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Windows 11 Update Brings Native Support for RAR, 7-Zip, Other File Formats: Report


Microsoft Windows users know all too well about RAR and 7-Zip formats that allows users to store files in a compressed state to reduce their sizes. All Windows users have a third-party tool like WinRar installed on their system to access RAR files. That will no longer be necessary. Earlier this year, Microsoft had announced new features for Windows 11, including native RAR support. Now, the company is reportedly rolling out the feature as part of a Windows update.

Microsoft has issued an optional KB5031455 Preview Cumulative Update Preview for Windows 11 Version 22H2 for the month of October. According to a report from Beeping Computer, the update adds support for 11 new file archive formats, namely .rar, .7z, .tar, .tar.gz, .tar.bz2, .tar.zst, .tar.xz, .tgz, .tbz2, .tzst, and .txz.

With native support for archive file formats like RAR and 7-Zip, Windows users would no longer need a third-party app like WinRAR to access compressed files. To install the optional update, users can head to Windows 11 Settings, and click the ‘Windows Update’ button on the Home or System menu. If your system has not yet received the update, you should get a message that reads: ‘2023-10 Cumulative Update Preview for Windows 11 Version 22H2 for x64-based Systems (KB5031455) is now available.’ Click Download & install to get the update, which adds support for archive file formats, including RAR. Once Windows is updated, users would be able to open, extract, and edit archive files without the need for any third-party tools.

Back in May, Microsoft had first announced that Windows would be getting native RAR support, alongside a slew of new features. The company had said that Windows 11 would bring support for TAR (Tape Archive), 7-zip, RAR (Roshal Archive), GZ (Gzip), and other archive formats.

Microsoft had also said that Windows 11 would get support for accessing app instances in the taskbar with a click, hiding the date and time, and shutting down apps from the taskbar without the Windows Task Manager.

In September, the company updated Windows to support its new AI-powered Copilot assistant. Copilot adds a revamped Bing Chat to Windows 11, capable of generating summaries of web pages, toggling system controls, and provided text and image-based responses to your queries.

Last month, a transcript of a fireside chat at the Citi 2023 Global Technology Conference revealed that Microsoft could be gearing up to release Windows 12 next year. “We actually think ’24 is going to be a pretty good year for client, in particular, because of the Windows refresh,” the transcript quoted Intel CFO David Zinsner as saying, pointing at a 2024 release for Windows 12.

Windows 11 was released in 2021 and is now running on over 400 million monthly active devices. The popular operating system is expected to hit 500 million active devices by 2024.

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Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.