How to unzip a file or a folder you downloaded on a Mac.
Zipping a file or folder is a way to compress the size and also a way to make an entire folder into 1 compressed file that can easily be shared with others.
Mac OS X Lion and newer versions of Mac OS X have a tool built in to handle zip files. It is a basic app called the 'Archive Utility'. You can easily zip and unzip files and folders by using the Finder to access and use the Archive Utility App.
To Zip a file or folder with the built in Archive Utility
1. Open a Finder window and navigate to the file or folder you want to compress.
2. Right-click or Option-click the file or folder and choose 'Compress'.
3. You will see a progress bar and then a new zipped or compressed version of your file(s) will be saved into the same Finder folder as the original.
To Unzip a file or folder with the built in Archive Utility
unzipping a file or folder couldn't be easier.
1. Double-click the zip file. The Archive Utility will automatically create a new folder with the same name as the Zip in the same directory.
For example, if you download a file called 'Archive.ZIP', double click on it and the downloads folder will have a new folder named 'Archive' and inside that folder will be the contents of the ZIP file you downloaded uncompressed and ready to use.
What if you do NOT have the Archive Utility on your Mac?
There are 3rd party apps available for Mac users to download that will handle ZIP archives and compressing/decompressing files and folders. These apps are much more advanced than the Archive Utility and have more options available.
1. The most commonly used program for simply unzipping files you download is StuffIt Expander Mac
. The Expander is a free download. If you need to compress your own files, They also have a Deluxe edition that is packed with features and is $49.99.
2. Another popular program for ZIP files for Mac is WinZip Mac Edition
. There is a free trial available and the full version is $29.95.
Both products install similar features for unzipping files and the steps are similar to the archive utility. After you have installed one of these apps, Right-click or Option-click the ZIP file you downloaded and choose Extract to Here or Uncompress Here and a new folder will be created with the same name as your download file and inside will be the contents of the ZIP uncompressed and ready to use.