it is corrupted. Try to recover the lost data with an archive repair tool, or re-download and extract the RAR file again from a trusted source.

5. How can I avoid issues when opening RAR files as archives?
To avoid issues when opening RAR files, always download files from trusted sources. Additionally, ensure that you have a reliable RAR extractor tool, such as 7-Zip or WinRAR, installed on your device.


In conclusion, it is important to keep in mind that if you encounter an error message stating that a RAR file cannot be opened as an archive, there are solutions available to help resolve the issue. With the use of specialized software or online tools, you can easily extract the files from the RAR archive without encountering any further problems. Remember to always verify the authenticity and safety of the RAR file before attempting to extract its contents to avoid any potential security risks.

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