VLC UnRAR plugin – RAR player

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The VLC UnRAR plugin turns VLC into a RAR player that allows you to watch videos (including seeking) directly from inside multi-volume RAR archives without the need to manually unpack them first. No more waiting for files to extract, simply open the archive as any other video file and watch! Just download the plugin for your operating system, follow the installation instructions and you’ll have a RAR player in no time.

There is no pre-extraction, piping or other ugliness, video data is extracted on-demand when requested. This means that it’s possible to stream a RAR archived video over a network connection (even wireless connections works).

The current version does not work with VLC 1.0.0..I might fix that someday if I’m motivated enough.


  • Completely FREE with full source code.
  • Supports multi-volume RAR archives with full support for seeking
  • Supports RAR archived DVD images!
  • No external programs or special launch scripts needed
  • Simple plugin that works with any VLC installation, no separate RAR player needed
  • Platform-independent, binaries available for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and FreeBSD
  • No pre-extraction of files, data is read directly from inside the archive when requested


The plugin has some limitations, some of which might be fixed in future versions.

  • Seeking only works properly with m0 archives (archives without compression). Don’t worry, almost every volume is archived using this option.
  • It does not support multiple files inside an archive, the largest file is selected.
  • There is no support for RAR packed subtitles, you’ll have to extract and apply them manually
  • There is no support for password protected RAR archives
  • It’s currently not possible to view partial archives, all parts must be present


Problems? here are solutions to some common problems.

VLC claims the file is corrupt and only plays a few minutes of the movie
Make sure you have activated the plugin in VLC preferences. In preferences, select Input / Codecs » Access filters and check the box named “UnRAR”, then click save. You must first click “All” to show all available preferences.
UnRAR doesn’t show up in preferences under Access filters
On a Unix system, try deleting your .cache/vlc directory or start VLC with vlc –reset-plugins-cache .
If it still doesn’t work the plugin binaries you’ve installed are not compatible with your particular operating system version and/or VLC release, sorry.
The plugin is activated but VLC still claims it’s corrupt and only plays a few minutes
The RAR archive might have been created with compression enabled (very few archives are created like this, but they do exist), the plugin does not support these kinds of archives. Use a RAR tool for your operating system to verify if compression was enabled (compression method should be m0 or none).
VLC claims the file is corrupt and/or playback is corrupt
Please manually unrar the file and try the unrared version in VLC. If it shows the same symptoms the file is indeed corrupt, otherwise you’ve most likely stumbled upon a bug, please report it.

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