Rejoice, all ye free WinRAR trial users, for Windows has finally caved. According to a new blog post outlining new features for Windows 11, Microsoft stated that Windows will soon natively support RAR and 7-zip files without the need for third-party apps, making it much easier to unpack downloaded content.
If you’ve been downloading files off the internet, you’ve probably had to use a RAR file at some point. RAR files allow us to compress data while keeping it high quality, creating a good format for packaging it up to be downloaded later. However, Windows has never natively supported this format, so for years users have been downloading third-party software to do it for them.
The most popular is WinRAR, and its use is so ubiquitous that it has become somewhat of a meme in the tech community. WinRAR allows you to extract RAR files to a folder, unlocking the data within. While it is technically a paid service, by dismissing the prompt to begin paid subscription, users are able to stay in a perpetual free trial. Everyone knows only the coolest people pay for WinRAR.
Now, though, those days may finally be over.
“We have added native support for additional archive formats, including tar, 7-zip, rar, gz and many others using the libarchive open-source project. You now can get improved performance of archive functionality during compression on Windows,” writes Microsoft in the blog post.
According to the Verge, support for those formats should come with an update at some point in the next few days.
In addition to these changes, Microsoft is adding a suite of new features that are mainly geared towards developers, in the form of Windows Copilot and Dev Home, which will see AI integrated into Windows’ offerings.