WinRAR 5.60 released with new look and features

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 28, 2018
Updated • Jun 28, 2018

WinRAR 5.60 is a new version of the popular cross-platform compression tool that has been released to the public earlier today. WinRAR 5.60 is the first big release since WinRAR version 5.50 was released back in 2017. It is available as a 32-bit and 64-bit version for Windows and other supported operating systems.

The new version of WinRAR comes with a new look and feature improvements. Interface modifications of popular programs are highly controversial usually; think of Mozilla's launch of Firefox Australis or Microsoft's introduction of the Ribbon interface in Office.

WinRAR 5.60 new look

WinRAR users don't have to worry about the new look of the compression tool on the other hand; the refresh gives the toolbar just a new theme without changing anything functionality-wise.

The new WinRAR 5.60 features new icons and new colors for the most part; the functionality is still there and existing WinRAR users will feel right at home. Those who do not like the new looks can download the classic theme with a click on this link to install it and make it the default theme of WinRAR again.

All that is required for that is to download the theme to the local system and select it under Options > Themes > Organize Themes > Add to install it. What's left then is to switch to the new theme under Options > Themes > WinRAR Classic to restore the classic look.

WinRAR's info view window has bit of a new look as well. The window comes with a refreshed compression ratio graph and "Names and Data" is displayed now under Encryption if the archive uses encrypted file names.

What about new or improved features?

The developers have improved the RAR5 format repair efficiency. The new algorithm is capable of detecting "deletions and insertions of unlimited site" as well as "shuffled data". The latter is interesting as it introduces repair functionality that uses several archives with recovery records to merge them "into a single file in arbitrary order".

You can run repair operations for any RAR archive right from the main interface with a click on the repair button in WinRAR's toolbar.

WinRAR 5.60 supports different encodings including ANSI, OEM, UTF-8 and UTF-16 and can display them correct in comment files.

If you work with password protected archives regularly, you may benefit from another improvement that went into WinRAR 5.60. When you enter an incorrect password for a password protected RAR archive with encrypted file names, WinRAR displays the password prompt again instead of just aborting the extraction process as it has done previously. The feature is also available for encrypted files in ZIP archives and improves the existing feature that worked on encrypted file data.

You can password protect RAR archives that you create in WinRAR and select the "encrypt file names" option to scramble file names in the archive as well.

Last but not least, you may place the mouse cursor over archives in the progress window to display the full archive name.

The full changelog on the WinRAR website highlights additional improvements (just a selection below):

  • Turn PC off when done option changed to When Done. It lists turn off, hibernate, and sleep as options.
  • Additional encoding improvements, e.g. auto detection of encoding used in ZIP archive comments.
  • Recognizes GZIP archives with "arbitrary data preceding" as actual GZIP archives.
  • Update and Fresh commands don't create temporary files anymore if no files need updating.
  • Safety prompt after creating 500 volumes from the WinRAR GUI shell so that users can abort if done in error.
  • WinRAR uses megabytes instead of bytes in the archiving dialog.

Closing Words

WinRAR 5.60 is a smaller update that improves some features of the compression tool. The new look should not be controversial as it is possible to restore the classic look by downloading the classic theme from the WinRAR website.

Now You: Which compression tool do you use primarily? (I use Bandizip)

Author Rating
3 based on 8 votes
Software Name
WinRAR 5.60
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  1. Anonymous said on June 30, 2018 at 7:48 am

    7zip its free and its doing it job and UI is nice and clean to!

  2. dmacleo said on June 30, 2018 at 12:24 am

    I like winrar but I cant justify (spending for here) 180 $ to put on all computers.
    7zip works well enough.
    really do miss the repair functions of winrar.

  3. bard with a flute said on June 30, 2018 at 12:22 am

    @Jeff said on June 29, 2018 at 6:00 pm

    “RAR5 made 7-Zip really unnecessary given how memory-efficient and speed RAR compression is”

    Nope – Archiving with the RAR format is proprietary.

    “I cannot search inside 7zip unless I use special tools like FileLocator.”

    Sounds like a Windows limitation to me.

  4. Q said on June 29, 2018 at 11:51 pm

    Quoted from the article on this page:
    “The new look should not be controversial as it is possible to restore the classic look by downloading the classic theme from the WinRAR website.”

    Not quite. The old theme had two sizes for toolbar icons and allowed one to toggle between them. The classic theme add-on being provided by WinRAR only has the large toolbar icon set.

    1. Q said on July 2, 2018 at 8:58 am

      A new classic theme archive has recently appeared (withing the last 24 hours) at a similar URL to to the one Martin posted for the classic theme.

      The newly available archive seems to be intended to have smaller icons and is located:

  5. Jeff said on June 29, 2018 at 6:00 pm

    I use WinRAR and 7-Zip because they’re not just archiving tools, but also invented their own compression algorithms which means they’re quality software. RAR5 made 7-Zip really unnecessary given how memory-efficient and speed RAR compression is, with only a slightly less compression ratio vs LZMA. WinRAR’s usability and user-friendly features are also unmatched compared to 7-Zip. Lastly, RAR has Windows Search Filter handlers so I can index contents of RAR files and search them from the Start menu. I cannot search inside 7zip unless I use special tools like FileLocator.

    1. Anonymous said on June 29, 2018 at 11:45 pm

      Another plus for WinRAR is that you can simply drag any new file(s) onto an archive file and they’ll be automatically added into the volume – without opening it up in the interface. I haven’t found anything else that does that so easily.

  6. lantern said on June 29, 2018 at 10:31 am

    Aside from convenient and powerful *nix command line programs, it’s 7zip and PeaZip.

  7. Weilan said on June 29, 2018 at 2:33 am

    I use Bandizip, but I’m glad WinRAR didn’t went with a flat ugly theme that would pay homage to the design that became a trend since Windows 8 and 10. I looked at the official theme website and before Windwos 8 came around, themes were colorful, had gradients and gloss, sometimes both, but after that the fad of one color for everything and a feeling of early pre-Alpha became the new standard for visually pleasing.

  8. Anonymous said on June 28, 2018 at 11:52 pm

    But why forcing users to use the new theme (with its ugly new main icon) by deleting their own themes, forcing them to download their prefered theme once again. Strange manners so frequent nowadays.

  9. rickmv said on June 28, 2018 at 11:51 pm

    7-zip without bells and whistles, very fast to open and just doing great all files archive jobs. Peazip based on 7-zip for some extra features.

    Banzip sucks your info. You can stop this “by easily by uninstalling the Software”.


    The Software automatically communicates with the Company’s servers on the Internet. Automatic communication functions are used for the Software version check, update notice, license check, license registration, and license management. We may work with analytics companies such as Google Analytics to help us understand how the Software is being used. You can stop the above actions easily by uninstalling the Software.

  10. ilev said on June 28, 2018 at 9:58 pm

    Free 7-zip all the way.

    1. pioruns said on June 29, 2018 at 7:43 pm

      Exactly. I abandoned unlicensed winrar straight after I find out about 7zip. It was 10 years ago or more. Since then, I’m using solely 7zip and it does everything I need. And it’s free open source app.

    2. Keka osx said on June 28, 2018 at 10:41 pm

      7zip Unsigned software

      1. Anonymous said on June 29, 2018 at 5:42 am


  11. chesscanoe said on June 28, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    I like WinRAR and in fact purchased it a while ago. However I found it very difficult to upgrade. To me the process was quite non-intuitive. This new release reminds me to try again.

    1. Enam Mane said on June 28, 2018 at 11:42 pm

      It seriously isn’t difficult. Download the 32 or 64-bit version as applicable, run the installer like you would normally and it will just overwrite the older version.

      1. chesscanoe said on June 29, 2018 at 6:14 am

        What you reference is very easy and clear. However I was referring about the process to activate one’s license for the paid version.

      2. Enam Mane said on July 13, 2018 at 8:01 pm

        Perhaps next time, make it clear in your initial post that was what you were referring to. Nothing in your original wording suggests you were having trouble with the serial key. Though as Robert Ab pointed out, the key should simply carry over across program updates. Unless the key you have isn’t something you personally paid for (no judgements from this end if that is the situation).

      3. Robert Ab said on June 29, 2018 at 7:07 am

        Also easy. Install new WinRAR first, and then double click archive with key.
        However, if you registered older version, new one should be also active.

  12. Zurba said on June 28, 2018 at 6:01 pm

    This is the WinRAR landing page

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