You can easily group files or directories into one single archive file for convenient distribution, backup or other purposes. Tar is one of the mostly used archive file formats on Unix-like systems. This article will show you how to easily create tar file on Mac Catalina, Mojave, High Sierra and earlier and how to open it.

Open and Create Tar File on Mac

Starting with version 4.0, the WinZip Command Line Add-On can be used to unzip any of the archive types that are supported by WinZip. Additionally, version 4.0 can create LHA files. For simple archive types, you would use the same type of unzip command that would be used with Zip files.

P7zip is the command line version of 7-Zip for Unix/Linux, made by an independent developer It is distributed as Linux binaries and in source code form on Sourceforge. Download the source code, and run make in the folder you extract the archive to. However, most Mac users do not actually know what this is. Actually, a.7z file is an archive format the stand for 7-zip and you can compare it to any other archive that you have on your Mac. However, by default, your Mac does not know how to handle these kinds of files. That is why most Mac users would ask on how to open.7z files on Mac.

  • Unzip tar, RAR, ZIP, 7z, ISO and 8 other archive file types
  • Pack files to tar, ZIP and 7z with password protection
  • Enable users to preview content without extracting
  • Support batch extracting
  • Extract split archive files or only selected files from an archive
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What is a tar file?

A tar file is an archive file created with a software utility of the same name. Compatible with Unix, Unix-like and Microsoft Windows, it is used to collect multiple files into an archive file (which can be called a tarball). The name tar stands for tape archive, and the format was originally developed to save data to tape drives.

It is just a way of collecting data of all kinds (files, directories, etc.) together and doesn’t do any kind of compression. A basic tar file has a .tar extension. You may see files ending with .tar.gz or .tar.bz2. What are they? They are still tar files (or tarballs). In cases like these, files are not only packed but also compressed with compressors such as gzip or bzip2. By doing so, one can create a smaller tar file for more efficient backup or distribution.

How to create tar file on Mac

Method 1. Use professional software

The best way to make a .tar file on Mac is to use Cisdem Unarchiver. This tar file creator is extremely easy for everyone to use. It offers a batch mode, allowing you to create tar files in bulk, which helps improve efficiency. Versatile and powerful, it supports 13 archive formats and can also work as a tar file extractor. The app is compatible with OS X 10.7 Lion or later.

Step 1. Download and install Cisdem Unarchiver. Launch it.

Step 2. In the toolbar, click iPack. To create tar file on Mac, click Add in the iPack window. Select the files or directories/folders you need to pack. Click Open.

Step 3. Click Compress. Name your tar archive file and select a location to keep it. Click the Format dropdown list and choose the option Compress these files into a tar file.

Step 4. Click Save.

Method 2. Use Terminal

macOS comes with a built-in solution to create tar files. The instructions below will show you how to create a .tar.gz file. If you don't feel comfortable using Terminal, you can try the method above.

Step 1. Open Finder. Go to the top menu bar. Select Go > Utilities > Terminal.

Unzip 7z Mac Command Line Free

Step 2. In Terminal, type syntax like:

tar -cvzf yourtarfilename.tar.gz itemstoarchive

For example, as shown in the screenshot below, to create tar file from all the files on desktop, you can type:

ar -cvzf desktoparchive.tar.gz /Users/YaphetS/Desktop/

Step 3. Hit Return. Now you should be able to find the .tar.gz file in Home.

How to open tar file on Mac

When it comes to opening a tar file, you can double-click the archive, and then your Mac (or Windows PC) will open it with an associated default or third-part app. However, if that doesn’t happen, you will need to open it using a different method.

Method 1. Use Cisdem Unarchiver

Cisdem Unarchiver can also be used to safely open and unzip tar files on Mac.

Step 1. Download this tar file extractor. Open it.

Step 2. In the tool bar, click Add. Select the tar file you want to open. Click Open.

Step 3. Now you can easily select file(s) to preview and extract. Here we will select the entire .tar file. Click Extract. Choose a folder. Click Save.

A new folder will be created, and you can find all the unzipped files there.

Method 2. Use Terminal

Step 1. To open tar file on Mac using command line, open Terminal.

Step 2. Type syntax like this:

tar xvzf desktoparchive.tar.gz

Step 3. Press Return.

To find the extracted files, open Finder and go to the toolbar at the top of your screen. Select Go > Home and find a folder called Users (which is newly created and contains a subfolder called Desktop). Click the said folder Desktop and you will find all the files that where once packed into the tar ball.

Note: Here’s an important note. A tar bomb can be created with using the tar command, which may lead to the risk of overwriting files. For more information, you can check out the tar bomb related content in this article.


It’s easy to create tar on Mac or untar such as an archive using software or in Terminal. If you often need to zip or unzip files, then it’s a good idea to use professional software like Cisdem Unarchiver. Of course, you can also choose to tar files by using command line.

7z is a compressed archive file format that supports several different data compression, encryption and pre-processing algorithms. The 7z format initially appeared as implemented by the 7-Zip archiver.

The 7z format provides the following main features:

Unzip 7z Mac Command Liner

  • Open, modular architecture which allows any compression, conversion, or encryption method to be stacked.
  • High compression ratios (depending on the compression method used)
  • Rijndael/AES-256 encryption.
  • Large file support (up to approximately 16 exbibytes).
  • Unicode file names
  • Support for solid compression, where multiple files of like type are compressed within a single stream, in order to exploit the combined redundancy inherent in similar files.
  • Compression and encryption of archive headers.
  • Support for multi-part archives : e.g. xxx.7z.001, xxx.7z.002, ... (see the context menu items Split File... to create them and Combine Files... to re-assemble an archive from a set of multi-part component files)

The format's open architecture allows additional future compression methods to be added to the standard.

While 7z compression uses the LZMA method by default, the 7z format also supports the PPMD, BCJ, BCJ2, BZip2, and Deflate compression methods.

The 7z format supports encryption with the AES algorithm with a 256-bit key. The key is generated from a user-supplied passphrase using an algorithm based on the SHA-256 hash function.

Open/Extract 7z File on Windows

7z is a native format of 7-Zip. To open/extract 7z file, you can use 7-Zip or Easy 7-Zip. The Easy 7-Zip is an easy-to-use version of 7-Zip. The open source freeware keeps all features of 7-Zip and adds a few useful features that makes the software more user-friendly.

Easy 7-Zip works on Windows 10/8.1/8/7/Vista/2008/2003/XP/2000 (both 32-bit and 64-bit compatible).

  1. Free Download Easy 7-Zip
  2. Install Easy 7-Zip by step-by-step instructions
  3. The installation will associate 7z with Easy 7-Zip automatically
  4. Double-click on 7z file to open 7z file with Easy 7-Zip

  5. You will see files or folders within the 7z file then, click button Extract to extract the 7z file.
  6. Alternatively, Right-click on 7z file on Windows Explorer

  7. And then, choose Extract files..., Extract Here, or Extract to 'folder' to extract the 7z file.
  8. Done

Easy 7-Zip Download Links:

Open/Extract 7z File on Mac

To open/extract 7z file on Mac, you can use B1 Free Archiver. B1 Free Archiver is a free software for creating archive folder and extracting archive file. B1 Archiver works on all platforms - Windows, Linux, Mac and Android. The freeware supports most popular formats including 7z.

B1 Free Archiver is compatible with:

  • Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks
  • Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion
  • Mac OS X 10.7 Lion
  • Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard

Open/Extract 7z File on Linux

You need to install p7zip. p7zip is command line port of 7-Zip for POSIX systems like Unix (Linux, Solaris, OpenBSD, FreeBSD, Cygwin, AIX, ...), MacOS X and also for BeOS and Amiga.

Install p7zip-full on CentOS and Fedora

# yum install p7zip-full

Install p7zip-full on Debian and Ubuntu

$ sudo apt-get install p7zip-full

Extract a 7z file on Linux

$ 7za e sample.7z
  • 7za - command name
  • e - specifies the 7z to be extracted
  • sample.7z - is the file that is to be extracted
Unzip 7z Mac Command Line

Unzip 7z Mac Command Line To Unlock Drive

To extract with full paths, use the following command:

Unzip 7z Mac Command Line Prompt

$ 7za x sample.7z

Unzip 7z Mac Command Lines

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