How to unzip files on a Mac quickly

A zipped file is a file that has been reduced in size using a file compression algorithm.  

The primary purpose of zipping files is to make them smaller, sending them via email or other file transfer methods faster and easier.  

By compressing the data, zip files save bandwidth and shorten download and upload times. 

Imagine the difference in size if you mail a box of books that are all jumbled versus a well-organized box where each book is stacked carefully and fitted to the books next to it.  

The books don’t lose pages or physically get smaller, but organizing them means they’ll fit in a smaller box.   

However, once a file has been zipped, it must be unzipped to see the contents. While that sounds complicated, it’s a simple process.  

Switch seamlessly between Mac and Windows with Parallels Desktop. Try it free for 14 days.   

How to unzip files on Mac with Parallels Desktop 

Unzipping files is a skill every modern internet user needs to master.  

Whether you’re sharing photos from a recent trip with friends or downloading anti-virus software, zipped files are part of everyday internet life.  

Luckily, unzipping files on a Mac is relatively simple:  

1. Double-click on the zip file folder 

When a zipped file arrives in your inbox or download folder, double-click the file.  

2. The file will automatically decompress   

The unzipped file will appear in the same folder where the zipped version was stored. You can choose to keep or delete the zipped version to save space.   

3. Click to view your files   

Once the files have been unzipped on your Mac, you can view and read each file as usual. If you need to rezip the file, right-click the folder and choose “Compress <folder name>” from the  

pop-up menu.  

Compressing and Uncompressing Files on a Mac 

While you might tend to think of the terms “zip” and “unzip” when you need to make files smaller, macOS uses the term “Compress”.  

If you have a Parallels Desktop Pro subscription, you have access to Parallels Toolbox, which offers the Archive and Unarchive tools for compressing and uncompressing files.  

FAQ: Having trouble unzipping files on a Mac? 

Zipping and unzipping files on a Mac is a relatively simple process once you get the hang of it. If you run into issues or have additional questions, these frequently asked questions may help.   

Does Mac automatically unzip files?  

No, your Mac will not automatically unzip files — unless you are running Safari. If you click on a zipped file in the Safari browser, the file is downloaded, and you’ll find it uncompressed in the download folder.  

If you are running other browsers (e.g., Chrome or Firefox), you must double-click the file to unzip a zip file. Select Preferences > General > then unselect the Open “safe” files after downloading option.   

Why can’t I unzip a file on my Mac? 

There can be several reasons why a file won’t unzip on your Mac. The most common cause is a lack of space on your computer, which can be fixed by using Finder to locate and delete large, old, and unused files from your computer.  

Another common issue is corrupted files. Try re-downloading the file and unzipping it again. If the issue persists, contact the sender and request a new file.  

Ensure your OS is the latest version (if not, make any necessary updates) and verify your permission to unzip files, especially if you’re using a shared or work device.  

Finally, make sure the zipped file does not require a password. Zipped files that are password protected will not unzip without the correct password.  

How do I unzip a corrupted zip file on a Mac? 

In most cases, you cannot unzip a corrupted file on a Mac. However, there are a few troubleshooting steps that may help:  

Unzip Mac files with ease!  

Learning how to unzip files is essential for accessing a wide range of digital content, from software downloads to large documents. The straightforward steps we shared will ensure you can unzip files in seconds.  

Switch seamlessly between Mac and Windows with Parallels Desktop. Try it free for 14 days.