How to Remove a WinRAR File Password

Level of difficulty: Beginner

WinRAR is defined as a 32-bit Windows-based archiver and archive manager used to create compressed files similar to the way it is handled by the popular ZIP compression format. This software utility is capable of creating multiple part archives which can be split into smaller parts normally using the RAR, R00, R01, and so on as its file extension format but can also use the ZIP extension if preferred by the user. Installation of this utility usually places an option in the context menu of the Operating System allowing the user to access the tool by right clicking on the file or folder to be compressed and initiating the compression process. This tool is equipped with a password protection feature in order to prevent unauthorized access to the contents of the compressed archive by locking it prior to its distribution to other users or saving into any storage media.

Materials Needed:
- WinRAR
- compressed archive
Step 1
Unlike other compression utilities, WinRAR does not present a straightforward way of removing password protection for its previously secured archives. This is possibly done to ensure that only authorized users with the correct password are accessing its contents. To remove the password protection feature, double click on the file which will open the archive.
Step 2
Depending on how the file was compressed, the contents may or may not be displayed to the user. The user will be prompted to input the password into the message text box. Only a correct password will extract the contents of the archive. A wrong password will open a window showing the potential errors encountered during the extraction process.
Step 3
Once extracted, the contents of the file can now be accessed by the user. To remove the password protection, a new archive must be created. Right click on the extracted file and choose the 'Add to Archive' option from the context menu.
Step 4
The Archive name and parameters window will be displayed to the user. Click on the 'Advanced' tab and click the Set password button. Make sure that both text boxes are empty. The check boxes for the 'Encrypt file names' option can be activated without activating the password protection feature. This will encrypt not only the file data but also more sensitive areas like attributes, sizes, and other data blocks. This may be used to prevent displaying of the list of files contained in the archive.
Step 5
Click on the 'OK' button twice. This will create a new archive with a RAR format that is not protected by any password utility. The source archive with password protection can now be deleted by the user if no longer needed.