WinRAR is the best decompression software in the world. It also helps you compress files to reduce a load of space, saving more storage space.
However, compressed files after a period of inactivity can cause errors, most commonly “Winrar error the archive is either in unknown format or damaged“. So in the following article, Ticswipe.com will guide you in detail on how to fix it.
The cause of “The archive is either in unknown format or damaged” error
If you are facing an error while extracting the file, you can guess for a few reasons. At the same time for you to easily know, I would like to list some common causes:
- WinRAR software is faulty or too old.
- The network is unstable while you are downloading the archive, resulting in file errors.
- The file is too old or damaged by the virus.
- Error in the process of compressing the file.
- The archive extension is corrupted.
- The folder where the file is not allowed to decompress.
How to fix “The archive is either in unknown format or damaged”
Out of all the common reasons, the most common reason for the error is that the archive got corrupted in the first place. Along with that, if the extension format is incorrect, or the file is stored in the system drive, WinRAR may not be able to extract it and the error “The archive is either in unknown format or damaged” occurs. Please follow the instructions below to fix this error.
Use Repair Archive to fix “The archive is either in unknown format or damaged”
Not many users know about this feature, but WinRAR supports users with the feature to repair corrupted files. It will scan corrupt data files for errors and fix them automatically for us. Although the recovery time depends on the data’s size, it’s fine to fix the file.
Step 1: Double-click the corrupted RAR file to open it, then on the menu bar click on Tools, then choose Repair archive.
Step 2: The application will ask you where you want to save the file on your computer. Select the location you want, then press OK.
Step 3: The file editing process will begin and take some time, depending on the file’s size.
Step 4: Click the Close button to close the window, now go to the folder containing the edited archive, it will be named rebuilt.XXX
Try extracting the RAR file to see if your computer still has errors “The archive is either in unknown format or damaged“.
Re-download the corrupted file
Although this error usually occurs very rarely, sometimes the compressed file uploaded to the server can get damaged. Since the error originated from its repository, there’s nothing you can do about it. However, most applications and games often have backup links that you can use instead.
Even though it is the place where you first download it, there may be errors, but if the big web pages support different download links. So try using the backup link and see if it helps you fix “The archive is either in unknown format or damaged” error .
Fix “The archive is either in unknown format or damaged” by Check file extension format
In some cases, the file you downloaded is not in the correct format. If so, then WinRAR will not identify the file, making it unable to perform decompression. The popular compressed file formats are usually as follows: ZIP, RAR, TAR, CAB, 7Z…
You try to right-click on the archive and select Rename to change the file extension for it. Then change its extension to one of the popular formats above and save it. Now try to see if the “The archive is either in unknown format or damaged” error has been completely fixed or not.
See more: How To Show File Extensions In Windows 10
Scan the computer for viruses
If a compressed file that you downloaded or stored on your computer for a long time, it could be infiltrated by a virus. Causes all data to be “eaten” so you cannot decompress it and the error in “The archive is either in unknown format or damaged“. In this case, you should scan for viruses with famous anti-virus software such as Kaspersky, Avast Antivirus… to be able to fix the problem.
See more: Top 10 Free Antivirus Software for PC
Move the corrupted archive to another folder
If you are extracting files in an unauthorized directory, such as the AppData folder of drive C, decompression applications may not be able to read and execute. Similar to WinRAR, so please move the file to the Desktop or another hard drive and extract it to fix “The archive is either unknown or damaged RAR“.
Fix “The archive is either in unknown format or damaged” by Try using another compression software
It is possible that the WinRAR application could not recognize the archive format. So try to use some other alternatives worthwhile, for example, 7Z or WinZIP. So try to install one of these two applications and proceed to extract the corrupted file Winrar the archive is either in unknown format or damaged.
Use Windows’ default decompressor
Note: This default extractor only appears on Windows 10 and Windows 8.1 versions.
Method 1: You extract the file by dragging and dropping the file into the folder you want to save by doing the following:
Step 1: Open the compressed file > Select all files in that compressed file.
Step 2: Drag and drop to the folder you want to save.
Method 2: Right-click the compressed file > Click Extract All.
Update to the latest version of WinRAR
The reason that the version of WinRAR you are using is too old can also cause “The archive is either in unknown format or damaged” error. To avoid this situation, you should regularly check and update WinRAR to the latest version.
The above article has summarized how to help you fix the “Winrar diagnostic messages the archive is either in unknown format or damaged“. With these tutorials, hopefully, you can extract the important documents yourself. Good luck.
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