How to open a jar file

Updated: 01/24/2018 by Computer Hope

JavaTo open a jar file in Windows, you must have the Java Runtime Environment installed. Alternatively, you can use decompression software, such as an unzip utility, to view the files in the jar archive.

To run the file (Java Runtime Environment)

To run the jar file, you need to download and install 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 file name. Keep in mind that this only works if the jar file to be opened is executable. If it is not executable, 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. Many of those files are probably 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, 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 jar file.

Additional information