Opening ARC files

Have a problem opening a .ARC file? We collect information about file formats and can explain what ARC files are. Additionally we recommend software suitable for opening or converting such files.

What is the .ARC file type?

The ARC file format was developed by System Enhancement Associates in the beginning of the 1980s for storing compressed archive packages. ARC files can be created in the form of Macintosh Hierarchical File System archives or as MS-DOS archives.

The ARC file format works similar to other data compression formats popular today. It is used as a container to store one or more files which size has been reduced. Since ARC is a lossless compression algorithm, data can be decompressed without loss of quality.

The ARC application was the first compression utility capable of both files aggregation and archiving. In the time of early personal computers, dial up Internet and bulletin board systems, it was a great benefit that allowed users to speed up file distribution and optimize use of disc space.

The ARC archive format is considered to be the father of the ZIP format. Nowadays .arc files are practically not used because there are better alternatives with higher compression rates and more powerful algorithms available in the industry.

Software to open or convert ARC files

You can open ARC files with the following programs:
WinZip by WinZip Computing, Inc.
IZArc by Ivan Zahariev
PeaZip by Giorgio Tani
ALZip by ESTsoft Corp.

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