How to Fix Unexpected End of Archive?

You may have encountered the error message “Unexpected End of Archive” while trying to extract data from a compressed file,  Have you ever wondered why you are seeing this error and how to fix it?

“Unexpected End of Archive” Error occurs in the compressed file when the archive structure is corrupted or incomplete, preventing proper extraction. Commonly seen in ZIP or RAR files.


Archive files have become an essential tool for compressing, storing, and sharing vast amounts of data. Whether it’s a collection of essential documents, cherished family photos, or vital software files, the archive method enables users to manage space efficiently and transfer data effortlessly. 

However, encountering an unexpected end of archive error can bring these tasks to a sudden halt, and leaves users frustrated and in need of a solution. Such an error not only prevents access to the content but may also indicate underlying issues such as file corruption or incomplete downloads. 

This article delves into the common causes of this disconcerting error and provides step-by-step guidance on how to diagnose and fix it. 

What is the Unexpected End of Archive?

The unexpected end of archive error refers to an issue that arises when trying to extract or open a compressed file. This error indicates that the file is either incomplete or corrupted. Similarly, the unexpected end of file error is a related issue that occurs in certain applications like Adobe Photoshop, WordPress, and localhost servers like XAMPP or MAMP.

Unexpected End of Archive

Common Causes of the Error:

  1. File Corruption: This might occur during the downloading process, due to a sudden shutdown or crash, or while transferring files between different devices or platforms.
  1. Incomplete Downloads: An interruption during downloading, such as a lost internet connection, can leave the file incomplete, leading to an error.
  1. Improper Compression: Using incorrect or mismatched compression methods or algorithms can lead to errors during extraction
  1. User Errors: Simple mistakes like removing a device while transferring files or closing an application improperly might also lead to these errors.
  1. Unspecified File Types: Sometimes, files without the correct or recognized file extension might be incompatible with the software trying to open them, leading to the error.
  1. File Size Limitations: Some systems and programs have limitations on the file size they can handle, and exceeding these might cause errors.

These common triggers offer a broad understanding of how and why these errors occur. Diagnosing the exact cause in a specific case requires careful examination of the error context and might necessitate a combination of automated and manual troubleshooting methods.

Symptoms of Error in Archive Files

  • Failure in File Extraction: The most immediate sign of this error is an inability to extract or open the archived file. This failure is often accompanied by a specific error message.
  • Error Messages: Messages like the unexpected end of archive or CRC failed can appear, alerting the user to the problem.
  • Slowed System Performance: If the archive is part of a broader system or application, the error may lead to slowed or erratic performance, as the system struggles to read the corrupted file.
  • Data Corruption or Loss: More severe cases may result in corruption or even loss of the data within the archive. Partially extracted files might be unusable or cause further complications.
  • Difficulty in Transmitting Files: If the error is occurring within a network or cloud-based system, it may cause problems in transmitting or synchronizing files, leading to broader issues within a workflow or collaboration process.

These symptoms underscore the importance of recognizing and promptly addressing the unexpected end of archive error. Ignoring or mismanaging this issue can lead to cascading problems, from wasted time and frustration to critical data loss and system malfunctions.

Resolving the WinRAR Unexpected End of Archive Error

When dealing with compressed files, especially those larger than 5 MB, you might encounter an unexpected end-of-archive error. This can be particularly frustrating when using Chrome, as it may halt downloads midway and incorrectly mark them as complete. When attempting to open such a file, the error message appears.

Situation 1: When the File is Corrupted

If you observe that the downloaded file’s size is smaller than the original size displayed on the download site, it’s a clear indication that the file has been corrupted. Here’s how you can tackle this situation:

  1. Re-download the File: Attempting to download the file again may resolve the corruption issue.
  2. Clear Temporary Files: Removing temporary files can sometimes aid in successful downloading.
  3. Opt for a Superior Browser: Switching to a more reliable browser may mitigate the problem.
  4. Utilize a Software Download Manager: Using dedicated download management software can prevent corruption.
  5. Perform a Comprehensive Antivirus Scan: Running a full system scan might identify and fix any underlying issues leading to corruption.

Situation 2: When the File is Not Corrupted

If the downloaded file’s size matches that shown on the linked site, the corruption might not be the problem, but WinRAR’s built-in repair tool can assist you. Follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Initiate Repair with WinRAR: 

Open the problematic file with WinRAR. Navigate to File -> Tools -> Repair. The program will immediately start the repair process.

Initiate Repair with WinRAR: 
  • Step 2: Select Archive Type: 

In the “Archive type” section, you have the option to “Treat the corrupt archive as RAR” or “Treat the corrupt archive as ZIP,” depending on your file extension. Click “OK” once you’ve made your selection.

  • Step 3: Monitor the Repair Process: 

If a message appears stating “recovery record found,” there is a high likelihood that the archive file will be successfully repaired. Click the “Close” button once the process is finished.

  • Step 4: Extract Your Archive File: 

To extract your now-repaired archive file, go to Commands -> Extract without confirmation. The file will be extracted to the same folder as the repaired archiver.

By understanding the nature of the unexpected end of archive error and following these structured approaches, you can overcome this challenge with confidence. Whether the file is corrupted or not, these strategies provide effective solutions to ensure that your downloaded archives are accessible and intact.


The unexpected end-of-archive and unexpected end-of-file errors are significant as they can lead to data loss, frustration, and wasted time. Understanding and fixing these errors is essential to maintain the integrity of data and the efficiency of workflows. By adhering to best practices like regular backups, proper usage of archiving tools, and vigilance during the downloading process, you can tackle these errors quickly. 

Good Luck with your Learning !!

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