How to open JAR files on Windows 10 and 11

Maria Vonotna/

In Windows 10 and Windows 11, JAR files do not open by default because there are no built-in applications to handle this file format. But, you can install free Java utility and access this file format on your PC. We will show you the process to do it.

What is a JAR file and how do I open one?

JAR stands for Java Archive, which is an archive consisting of multiple files. Developers can create applications and other things in Java and save these files in JAR format. It should be kept in mind, however, that JAR files contain executable code, making them potentially dangerous file types. Make sure you trust the source of your JAR file before running it.

To run a JAR file on your Windows PC, you need to install the free Java utility. Then you can double click on your JAR file to launch it. You can also extract the files from a JAR archive using a free application like WinRAR, as we will explain below.

Step 1: Check if Java is already installed on your PC

It’s worth checking if Java is already installed on your PC, and if so, you can skip step 2 below.

To do this, first launch the Run dialog box by pressing Windows + R. Then type the following in the box and press Enter:


Type "ordered" in the Run box and press Enter.

In the Command Prompt window that opens, type the following command and press Enter:

java -version

Walk in "java-version" and press Enter.

If Java is installed on your PC, you will see your version of Java. In this case, skip step 2 below and go directly to step 3.

Show Java version.

If the command prompt displays the following message, Java is not installed. In this case, install the utility by following step 2 below.

'java' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.

Message Java not installed.

Step 2: Download and install Java on Windows

You can download and install Java on your Windows PC for free.

To do this, first launch a web browser on your computer and open the Java download web page. There in the section “Windows”download the appropriate file for your machine.

Download Java for Windows.

When Java is downloaded, double-click the installer file to install the utility on your PC. Then restart your Windows 10 or Windows 11 PC.

RELATED: How to restart a Windows 11 PC

Step 3: Run JAR files on Windows 10 or Windows 11

Now that Java is installed, you are ready to launch your JAR files.

To do this, first open a file explorer window and locate your JAR file.

Find the JAR file.

Right-click your JAR file and choose Open With > Java(TM) Platform SE Binary.

Point: If you don’t see this option in the menu “Open with”click on “Choose another app” and you will see the option.

Select Open With > Java(TM) Platform SE Binary from the menu.” width=”650″ height=”334″  data-src=”/pagespeed_static/1.JiBnMqyl6S.gif” onload=”pagespeed.lazyLoadImages.loadIfVisibleAndMaybeBeacon(this);” onerror=”this.onerror=null;pagespeed.lazyLoadImages.loadIfVisibleAndMaybeBeacon(this);”/></p>
<p>Your JAR file will launch and you can interact with it.  And that’s all there is to it.</p>
<h2 role=Optional: Extract files from a JAR file

If instead of running it, you want to extract the files from your JAR file, you can do so using a free file compression application, such as WinRAR.

To start, install the free version of WinRAR on your PC. Then restart your PC.

In a file explorer window, locate your JAR file. Then right click on the file and choose “Extract to [JAR File Name].”

Choose Extract to [JAR File Name] from the menu.

WinRAR will create a new folder inside your current folder. This new folder contains all the files extracted from your JAR file.

And that’s how you access and peek at your JAR files on Windows. Enjoy!

Did you know that certain file types can potentially harm your Windows PC? Check out our list of these file types so you are aware.

RELATED: Over 50 potentially dangerous file extensions on Windows

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