After nearly 30 years Windows will finally add native support for this popular file type

Windows 11 expands archiving format support in latest update
(Image credit: Laptop Mag / Rael Hornby)

Some duos are nothing short of iconic, think Batman and Robin, SpongeBob and Patrick, Bert and Ernie, or my all-time favorite: a Windows user and their WinRAR free trial. The legendary, never-ending free trial of the archiving software has been a mainstay for many a Windows user — I’ve personally had the WinRAR free trial running on more systems than any other piece of software. However, that all could be about to change when Microsoft rolls out its next build of Windows 11. 

So long, and thanks for all the encrypts

It looks like it’s time to let the world’s longest-running free trial come to an end as a work-in-progress build of Windows 11, set to be released later this week, will bring native support for RAR, 7-Zip, GZ, and TAR — as well as a number of other libarchive open-source project archive formats.

The information about expanded archive format support was buried away in a recent Windows Developer Blog post from Panos Panay, Chief Product Officer for Windows and Windows devices. The post also detailed Microsoft’s plans to introduce the AI assistance of Windows Copilot, Bing Chat plugins, and Dev Home.

The latter of which being a new experience designed to developers streamline their workflow with WinGet configuration, Dev Drive for enhanced filesystem performance, and a fully-customizable dashboard to track workflows.


It’s only taken Microsoft the better part of 30 years, but native RAR support is finally making its way to Windows. It’ll be a sad day when I eventually have to click uninstall on WinRAR but until then I’ll be sure to give it the send-off it deserves — by unpacking legally obtained files from completely legit and authentic storefronts the internet over. Honest.

Keep your eyes on Laptop Mag for more news, reviews, and features across all of tech’s top topics.

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Rael Hornby

Rael Hornby, potentially influenced by far too many LucasArts titles at an early age, once thought he’d grow up to be a mighty pirate. However, after several interventions with close friends and family members, you’re now much more likely to see his name attached to the bylines of tech articles. While not maintaining a double life as an aspiring writer by day and indie game dev by night, you’ll find him sat in a corner somewhere muttering to himself about microtransactions or hunting down promising indie games on Twitter.