In this tutorial, we will show you how to fix WinRAR’s Archive is Either in Unknown Format or Damaged error. The perks of using a file compression software stand aplenty. The first and most obvious one is the fact that you end up saving more storage space. Likewise, it also ends up saving some considerable network bandwidth. This is the reason why many developers and websites upload their file packages in a compressed format (ZIP or RAR).
However, as of late, not many seems to make full use of these file types. Some users are not able to access or extract the contents of the archived file. When they are trying to carry out the aforementioned tasks, they are being greeted with the Archive is Either in Unknown Format or Damaged error in WinRAR. In this tutorial, we will make you aware of all the possible reasons as well as the potential fixes for this error. Follow along in bidding adieu to this issue once and for all.
Fix Winrar | Archive is Either in Unknown Format or Damaged
Among all the reasons, the most common one is that the uploaded file might be corrupt in the first place. Along the same lines, if the file has an incorrect extension, then WinRAR might have a tough time recognizing it. Likewise, if the file is stored in a system directory, then the app might not be able to read its contents. With that said, here are the steps to fix these issues. This in turn will fix the WinRAR’s Archive is Either in Unknown Format or Damaged error as well.
Fix 1: Use WinRAR’s Repair Feature
Not many users might be aware of this feature, but WinRAR comes baked in with a Repair feature. It scans the corrupt files for the issues and then would fix it accordingly. Although the mileage might vary, it mostly does its job pretty well.
- So launch WinRAR on your PC and navigate to the corrupt file.
- Select it and then click on the Repair option situated at the top menu bar.
- The app will now ask for the location where it should save the repaired file. Browse to the desired location and click OK.
- The process will now begin and could take some time, depending on the size of the file.
- Once done, hit the Close button and head over to the repaired file’s location. It would be named as repaired.<file-name>
Open that file and see if the WinRAR’s ‘Archive is Either in Unknown Format or Damaged error’ is fixed or not.
Fix 2: Retry Download
While the chances are rare, but sometimes, the file uploaded to a particular server might be corrupt. Since the error stems out from the source, there’s not much you could do in this regard (even the WinRAR’s repair feature might not work). However, many developers also provide mirror links for their files.
Along the same lines, sometimes the files are also uploaded across different region’s server. So try downloading from these alternate sources and see if it spells out success for you. If you are still getting WinRAR’s ‘Archive is Either in Unknown Format or Damaged error’, then here are some other fixes that deserve your attention.
Fix 3: Check File Extension
In some instances, the uploaded file might be having an incorrect extension. If that’s the case, then WinRAR might not be able to identify the file, let alone read its contents. If you see a slight deviation from ZIP, RAR, TAR, CAB, 7Z, and other such popular extensions, then you could try renaming the file (but first make a backup of the original file).
So right-click on the affected file and select Rename. Then change its extension to the one that closely resembles the aforementioned ones and save it. Now check whether the WinRAR’s ‘Archive is Either in Unknown Format or Damaged error’ is fixed or not.
Fix 4: Check File’s Location
If you are trying to access a file that’s stored in a hidden folder such as AppData of C Drive, then third-party apps might not be able to access these files. And the same might be the case with WinRAR as well. So it is recommended that you move that file to a more easily accessible location that isn’t placed under restrictive permissions. Once that done, launch the file and see if the ‘Archive is in Unknown Format or Damaged error of WinRAR has been fixed or not.
Fix 5: Try Alternatives
It might be the case that WinRAR might not be able to recognize the file type. Fret not. There are some other noteworthy alternatives that you try. In this regard, using WinZIP or 7Z might be the best bet for you. Hence install any of these two apps and then carry out the file extraction process. The error might now be rectified.
So these were some of the ways through which you could fix the WinRAR’s Archive is Either in Unknown Format or Damaged error. We have shared five different fixes for the same, let us know in the comments which method did the job for you. On that note, here are some iPhone Tips and Tricks, PC tips and tricks, and Android Tips and Trick that you should check out as well.