General settings


General settings dialog

To activate this dialog select "Settings…" command in Options menu and click on "General" tab. The dialog contents are described below.

System/Low priority

WinRAR uses this parameter to regulate system load in a multitasking environment. Usually the default priority is the best choice, so you do not need to activate this option, but if you frequently run WinRAR in the background while working with other applications, you may wish to set low priority.


If enabled, WinRAR will use the multithreaded version of compression algorithm providing the higher speed on multiprocessor or multicore architectures. By default this option is turned on if number of processors reported by the operating system is more than one, but it is possible to enable it manually even in a single processor system.

This option affects not only compression, but also other WinRAR modules, which can start several threads. Usually its default state proposed by WinRAR is optimal, so normally you do not need to change it.

History/Keep archives history

By default WinRAR keeps names of a few recently opened archives in File menu, so you may quickly access them again. But if you need to disable it, for example, for security purposes, you may clear this option.

Also, if this option is on, WinRAR adds opened archives to Windows recent documents list. If "Keep archives history" is off, Windows maintains the recent documents list itself and in such case archive names may or may not be added to it depending on Windows version and settings.

History/Allow history in dialogs

Some input fields in many WinRAR dialogs support lists of previously entered strings, which allow to restore a earlier entered value (an archive name, destination path, etc.) quickly. It may save user's time, but like the previous option, security of such feature may be questionable in multi-user environment. So if you share your computer with other people, you may wish to disable it.

Toolbar/Large buttons

Choose large (48x36 pixels) or small (24x24) buttons. Available only with the default WinRAR interface theme.

Toolbar/Show buttons text

Controls displaying of button titles.

Toolbar/Lock toolbars

Prevent moving or resizing toolbars by user. You may enable this option to avoid an accidental modification of toolbars position or size after you already customized toolbars to your needs.


Activates the dialog allowing to turn on or off the main WinRAR toolbar, the additional small toolbar containing "Up one level" button and address bar with path or archive information.


Press "Buttons…" to open the dialog, where you may choose toolbar buttons.

Interface/Activate Wizard on start

Switch WinRAR to Wizard mode, just after it started.

Interface/Enable sound

Enable WinRAR to produce sounds in case of errors or finishing long operations.

Interface/Show archive comment

Display comment window, if an opened archive has a comment.

Interface/Reuse existing window

If an attempt is made to open a new archive executing "WinRAR <arcname>" command or clicking on archive icon and a WinRAR window already exists, the archive will be opened in the already existing window. If this option is not enabled, a new window will be created.

Interface/Always on top

Place WinRAR window above all other programs. You may set it if you frequently use WinRAR as a drag and drop target.

Interface/Windows progress bars

This option controls look of progress bars in window displaying archiving and extraction progress. If enabled, WinRAR will use standard Windows progress bars. If disabled, WinRAR version of progress bars will be used. It may be reasonable to turn this option off in older Windows versions and enable it in Windows Vista and later, where controls have a new impressive look. Note that Windows progress bars are two color only, so unlike WinRAR progress bars they do not indicate the current compression ratio. But the compression percent is also displayed in separate line of progress window.

Interface/Taskbar progress bar

If this option is enabled, WinRAR will display the total progress of operation also on WinRAR icon on Windows taskbar. Taskbar progress feature is available only beginning from Windows 7, so "Taskbar progress bar" option is disabled in older Windows versions.

Logging/Log errors to file

Write error messages and information on archive damage to the file rar.log in %APPDATA%\WinRAR folder. This option is available only after registration. Use "View log…" command in Options menu to view contents of log file.

Logging/Limit log file size to <nnn> KB

Enables to limit size of rar.log file produced by WinRAR. The minimum allowed log file value is 50KB.