WinRAR 5.50 was released on August 14, 2017. The new version comes with important changes that users of the application need to be aware of.
Probably the two biggest changes of WinRAR 5.50 are that the program uses the RAR 5.0 archive format by default when it comes to the creation of archives, and the new master password option to protect saved password records by using encryption.
The RAR 5 archive format was introduced in WinRAR 5.0 which the company released back in 2013 to the public. It was not set as the default back in 2013, and users of the program had to change the program's configuration to make it the default.
This changes with the release of WinRAR 5.50. RAR 5 is the default format of WinRAR 5.50 and newer versions of the program. Most third-party programs that can extract archives support the RAR 5.0 format, and this is likely the reason why it has been made the default in WinRAR 5.50.
WinRAR users who prefer the RAR4 format, for instance for compatibility reasons, can make it the default format again in the following way:
The second new feature of WinRAR 5.50 is the option to set a master password.
Passwords stored in the password organizer of WinRAR 5.50 are not readable in older versions because of a new data format that is used.
A prompt to set the master password is displayed when you are storing a password in a compression profile.
Here is a short list of other changes that WinRAR 5.50 comes with:
You find the full list of changes in WinRAR 5.50 on the official website. There you find downloads for all supported operating systems.
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