How to Fix WinRAR Cannot Execute File Error on Windows 10

Is WinRAR exhibiting errors while compressing or extracting a RAR file on Windows? Well, don’t worry. You can easily get past this issue by following a few workarounds. But first, let’s understand how WinRAR is different from WinZip before we address the issue and discuss possible solutions. 

WinRAR VS WinZip? What’s the Difference?

WinRAR and WinZip are both used for compressing and extracting files but they’re slightly different. WinZip can be used cross-platform including Windows and Mac devices. Although, WinRAR is only supported on Windows. Most users use WinRAR as a go-to file extracting tool as it offers a 40-day free trial period. On the contrary, WinZip offers much more advanced features and is faster than WinRAR.

So, if you just want to compress a file or extract contents from a ZIP file on Windows OS, you can use either WinRAR or WinZip as both can help you get the job done. 

What Causes WinRAR Cannot Execute File Error on Windows 10?


WinRAR cannot execute file
Image source: Stack Overflow


Here are some of the most common reasons why you may encounter issues while using WinRAR.

  • Invalid data.
  • Bad sectors in a storage device. 
  • Corrupt RAR file.
  • Presence of viruses or malware. 

Unable to extract or compress files on WinRAR? Here’s a detailed guide on how to fix WinRAR cannot execute file error on Windows 10 via simple troubleshooting. 

Let’s get started. 

How to Fix WinRAR Cannot Execute File Error on Windows 10?

Solution #1: Try the Contextual Menu

Rather than using the WinRAR file extractor, try using the contextual menu for compressing or extracting the file. 

Right-click on the file icon and select the “Extract Files” option from the menu. 


WinRAR cannot execute file


Specify a location or a destination path where you need to extract the file’s contents. Pick the overwrite mode settings as per your requirement. 


WinRAR cannot execute file


Tap on “OK” when done.

Solution #2: Use the File Explorer

Launch the File Explorer. Right-click on the file whose contents need to be extracted and select “Properties”.

In the “General” tab, tap on the “Change” button placed next to the “Open with” option. 

Here we will change the default option and choose “File Explorer” to open the file. 


WinRAR cannot execute file


Now in the File Explorer window, switch to the “View” tab and select your file and then tap the “Extract All” option. 

Solution #3: Choose a Different Alternative


WinRAR cannot execute file


Still no luck after trying the above-mentioned workarounds? WinRAR cannot execute file error still displaying on the screen? Well, we would recommend you to switch to WinZip now for extracting the file’s content. Compared to WinRAR, WinZip is more premium and supports a wide variety of file formats. 

So, if the specific file format is not being able to process by WinRAR, you can use WinZip instead to get the job done. 

Solution #4: Scan your Device for Viruses and Threats

If you’re constantly encountering the “WinRAR cannot execute file” error on Windows, then there may be a slight possibility that your device is infected with viruses or malware. To make sure that your Windows PC is 100% secure and safe from malicious threats, we advise you to install a comprehensive antivirus security solution to safeguard your device and data. 


Scan device for virus
Image source: Dignited


Making a quick Google search will offer you a myriad of options. So, before you get all confused about which antivirus software you should download, we have a quick suggestion. Download Systweak Antivirus for Windows that offers real-time protection against viruses, malware, spyware, trojans, and ransomware threats acting as a shield between your device and potential threats. Systweak Antivirus comes packed with a variety of advanced features that not only safeguard your device and track hidden threats but also improves its overall speed and efficiency by removing unwanted startup items

Here’s what you need to do. 

1. Download Systweak Antivirus on your Windows device. Launch the tool and tap on the “Scan now” button.

Systweak Antivirus


2. On the main screen, pick your scanning type whether you want to initiate a quick scan, deep scan, or custom scan.


Systweak Antivirus


3. The tool will now get to work and scan your entire device to look for viruses or malware and remove all traces of threats to keep your device safe & secure. 


Systweak Antivirus


Systweak Antivirus can be your one-stop security solution as it adds an extra layer of protection to safeguard your device and data. It is a comprehensive antivirus suite featuring malware protection, exploit protection, VPN protection, password protection, and many other security-rich features. 

So, folks, this wraps up our guide on how to fix WinRAR cannot execute file error on Windows 10. Do let us know which solution worked out the best for you! 

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