Open JAR File
JAR file extension is most commonly associated with a Java Archive, which is often used to package and distribute Java classes and metadata in development environments. JAR files may also be found to contain themes and add-ons for Mozilla's Firefox web browser or Thunderbird E-Mail client.
JAR files are standard Zip compressed archives which contain the classes and associated resources of a program as well as a manifest file which determines how the JAR file is handled. A manifest which defines a contained class as the main class will be treated as a standalone application, for example. The manifest can also contain links to other JAR files to be loaded upon execution, though this does rely on the paths to additional resources remaining the same as when the package was created. JAR files also support digital signing, whereby signature information is added to the manifest file and read when the file is opened. This prevents the contents being altered, as changing any of the enclosed files will result in a non-matching digital signature. It is also possible to digitally sign individual CLASS files, with any that do not have a valid signature being rejected by the Classloader of the Java Virtual Machine, preventing malicious code being injected into existing JAR packages.
JAR files are executed if the host machine has the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) installed, and should not be opened if the source is unknown as it is possible that the contained program is malicious.
You can open JAR files on a machine with the Java Runtime Environment installed, which is available on the Windows, Solaris, Mac and Linux platforms. JAR files may also be opened in web browsers with Java support. Alternatively, JAR packages can be opened using any archiving software with unzipping capabilities and the contents extracted, though most resources are already compiled and therefore not human-readable.
Open JAR File on Windows OS
- Find a JAR file in question in Windows File Explorer and double click on it.
- If a file is not opened in an application and you instead get a "Windows can't open a file" error message you should try looking for an application which can open the JAR file in question.
- If you know the application which can open JAR file then run it and see if there is a File->Open option in the application main menu.
- If you don't know the application which can open JAR file then try to search for "JAR wiki", "application to open JAR file" or "JAR file" queries in the search engine you like.
- Install the application you found and check if it can open JAR file
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