You must have come across JAR files at some point while surfing the Internet and must have wondered about it, about what it is and what it does.
What is a JAR File?
JAR stands for Java Archive. It’s a file format based on the popular ZIP file format and is used for aggregating many files into one.
Although JAR can be used as a general archiving tool, the primary motivation for its development was so that Java applets and their requisite components (.class files, images, and sounds) can be downloaded to a browser in a single HTTP transaction, rather than opening a new connection for each piece.
This greatly improves the speed with which an applet can be loaded onto a web page and begin functioning. The JAR format also supports compression, which reduces the size of the file and improves download time still further.
Additionally, individual entries in a JAR file may be digitally signed by the applet author to authenticate their origin.
- the only archive format that is cross-platform
- the only format that handles audio and image files as well as class files
- backward-compatible with existing applet code
- an open standard, fully extendable, and written in java
- the preferred way to bundle the pieces of a java applet
JAR consists of a zip archive, as defined by PKWARE, containing a manifest file and potentially signature files, as defined in the JAR File Specification.
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Programs to Open JAR Files in WindowsJAR File Specification
Below are two file openers that can help you easily open JAR Files in Windows 10.
Corel WinZip 24
WinZip is one of the most used file compression utilities for Windows with which you can compress and decompress file archives along with creating backups for data and securely encrypting data.
Compressing files saves storage space and can quickly trans4fer the files over the Internet.
Follow these steps to open a JAR file using Corel WinZip 24:
- Download and Install Corel WinZip 24.
- Find the file you want to open and right-click on it.
- Go to Open With and select Winzip.
- A new window will open with all the files in the selected file.
- Extract the ones you want and then drag and drop them out of Winzip to wherever you want to save them.
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File Viewer Plus
File Viewer Plus is a universal file opener compatible with Windows with which you can convert, save, view, and edit files.
With this file opener, you can open more than 300 different types of files.
You can play many multimedia formats, edit, and save images and documents, convert files in batches to many file formats, and inspect the contents of a file with the help of this program.
Follow these steps to Open JAR using File Viewer Plus:
- Download and install the File Viewer Plus.
- Launch the app on your Windows device.
- Go to File and select the file you want to open.
- Click on Start.
How Can I Run a JAR file on Windows 10?
1. Add Java to Windows
- Type cmd in the Windows Search tab and click on the Command Prompt app.
- Next, input the following command and press Enter to run it:
- The current version of Java is Version 8 Update 311.
- If you don’t have Java or the most up-to-date version, you can download it for free. After you get the file, hit the Install button.
- Run through the Java setup wizard and close the window after the installation process.
- Then, open your browser to verify that the program is working.
The crucial thing you need upfront is to have Java installed. Without it, Java apps aren’t going to run in Windows.
2. Use Java (TM) Platform SE binary
- Press the Windows key + E to start File Explorer and the folder that includes the file you need to run.
- You should right-click the JAR file and select Open With from the context menu, then select Choose another app.
- Select to open it with Java(TM) Platform SE binary.
- Click the Always use this app to open the JAR files check box, then press the OK button to close the menu.
- Now you can run the selected JAR, and all other JARfiles will also be associated with Java.
3. Download a JAR File Opener
- Go to the File Viewer Plus website and click on the Download Now button.
- After you download and install the app, hit the Finish button.
- Now click on the Open a file button or just drag and drop the JAR file in its window.
- You will instantly see the contents of the JAR file and you will be able to click the Extract All button to get them to a location on your drive.
You can open JAR files with a lot of apps out there but we strongly recommend File Viewer Plus because it can open and display over 300 different file types.
The new updated version has a plethora of features that will save you big time on opening, viewing, or editing files.
Keep in mind that the app supports the most popular text, audio, or video file type, as well as archive, source code, or web files.
4. Run a JAR File from the Windows Command Prompt
- Input cmd in the Search tab, then select Run as administrator to run Command Prompt with full privileges.
- Then input the following command (replacing pathtofile from the example with the actual path of the file you need to run) and press Enter:
java -jar c:\pathtojarfile.jar
That will open the executable JAR file so long as it contains a manifest file to specify the application’s entry point (the developers should have already included that in the archive.)
If you develop your own Java programs, you’ll need to convert the JAR to an executable format.
5. Add a Third-party JAR Executor to Windows
- Visit the JARX website and click on the Jarx-1.2-installer.exe file to download it.
- Download and click on the file to start the installation, then select the Close button when it’s finished.
- Now you can just double-click any JAR file to start it as a normal executable file.
There are also executor programs for Windows like JARX that enable you to run JAR files the same as any other program.
How to Get a JAR file for Your Favorite App?
There are lots of websites that offer free JAR versions of any application you can think of and we’re going to provide a simple example for Instagram.
- Go to a website that offers JAR file downloads like JAR Download. Proceed with caution because not all such websites offer clean content so you should double-check it with an antivirus and scan the files on arrival before using them.
- Click on the Java version of the app you’re looking for. In our case, Instagram Java.
- Now hit the Download button and by using our guide above, you already know how to open the JAR and use the contents.
We hope that our guide helped you with all the information needed to run JAR files in Windows or even convert them if needed.
If you have questions or suggestions, please do well to leave a comment and also, share this article with your friends.