RAR Password Unlocker detects and cracks lost or forgotten passwords protecting RAR archives. It offers three methods of tackling lost passwords: Brute Force, Brute Force with User-Defined Mask, and Dictionary mode, which tries password combinations against a built-in dictionary that you can customize. It can also automatically save and resume interrupted recovery operations and search for archives in your system. It's free to try, but the trial version only recovers the first three letters of the password and limits dictionary searches to 10,000 possible combinations. If that's enough to jog your memory, you're in luck. But if it isn't, you'll have to buy RAR Password Unlocker or try a different tool to recover lost RAR passwords.
RAR Password Unlocker's user interface is very basic, with few controls or options other than those directly related to the job at hand, recovering lost passwords: Open, Start, and Stop buttons in one segment of the toolbar; Help, About, and Exit (not to mention Purchase) in another. The main window has two tabs, Start Page and Search Files: RAR Password Unlocker not only recovers passwords from RAR files but searches your PC for archives. An optional Details pane offered instructions for each step, and the program's Help file offers more detail, though there's not a lot involved with running this simple tool. We started by running the search tool, which turned up all our system's RAR files, including this program's sample file. We browsed to a file and added it in RAR Password Unlocker. The program displayed its file path and other data and offered its three modes of attack. A Settings button opened a dialog with password options such as uppercase, special symbols, and Affix Set. We simply had to select our options and which method to use and click Start. The program's counter features hours, minutes, and seconds; it takes time to plow through every possible combination in a brute force attack.
Twice RAR Password Unlocker crashed on us; ironically, it was while running its sample RAR file. You have few other options for recovering lost RAR passwords, though, so it merits a look where there's a need.
Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of RAR Password Unlocker 5.0.