How to open a jar file?

JavaTo open a jar file in Windows, you will either need a copy of the Java Runtime Environment to run the file, or decompression software, such as an unzip utility, if you want to view one of the files within it (a jar file is much like a zip file, containing multiple files within it).

To run the file (Java Runtime Environment)
To view the file (decompression)

To run the file (Java Runtime Environment)

To run the file, you need to download the Java Runtime Environment (if you do not have it already) from the link below.

Once downloaded, you can run any jar file by double clicking the filename from Windows Explorer or My Computer. Keep in mind that this only works if the jar file to be opened in is executable. If not, you can view files within it instead.

Note: If double-clicking the jar file does not result in the file being run or executed, it is likely the jar file is not an executable file and cannot be run in this manner. Read the next section on how to view the contents of the jar file.

To view the file (decompression)

To view individual files within the jar file, you can obtain compression/decompression software that can work with jar files. We recommend using either 7-Zip or WinRAR.

Once you have installed this software, run the software. Then, from within the software, open the jar file and extract the files contained in it. Once the files are extracted, you can view the individual files by double clicking them (note that most files will be text files, but others may require additional software to view them).

Note: If the jar file defaults to be opened in WinRAR, 7-Zip, or another compression/decompression program, you can change the default program by right-clicking the file and select Open With, then Choose default program. In the Open With window, click the Browse button to open the File Explorer window. You need to find the executable file (.exe file) for the software program you want to set as the default program to open the file with.

Additional information

  • See our jar definition for further information and related links.