WinRAR is a very useful utility, usable for much more than people use it for.

Let me give you some ideas for novel uses:

1) Make timestamped time proofs or backups of important content.

2) Combine too many picture files of same content into a single archive file that is easier to manage than thousands for individual files.

3) Use it as a backup solution for small-size files, most importantly text files.

4) Password protect important files. For example, protect important text documents on a flash memory stick that you carry around with you.

5) Other uses are left to you once you explore what WinRAR has to offer after I outline some feature that you have probably never used before.

WinRAR options:

1) WinRAR allows you to convert from one archive (compressed file) to another.

2) Archiving options: Create SFX archive: if you are giving the archive / compressed file to someone else, they might not have WinRAR installed. Sure, they CAN do it for free, but there may be problems for several reasons. If you select this option, the compressed file will extract itself, with no need to have WinRAR installed.

3) Archiving options: Put authenticity verification. This will append the archive name, "created by" name of person who bought the copy of WinRAR used, and archive creation date. You can then view this information in Tools>Show Information. This option will slow down extraction of individual files, or few files from a compressed file.

4) Archiving options: Put recovery record. Will add a small portion of duplicate information to the file that might help of archive is corrupted. This option is of limited value.

5)Archiving options:Test archived files. Tests whether files were saved without errors. This might make sense for a CD burning program, but is of questionable utility in WinRAR.

6)Archiving options:Lock archive. Might be used for time stamped archives that you do not want to be possible to edit or change.

7) Compression method: do not get too crazy with this option. And do not try to compress and already compressed file. Text files should compress well, but already compressed picture (jpg), and video files (avi) will not compress much no matter what you do.

8) Archive name. Caution: if you specify a filename that already exists in the destination directory, what happens to that file that has the same filename depends on what is specified in "Update mode", described below.

9) Update mode. This is one of the more important feature, and one of the very underutilized ones. The default "Add and replace files" is not very smart. Archive will be created and all files added. If there already exists a file with the same filename, it will be deleted and overwritten. "Add and update" option is useful if you are adding more files to an already existing compressed file (be careful that you specify this option every time you add files so that you do not accidentally delete existing data, as the option reverts back to "Add and replace files" every time you do this). Synchronize archive contents: this option is most useful for backups: you make a compressed file, and sync its contents every time you want to backup your data to that file. There is no need for a length new archive creation every time.

10) Advanced tab: Set password. This is where you specify a password for your archive. Do not forget to specify it if you want the archive protected. Also, it makes little sense to leave the option "Encrypt file names" turned off, as it is by default.

11) Time tab: "Store creation time". Always turn this option one. Turn on this option if you require time stamp or proof, or for later synchronization, or for later file operations like replacing other files.


1) I hope that you understand that a lost password is potentially lost data. Do not blame anyone if you do not make backups.

2) Deleting the files from within a compressed file is irreversible: the files are not sent to the recycle bin. So, do not delete content that you have not backed up. This is the same as with removable devices in Windows (file deletions are not sent to the recycle bin)

Suggestions for WinRAR. I have contacted the authors of WinRAR with the following suggestions. Until they are implemented, you should know about these issues in case you come across them:

1) WinRAR does not inform the user if the compressed file already exists in the destination with the same specified name.

2) WinRAR is not smart enough to autodect if the file was specified to install in a subfolder, and user specifies to install in a new empty folder. Therefore, sometimes you get the file uncompressed into /foldername/foldername/files.

3) Filename languages other than English are not supported properly. Support for Unicode or other encoding under windoza (store the encoding used to create files in the file)

4) Recovery information - the only meaningful recovery information is the list of filenames in the archive, saved in duplicate locations in case of file corruption.


WinRAR problems:

  • place folder list in beginning of file and display it first while still scanning for files when opening a very large archive
  • modify the directory window to look like windoza file dialogs
  • make WinRAR much smarter
  • if rar is really the best format, then make it open source. otherwise, use another format
  • inform the user if a compressed file already exists in the destination. WinZip and WinRAR should detect the presence of a file with that filename before it unzips. do not create two folders with exact same name of parent, but autodetect and eliminate. Stupidities: WinRAR must detect whether the file it is trying to extract specifies the same folder as the window asking for extraction location does. if two are the same, then it is idiotic to create two same name folders, one within the other. the task of fixing this in windoza requires at least a half dozen steps requiring renaming folders.
  • make a task--based functions which can be performed in a selected compressed file (sync contents, password protect, compress further, etc)
  • educate user on the options selected
  • make options more visible. fe explicitly show in a bulleted--list like fashion that a password protection has been applied, recovery record will be added, etc
  • make syncing automatic, automatically detected, schedulable, and user understandable
  • make the program much easier to use, esp for those who know nothing about how and why the program does what it does.
  • eliminate stupid options or move off to advanced area
  • instead have two windows side by side: to compare two versions of the same file, source and the older compressed file, two files, two directories, source of the compression and the future location of the destination file (where exactly those files will be saved will be much clearer this way), etc
  • approximate time until competition when choosing compression format
  • if the rar format has a problem with being able to handle shorter filenames than windoza, then it must include a utility to scan HD for such files, or check for this before it starts compressing.
  • add to WinRAR options: work with an existing compressed file for the following: synchronize, update, compress further, split to files, password protect, etc
  • when selecting another directory, preserve original destination folder (of the archive name) no matter what other install directory is selected


WinRAR stupidities:

  • when a file is being accessed, and a dialog comes up there is no apparent option to retry
  • when no files selected error message appears, all user specified options are lost


Q: What WinRAR will do if archive of that name exists?

A: By default (without use of any profiles, which is something that you should know about), it will add the new file to the archive that already exists. If a file with the same filename exists in the archive, WinRAR will ask you if you want to overwrite it.

˅˅˅ Additional valuable information is available at one of the links below: ˅˅˅


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Page last modified 05-Feb-17 20:49:34 EST
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