i'm using the latest version of winrar (regged version).

problem is, the settings only allow me to set the temp path to a certain drive (e.g. C:). i want it to be dynamic (i.e. if the .rar resides in D:\ , then let the temp path be in D:).

reason is because if the temp path is in a fixed directory, time is wasted transferring the file, say from temp C:\Temp to D: (where the rar resides).

anyone knows how?

  • Think about using 7-Zip for this. With it you can simply right-click on the rar file in Explorer and choose Extract here.
    – Michael S.
    Dec 18, 2017 at 6:46

4 Answers 4


If you drag and drop from WinRar to Explorer it will use a temp directory on your main drive. You need to actually press the "Extract" button on WinRar. The same is true for 7zip.

To understand why this is the case, here is an excerpt from 7zip faq:

Why does drag-and-drop archive extraction from 7-Zip to Explorer use temp files? 7-Zip doesn't know folder path of drop target. Only Windows Explorer knows exact drop target. And Windows Explorer needs files (drag source) as decompressed files on disk. So 7-Zip extracts files from archive to temp folder and then 7-Zip notifies Windows Explorer about paths of these temp files. Then Windows Explorer copies these files to drop target folder.

To avoid temp file usage, you can use Extract command of 7-Zip or drag-and-drop from 7-Zip to 7-Zip.

  • This should be accepted as working solution. Thanks. I needed to extract 22GB file and I had only 10GB free on C: drive. Tried Drag and drop and it failed each time with Disk space full error. This solution worked perfectly.
    – prodev
    Jun 22, 2020 at 2:52

From the Windows Explorer locate the compressed file and Just right click on it then select "Extract here!". Winrar won't use any temp directory just the existing one! (Don't use double click to open up the compressed file)


If you specify a temp path WinRAR will extract to that dir, even if it resides on a different partition/drive. Instead just leave the field empty and an archive's own dir will be used for its temp files. If you exit the program normally it should clean up all the temp files and not leave anything behind.

There's no way you can specify multiple temp dirs, one for each partition/drive.

  • it's odd that even when i remove the path, it will still extract to a default path (C:)? May 3, 2013 at 3:10
  • Are the files you're extracting on a removable drive? As per the help file and my own testing, leaving the path blank does make WinRAR extract temp files to the archive's dir.
    – Karan
    May 3, 2013 at 12:55

For Win rar only solution is to go to Settings manual change path each time to destination drive.

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We live in 2021 now() and 7zip can't still after 10 years bug use same drive to extract files even if on c drive is 5GB free space and extract file is 20TB even if you change path do different HDD and restart 7zip. So this is reasons why i bought Winrar and don't use open source Software like 7 zip.

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