During the Build 2023 conference in May this year, Microsoft announced that RAR files will get native support on Windows 11 PCs in a future update, thereby eliminating the need to depend upon third-party software like WinRAR or 7-Zip.
You Can Now Open RAR files In Microsoft’s Windows 11
For those unaware, WinRAR is a popular trialware file archiver utility for Windows, which can create and view archives in RAR or ZIP file formats and unpack several archive file formats.
The Redmond giant recently released an optional KB5031455 Preview cumulative update that adds support for 11 new file archive formats in Windows 11. This ability will allow users to open and decompress RAR files without the need to download a third-party tool like WinRAR.
The 11 new file archive formats that the optional KB50311455 preview update now supports in Windows 11 are .rar, .7z, .tar, .tar.gz, .tar.bz2, .tar.zst, .tar.xz, .tgz, .tbz2, .tzst, and .txz. However, due to the lack of password-protected archive support, you will not be able to access them and still need third-party programs.
According to Microsoft, Windows 11 archived file support was added from the open-sourced libarchive project, which suggests we may also see support for other formats like LZH and XAR in the future.
Libarchive is claimed to be a “portable, efficient C library that can read and write streaming archives in a variety of formats.”
To get the new feature, you need to install the optional KB5031455 Preview cumulative update manually. It will appear as ‘2023-10 Cumulative Update Preview for Windows 11 Version 22H2 for x64-based Systems (KB5031455)’.
Go to the Settings app, then to Windows Update, and click on ‘Check for Updates.’ You will then be prompted to install the update by clicking the ‘Download and install’ button. This new Windows 11 archived file support will also roll out to all Windows 11 users through cumulative updates scheduled for release during November’s Patch Tuesday.