IZip is a free powerful archiving utility designed specifically for Mac. Easily manage ZIP and RAR files directly from the OS X Finder. Open and securely share ZIP, encrypted ZIP and RAR plus other compressed file formats. How to Zip a File on Mac. Open a Finder window, then locate the file or folder you want to zip. Right-click on the said file or folder. Select 'Compress' in the drop-down menu you see. The file is then Zipped while the original is left just the way it was. How to Create Zip Files and Folder on Mac. Open a Finder window.
The allure of zipped files is simple: they allow you to directly send and receive files, or batches of files, without encroaching on file size limits. Often, email providers have limits on how large attachments can be. Zip files make it easy to bypass that limitation without sending multiple emails.
Zipping files can also be useful for compressing files for storage on your Mac, or an external hard drive.
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How do you open a zip file on a Mac? Or what's the best way to do that? There are, of course, several methods for creating archives, such as built-in utilities, Terminal, and third-party apps. Below, we are going to explore how to unzip files on Mac, how to create zip archives, and showcase some archivers that make it really easy to zip and manage zipped files.
A zip file is a lossless way to compress and archive files and folders. You often encounter zip files in emails, as mentioned, but also when downloading from the internet. If you've ever downloaded an app or extension directly from a developer website, chances are it was a zipped file.
It uses the '.zip' filename, and its icon is typically a folder with a zipper running up the middle. Zipping files is a time-tested method, and is largely unchanged. Its use-cases have expanded, though. We use zip files for sending large files and bundles of PDF or text files, but it's now used as a method to send large folders of images as well as for downloading applications or games from the internet.
Before we talk about some special apps and tools, we need to mention built-in macOS's utility that allows you to compress and decompress files and folders. Your Mac's simple Archive Utility, stored in the Applications > Utilities folder, is a simple, direct way to zip files. Its functionality is limited, but it's a decent option for quick zipping and unzipping of files and folders when you need to open zip files someone has sent you.
Here's how to zip a file on Mac with the Archive Utility:
That's all it takes. Note the zipped file or folder will be created in the same location as the file or folder you zipped. You can move it manually if you like.
If you want to zip multiple files without first adding them to a folder, that's also possible with Archive Utility. Here's how:
Once again, a progress bar will display. When the compression is finished, zipped items will be stored in a file called Archive.zip, which will be located in the same folder as the original items.
Now that you know how to create a zip file on Mac, you may be wondering how to encrypt that zipped file. Archive Utility doesn't allow for this, but you can use the Terminal to accomplish this feat. Here's how:
The encrypted file will then appear on your desktop. Opening it will require a password.
We should note this method is clunky, a bit confusing for many – and dealing with Terminal is always a bit nerve-wracking. There's a much better way!
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BetterZip is an app that makes compression and encryption a breeze. In fact, you can set BetterZip up to encrypt all files by default! It uses strong AES-256 encryption, and has the same lossless compression you'll find with any zipping method.
Here's how to encrypt zip files using BetterZip:
If you'd like to use the same password for every file you encrypt, you can enter it in the filed just below 'encryption method'. If you don't supply a password, BetterZip will prompt you for one each time you zip and encrypt a file.
BetterZip is impressive for encrypting every zip file you create. If you're looking for a simpler approach, Archiver is the app you're looking for. It uses a drag-and-drop interface, and makes encryption as easy as checking a box and assigning a password. Here's how:
BetterZip is your best path forward for adding files to an already zipped file. Here's how it's done:
This creates a new .zip folder with the already-zipped file, as well as the files you added, all of which are now zipped in the same folder.
Unzipping files on your Mac is simple. The best method is using the built-in Archive Utility app. The process is simple, and essentially a reversal of the process for zipping a file. Here's how to unzip files:
The zipped file or folder will be unzipped. If you'd like to re-zip the file, simple follow the steps we've outlined in this article to zip it again.
To open zipped files and folders, both BetterZip and Archive are great options. We especially like BetterZip, here, because each zipped file or folder is previewed in the BetterZip window before you open it up. That way, you always know what you're about to open!
Here's how to unzip files using BetterZip.
Your file or folder will be unzipped.
Here's the method if you choose Archive:
That's all it takes!
Viewing a zipped file without actually unzipping it can be important if you have many zipped files on your computer, or have zipped folders and can't remember where you stuck a particular file.
For this, we like BetterZip. It automatically offers up a preview of zipped files and folders on the right side of its screen. There's no guessing, or fussy methodology. All you have to do is select the file in BetterZip, and the preview loads immediately.
Again, we really like BetterZip for this. Here's how to do it:
If you would rather unzip files using the Terminal, here's how to do it: