What Is a DAR File?

How to Open, Edit, & Convert DAR Files

Screenshot of several DAR files in Windows 10 that open with VEGAS DVD Architect
DAR Files.

A file with the DAR file extension is a Disk Archiver Compressed Archive file. Developed to replace TAR, a DAR file serves as a full copy of a group of files and can, therefore, be used to create file backups.

DVD Architect Project files use the DAR file extension, too. These files are used by the DVD Architect program to store everything related to a DVD authoring project, like the location of the media files, chapters that should be included in the DVD, and more.

How to Open a DAR File

DAR archive files can be opened with DAR (Disk ARchive). Select the latest version link at the top of the download page to ensure you get the up-to-date revision.

If you have a DAR file that's related to a DVD project, use VEGAS DVD Architect to open it.

Tip: Use Notepad or another text editor to open the DAR file. Many files are text-only files meaning no matter the file extension, a text editor may be able to properly display the file's contents. While this is not the case with Disk Archive files, it might be possible with DVD Architect files or other, less-common DAR files.

If you find that an application on your PC does try to open the DAR file but it's the wrong application or if you would rather have another installed program open DAR files, see our How to Change the Default Program for a Specific File Extension guide for making that change in Windows.

How to Convert a DAR File

There probably aren't many file converters, if any, that can convert a Disk Archive file to another format.

Even if you do have access to a DAR archive converter, know that, much like other archive formats like ZIP and RAR, you cannot convert one to anything but another archive format.

For example, even if inside the DAR file is a video file like an MP4, which you want to convert to AVI, you cannot convert the DAR file directly to an AVI file.

Instead, you need to first extract the contents out of the DAR file with Disk ARchive and then convert one of those files to a compatible format (like MP4 to AVI, MP3 to WAV, etc.).

DAR files that are used with DVD Architect are just used by the program to reference other data and describe how the authoring process should work. There aren't any actual files stored inside this kind of DAR file, so it'd be useless to try to convert one to any format other than a text-based format like TXT.

Tip: If you need to "convert" the DAR file to a DVD to actually make the DVD use the information stored in the DAR file, first open the DAR file in DVD Architect and then use the File > Make DVD... menu item to walk through the process of preparing the DVD files and burning them to the disc.

Still Can't Open the File?

The first thing you should check for if you can't open the DAR file is that the file extension really does read ".DAR" and not something that just looks similar. Because so many file extensions use many of the same letter combinations, it can be easy to confuse them with one another and think that one is a DAR file.

For example, the DAT and DAA file extensions are very similar to DAR, but if you follow those links you'll see that these formats are not at all related and cannot be used with the same programs.

Similarly, the DART file extension is just one letter off of DAR, but those files are used for Dart Source Code files, a format that's entirely foreign to the Disk Archive and DVD Architect file formats. Instead, DART files open with a program called DART.

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