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Corrupt header is found in RAR file: Here’s how to fix it

How to repair corrupt RAR files

Use inbuilt WinRAR tool

Use the option “Open with File Explorer”

Use the shortcut menu

Third party recovery software


A RAR file is a popular file format to store data, which supports looseness data compression. It is generally used to compress the files in order to occupy less space in your system. After compressing the multiple files, users can easily transfer those files over the Internet, for example.

Are you constantly encountering the error message WinRAR error the header file is corrupt? Is this error preventing your from opening RAR files on your Windows 10 computer? Here are some solutions that may help you fix the problem.

Solution 1: Use inbuilt WinRAR tool

WinRAR tool supports a built-in repair feature that can fix corruption from RAR and ZIP archives. In order to use this tool, follow the steps below:

  1. Open WinRAR tool on your computer

  2. Press CTRL + O keys in order to Open archive

  3. Select the corrupted archive from the system directory

  4. Click on the Tools tab > Repair archive

  1. Click on Browse button in order to select a location for the new repaired archive

  2. Select any location from the system directory

  3. Select Treat the corrupt archive as RAR checkbox and click OK

  4. Within a few seconds, the selected archive will be repaired and recreated in the location you have selected earlier. The repaired file will be saved under a new file with rebuilt appended to the front of the file name

Solution 2: Use the option “Open with File Explorer”

Another suggestion for you is to follow the very simple steps described below and see if it helps you solve your problem:

Click on the corrupted Rar or ZIP file

Select Properties, on the Home tab and Open it

Set Open with File Explorer, on the General tab and at the bottom unblock the Security option. Then click OK

Go to Extract in the View tab on the selected file and click Extract All

Solution 3: Use the shortcut menu

If your compressed RAR archive is not a large software, but an archive with several files, such as images, etc you can try the steps described below:

Select your RAR archive and right click it. Choose Extract files in the appearing shortcut menu

In the Extraction path and options window, choose a folder to save the decompressed archive and check Keep broken files in Miscellaneous

Click OK to begin extraction. When there are errors message prompting you, ignore them and go on to extract archive.

Solution 4: Third party recovery software

If corruption is severe and the archive cannot be repaired by using the methods described above, you can try some third-party recovery software. There are many software companies on the market which provide third-party recovery software for corrupted RAR archives. However, before using any third-party software, we suggest you to read about it and also, read some reviews online. Most of the third-party software are available with free trial or demo version. Demo versions work similarly to the licensed versions and help users examine the software.

Solution 5: Move it to a local hard drive with a short path. (My added bonus)

I have solved this issue by removing the file from an external hard drive or moving it from a long file path by placing it in the root of my C drive. This can help if Microsoft's character file limit is causing the issue. Once in the root of your C drive, just uncompress and watch for errors. If no errors, great! If errors still occur, then use the above suggestions.


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