Installing Winrar on Mac: A Command Line Guide

Do you want install winrar on mac for opening .RAR file? WinRar software is indeed available for Mac, but only for command line and it has no GUI interface.

You’ve just already downloaded archive files from website or received attachment file from e-mail in .RAR format. You need to open the file format on your Mac OS X, but you don’t know what to do.

Then, how are the steps to open/extract .rar archive file on Mac OS X?

Notes: Mac actually has a build-in app called Archive Utility; but the application does not support .RAR file format archive.

Therefore, for the RAR file types we need additional third-party applications.

If you are a user of Windows PC, you know that WinRar works to compress and extract files with .RAR format.

Anyway, can we install WinRar software on Mac?

Yes, we can, but …

WinRar software is indeed available for Mac…

… but only for command line and it has no GUI interface …

If you are not familiar with terminal and the command line, you should use alternative application.

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How to install Winrar on Mac

  1. Download RAR for Mac OSX
  2. Extract rarosx-x.x.x.tar.gz. with Secondary Click (Click or tap with 2 fingers) on rarosx-x.x.x.tar.gz file and open with Archive Utility.
  3. Copy the 4 files from that extracted, which are default.sfx, rar, rarfiles.lst, unrar.
  4. From menu Finder, Go -> Go to Folder -> “/usr/local/bin”.
  5. Paste the 4 files to folder bin. (password required)

How to Use WinRar Command on Mac


rar  - -
 <@listfiles...> <path_to_extract\>


How to make Files Archive RAR

rar a Pictures.rar Bitmaps

The following command will add all files from the directory Bitmaps and its subdirectories to the RAR archive Pictures.rar

How to extract RAR (unrar) files


unrar  - -
 <@listfiles...> <path_to_extract\>>


unrar x file.rar

Those commands will automatically extract file archive .rar file with directory File folder.

Winrar Command Help

To obtain the more complete form of syntax command help about rar and unrar with WinRar, you can do it by simply type rar or unrar and then press enter.

RAR -? or UNRAR -?

Winrar Alternative for Mac

As alternative solution for you who are not familiar with command line in terminal, you can use some alternative applications for WinRar which has GUI Interface, some of them are:

  • Unrar. This application is only used to extract file with .RAR format. You can use it to compress file/folder to .RAR format.
  • Keka. This application is the development of 7-zip for Mac OS X. It supports more file type(*) than Unrar does.
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Keka is the best alternative to winrar for mac, because…

Compression formats supported: 7z, Zip, Tar, Gzip, Bzip2, DMG, ISO.
Extraction formats supported: RAR, 7z, Lzma, xz, Zip, Tar, Gzip, Bzip2, ISO, EXE, CAB, PAX, ACE (PPC)

Easier. With the application above, you will find it easier to extract .RAR file with only double click so you don’t need to open terminal and type syntax command line.


The available Winrar for Mac OSX has no GUI Interface and it can be used only through command line.

With WinRar application you can compress and extract file archive for .RAR type.

If you are not accustomed with command line, you’d better use alternative application like Keka.