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How to Open Password Protected RAR Files

Have you ever received a password protected RAR file? Maybe you set the password yourself and forgot it! Anyway, if you’re lucky, there are several ways to crack the password for the RAR file.

Basically, there are two standard password cracking methods for any program: a dictionary attack or a brute-force attack. The former generates passwords using wordlists from a dictionary, while the latter simply searches for all possible combinations of characters.

Obviously, the latter is more difficult and will take more time. If the password is very complex and does not have a recognizable dictionary word, this may simply not be possible. However, it’s always worth trying. For example, if the password is 5 characters or less, a brute-force attack will work. Anything more than that will take months or years.

Just remember that cracking a RAR password is not the same as cracking an Excel password, which is much easier. RAR files use AES encryption with a key length of 128 bits, which can take too long if you don’t have a supercomputer. In addition, the file headers and file data are encrypted in the RAR file.

In this article, I will list several software products that can help you crack a RAR file, both paid and free. Depending on how important it is to access the file, it might be worth the money, but there is no guarantee that you will be able to open the file.


It is really the only free RAR file cracking program. It is open source and supports RAR versions 2, 3 and 4. The only drawback, and a serious one, is that the tool must be used through the command line. If you are fanatical and familiar with the command line, you should definitely use this program to crack RAR password.

The program uses highly optimized code, making it the fastest RAR recovery tool. It is also optimized to work with the latest x86 instructions for Intel Sandy Bridge and AMD Bulldozer processors. It also supports password recovery on NVIDIA and ATI GPUs. Using a GPU in addition to the CPU can speed up an attack ten to twenty times. The site has a detailed guide that walks you through all the steps, but again, this is a bit tricky.

If you need a graphical interface and some advanced features like support for multi-core processors using multiple computers on a LAN, you can try Parallel Recovery, which is essentially the company that licensed the cRARk code to create your own password recovery tools. Prices start at $ 41 and go up to $ 141 for the Professional edition, which supports up to 8 CPUs and 8 GPUs.

If you need to crack a strong password by brute-force, which is really your only option when it comes to RAR files, then this program is your best chance.

Atomic RAR password recovery

The free trial will allow you to recover passwords up to 3 characters long. If you have a longer password and the program is able to determine it completely, you will see the first three characters followed by an asterisk (*).

In this case, you can buy the program for $ 30 and it will unmask all the characters. If it never shows asterisks, it means that it can’t figure out the password and you don’t need to buy it! Okay.

If the RAR file is a RAR version 2 archive, you are much more likely to break the encryption. If it’s a version 3 RAR file, you’re out of luck, especially if the password is complex.

RAR password cracker

This is another program that uses both brute force and dictionary attacks. It is also a shareware program, so the free trial has some limitations. What I love about RAR Password Cracker is that they have multiple licensing options. If you only need this program once to crack a RAR password, which is probably the case for most people, then you can simply buy an inexpensive, time-limited full-featured license for $ 7.5 (1 month) or $ 10 (2 months). The regular program costs $ 30, but these additional options are really useful and can save you money.

The program works with RAR archives of versions 2.x and 3.x and supports self-extracting archives and multivolume archives. As with the program mentioned above, you can pause the program at any time and restart it later and it will continue the attack from the same state, which is great in case the program crashes after 10 hours of running.

Elcomsoft Advanced Archive Password Recovery

Another good software for cracking archive files like RAR and ZIP files is Advanced Archive Password Recovery, however, it is expensive ($ 49 for Standard, $ 99 for Pro) and probably won’t be able to crack a RAR archive which uses AES encryption with strong password. This program will be better if you know anything at all about the password, such as length, use of special characters, first or last letter, etc. You can include these specifications in the program and significantly increase the attack speed.

The program is better at cracking Winzip archives as they have weaker encryption. The nice thing about this program is that it can crack some passwords in less than an hour, if the WinZip version is lower than 8.0, using an exploit. The program also supports archive files larger than 4 GB and includes the ability to pause and resume attacks. If none of the above works, you might want to consider this program.

Unfortunately, these were all semi-good RAR password crackers I could actually find. Only one is free and requires command line knowledge. Overall, you have a pretty low chance of actually cracking your RAR password, so keep that in mind. Enjoy!

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