Latest 7-Zip Beta ships with RAR5 support

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 10, 2015

I have used 7-zip in the past to create and unpack archives. It offered everything I needed in a program of its kind: it was lightweight, fast, integrated well with the system and did not get in my way when I did not need it.

The slow pace of development, and here specifically the fact that newer formats such as RAR5 were not supported by 7-Zip, made me look for alternatives.

I did find Bandizip after testing several alternatives and used it ever since. It is as elegant as 7-Zip but ships with additional features and support for archive formats that 7-Zip did not support until now.

While there is still no final version of 7-Zip in sight, the most recent beta version of the application released yesterday introduces support for RAR5 archives.

RarLab, the makers of WinRAR and RAR archivers, released an updated format called RAR5, or Rar 5.0, in 2013. The new format offers several advantages over the old, for instance support for multi-core decompression of archives or better corrupt archive recovery.

While it is not widely used yet, most likely because RAR and not RAR5 is the default format in recent versions of WinRAR, it is a format that you may encounter from time to time on the Internet.

7-Zip failed to open and extract RAR5 archives up until now. The most recent beta version changes this as it introduces support for the format.

7-zip winrar rar5

Support in this context means opening RAR5 archives and extracting contents to the local system. The process is identical to any other archive format you load into 7-Zip.

The upcoming 7-Zip release that supports RAR5 is still only available as a beta and it is unclear at this point in time when it will be released as a final version.

The most recent version of 7-Zip right now is version 15.05 which users can download from the official project website.

Closing Words

The support of RAR5 is a milestone for the 7-Zip project. This, and the increase in releases will certainly have a positive impact on the program's competitiveness and appeal.

Now You: Which program are you using for archive creation and extraction?

Latest 7-Zip Beta ships with RAR5 support
Article Name
Latest 7-Zip Beta ships with RAR5 support
The most recent 7-Zip Beta release ships with built-in support for the RAR5 archive format.

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  1. Rob L. said on August 20, 2015 at 9:36 am

    While 7Zip is a fine utility, I’m glad to see PeaZip getting mentioned in the comments section. You’ve all maybe overlooked some of PeaZip’s best, and most useful, features. The author of PeaZip is a big advocate of encryption, and has included many relevant tools in PeaZip. It is much more than a simple compression/archive utility. It supports two-factor (password AND keyfile) authentication before decryption, and can even generate keyfiles for you using randomized data if you wish. There is much more than i can list here. There’s also extensive support for batch scripting and processing, secure file deletion (any file, not just compressed archives), management of ISO/UDF disk images, and the feature set goes on and on. I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone, it is an incredibly useful application. It’s FOSS at it’s best!

  2. PhoneyVIrus said on August 18, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    WinRAR for that last 8 years even for the normal ZIP Archive and will be using RAR5 now that I know it has support for multi-core decompression of archives and corrupt archive recovery. Never took the time to sit down and really dig through the new features RAR5 has to offer, now that I know once again Thanks you Martin, I’ll be using it to archive my Portable Flash drive that’s loaded with hundreds of programs again thanks to you, along with the other fifty that wanting to get loaded, When summers over!

  3. Roman Podolyan said on August 11, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    I’m using 7-zip for years (since 2003 or 2004, I think), also used Peazip for like 1.5 years, as it has feature I needed: “Add to separate archives” (when you select group of files/folders and want to have them archived separately).

    7-zip has two advantages over others I sometimes need:
    1) It includes basic but good 2-panel file manager
    2) It can encrypt even file names in encrypted archives, what allows to circumvent that pesky mail attachment protection.

    As Martin advised Bandizip, I replaced Peazip with it (as it has the functionality I needed). But I’m going to keep 7-zip as well.

  4. Chains The Bounty Hunter said on August 11, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    15.05 is still a beta. The stable version hasn’t changed from 9.20. Not that it’s an issue, but speaking for myself alone here I was slightly surprised by the wording thinking that Pavlov had finally pushed out a new stable release after all this years.

  5. dwarf_t0ssr said on August 10, 2015 at 9:18 pm

    Is there any reason that nothing besides FreeARC (old as dirt) can *create* ARC archives with a right click menu? As far as I know, all of the _____zip programs can only extract ARC, if that. I’ve always thought it strange that full ARC support, being an OSS sort of thing is completely overlooked by these AIO archive apps.

    1. jimbobillyjoe said on August 11, 2015 at 2:41 am

      First of all, .ARC isn’t standardized – the .ARC’s that FreeARC makes isn’t the same as the original .ARC’s – he just uses that file extension which makes the format only about 10 years old (with the latest update to FreeARC being 5 years ago). But aside from that, you can answer your own question by reversing it: Why does FreeARC not write to all open source formats available? Because the developer doesn’t feel it needs to. Likewise, the other programs out there do not feel that FreeARC’s .ARC format will add much (if any) value.

      The only format that has been more or less universally adopted is ZIP and that’s only because Windows basically made it the defacto default

    2. Chadozwell said on August 11, 2015 at 1:55 am

      I thought it was funny that 7-Zip adds a right-click context menu for creating .7z files, as though anyone would want to adopt a standard other than RAR or ZIP. I guess ARC is just as good, old as it may be? It would make sense for them to support themselves, but in general the context menu for rapid archiving was relatively late for WinZip compared to the free options and their formats.

  6. Anonymous said on August 10, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    I’m glad to see the official 7-zip program continue to support extraction other formats, although it has nothing on PeaZip in terms of format support. Still, for the program/format I use, 7-zip is still my go-to program. PeaZip’s format support doesn’t balance the fact that it’s a bit odd to use in places. Also, 7-zip has been rock solid and received some amazing reviews in comparison to other available tool sets:,3436-13.html

    Unfortunately, both of these analyses came out roughly the same time that RAR5 came out so they don’t include it but drawing from how resoundingly 7-zip beat out the competition and the way RAR5 hasn’t really been taken seriously as a format, I’d guess that 7zip is still on top in terms of performance.

  7. Doc said on August 10, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    Does this include support for unpacking (and repacking/modifying) the latest MOBI files?

    1. Rick said on August 11, 2015 at 1:36 am

      No. None of the options do the last time I checked.

      Convert to epub and then 7zip and all of the others can open it; make your changes and convert back to mobi.

      Calibre is your ebook friend.

  8. mohammad said on August 10, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    7-zip needs to be more customizable! Specially its user interface options…

  9. Nebulus said on August 10, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    I’m a 7-Zip user, and I see no reason to switch. I don’t really care about RAR5 support, and the compression/decompresison provided by 7-Zip is enough for my needs.

  10. wybo said on August 10, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    I have only used 7-Zip for unpacking downloaded files like newspapers, music etc. That is the only thing I use it for. Did not miss RAR 5 support at all.

  11. Olly D said on August 10, 2015 at 11:53 am

    Didn’t the ability to unpack rar5 get added in 9.38(?) Beta?

  12. ilev said on August 10, 2015 at 11:42 am

    I use both WinRar and portable 7-zip.

  13. Graham said on August 10, 2015 at 11:30 am

    Took ’em long enough!
    Anyway, I agree with ekerazha. I downloaded PeaZip because I got tired of waiting for 7-Zip to add RAR support.

  14. ekerazha said on August 10, 2015 at 11:15 am

    I recently replaced 7-Zip with PeaZip.

    1. Roman Podolyan said on August 11, 2015 at 9:12 pm

      I’d recommend you to try Bandizip. You may find it faster and lighter than Peazip, as I did, as for functionality — for me it is as good az Peazip.

  15. Dwight Stegall said on August 10, 2015 at 11:04 am

    7-Zip is too slow. Bandizip does it twice as fast and compresses everything smaller.

    1. Dave said on August 10, 2015 at 1:14 pm

      Agreed. 7-Zip is dead in the water now

  16. RossN said on August 10, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Using WinRAR for several years now, once I discovered that the free version keeps working after the trial period – I can live with the nagging.
    The main advantage for me, is being able to archive all files in a path that have been modified since a specified date and time.

    1. liton said on August 10, 2015 at 9:31 pm

      WinRAR has no free version. It is a 30-day trial. That’s what you’re doing is against the license. You should register your copy (buy), or delete from disk. Try free IZArc.

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