Unzip 7z Files on Mac

What are 7z files?

A 7z file is basically an archived file with a 7z file extension. 7z files are created using file compression tools, the most popular of which is 7-Zip. 7z files are similar to other archives formats like RAR, ZIP, and ISO but have a higher compression ratio and may include AES-256 encryption.

7z files make it pretty easy to share very large files. This is attributed to their high compression rate, which not only makes them consume less space on your computer hard drive but also makes them faster to send. 7-Zip can also support incredibly large file sizes. Theoretically, it can go up to 16 billion GB.

Are 7z files dangerous?

Typically, 7z files are safe. They can't steal information or damage your computer. And as long as you have antivirus software installed and running on your computer, you should be pretty safe.

That being said, you should only unpack 7z files from a trusted source. This is due to the fact that files from unsafe sources could contain malware. The malware can have some pretty detrimental effects on your system since it might exploit vulnerabilities in the unpacking tool to extract and execute malicious code.

However, some 7z unpacking software like Unarchiver scans all files before extracting them. It also warns you if the files contain any viruses. This ensures that you never unwittingly extract malware-infected files, thus keeping your computer reasonably safe from malware.

How to unzip 7z files on Mac

The official file unpacking software for 7z files is 7-Zip. Unfortunately, 7-Zip is only available on Windows. But, you could still run it on Mac with an application like Parallels Desktop for Mac. However, in this post, we're going to assume that you've not installed it yet.

Although Mac comes equipped with in-built programs that help decompress Zip, ISO, and other file types, it doesn't come with a preloaded program for opening 7z files. That being said, you can still unzip 7z Mac files using external software like Unarchiver.

Decompressing 7z files on Mac is pretty easy. Follow the following process to unzip 7z file on Mac in no time.

  1. Download Unarchiver. It is a free program. You can download it from either the official website or Mac app store.
  2. Launch Unarchiver. After launching the program, you'll see a file association list. Select 7z files
  3. Once the unpacking program is associated with 7z, double click any 7z file on your Mac and the program will unpack it like any other archived format. You can also launch Unarchiver, then drag and drop 7z files into the window.
  4. Give the file time to finish decompression before trying to open it or interact with its contents.

In most cases, 7z files have a lot of compressed data. So, don't be surprised to see the file expand to a much larger size. You should, therefore, ensure you have plenty of space on our hard drive to accommodate the uncompressed data.

What does it mean to extract files?

Extracting files is basically the same as decompression. It is the process of restoring original files from a compressed archive. It could be from a 7z file, RAR file, Zip file, etc.

When you extract files from a 7z compressed archive, a new folder with the same name is created with the extracted files. The original file also remains in its original folder.

Compressed files take up less space and are generally easier to share, especially when dealing with very large files. However, in order to be able to view the contents and interact with them, you have to extract them to restore them to their original size.