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How to merge RAR files with 7-Zip

How to merge RAR files with 7-Zip

As any regular reader of this site will know, we are only too happy for another excuse to rant about how excellent the free file archiving utility 7-Zip is. This free open source application provides all the compression/decompression functionality you will ever need, and more, without pestering you with purchase reminder pop-up dialogs every time you use it.

As with most file archive utilities, 7-Zip allows you to join RAR files together for the purposes of extraction. Many large archives are separated out into multiple RAR files, usually to circumnavigate the upload restrictions on file sharing networks and sites. This means you will often find yourself with two or more RAR files containing different segments of a movie or other large file.

To learn how to marry the RAR files together, so that you can crack them open and get at the contents, read on.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  • 1

    Create a new folder on your desktop. Copy the RAR files and paste them together in the folder.

  • 2

    As with many file archive utilities, 7-Zip integrates into Windows once it has been installed and offers access to its core functionality through the right-mouse button menu. Right-click the first RAR file and select 7-Zip and Extract Here.

  • 3

    7-Zip will figure out for itself that it needs the other RAR files in the collection, as long as they are all named sequentially (e.g. file01.rar, file02.rar, file03.rar, file04.rar etc). The contents of each RAR file will be joined and then automatically extracted within the same folder.

    If the RAR files were all segments of a movie file, the movie will be available as a single file, which can now be viewed in a video playback application.

Tips & Advice

  • Splitting RAR Files With 7-Zip:

    To reverse the above process and use 7-Zip to create a multi-part RAR set, follow these steps:

    -Right-click a large file to be split into multiple RARs and choose 7-Zip and Add to Archive.

    -Select the name of the archive, choose RAR as the type, and set the size limit for each RAR file (this will depend on the restrictions of whichever method will be used to transmit the file – e.g. the size limit for email is usually around 10mb).

    -Click OK. The compression process begins, and will take some time (depending on the size of the original file). When it is complete, you will have multiple RAR files that can be easily transmitted over the internet by email or via services such as Rapidshare.

    -The files can be joined together again by following the steps in the main guide.

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