The latest major Windows 11 update, 22H2, introduced native support for managing RAR archives, eliminating the need for third-party software. This improvement is part of the overall improvement in the operating system’s ability to handle various archive file formats.
Microsoft finally introduced native support for RAR archives earlier this year, just three decades after the format was officially introduced in 1993. Development of Windows 11 is now progressing at an accelerated pace, allowing support for a large number of new (old) archives. Archive formats are imminent.
Microsoft recently released the KB5031455, an optional, feature-rich cumulative update for Windows 11 that updates the list of archive formats natively supported by the operating system. Windows 11 22H2 and later can now process compressed files in the following archive types: .rar, .7z, .tar, .tar.gz, .tar.bz2, .tar.zst, .tar.xz, .tgz, .tbz2, .tzst, .txz. Support for password encrypted archives is not yet available.
Redmond programmers added support for the above archive files through the libarchive library, an open source project to develop a portable and efficient C library capable of “continuously reading and writing archives” in various formats. Libarchive supports other archive types (Lzh, Xar) that could also be integrated into Windows 11.
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