How to Zip a Folder on Mac

What is a ZIP file?

In Windows, you can easily drop your file contents in a folder and then transport it to the location of your choice on your personal computer. Zip files work in the same way as your standard folders. The only difference is that, with zip files, the contents are compressed into a single folder.

Zip files are a collection of various files that have been compressed into one file. Zip files are easy to send and transfer since they decrease the file size. Both Mac and Windows come with an inbuilt compression feature that enables you to zip files. The zip files put all your files in one place. The file archive will put all the compressed files in one place. Therefore, it is a suitable option when you want to have a single file. Any extension with a .zip or .Zip is a zip file.

Are Zip files dangerous?

You may think that, since zip files contain numerous files, it means that they are more dangerous. However, that is not the case. Zip files are only as dangerous as any other executable files.

How to zip a folder

You can save time by combining several files into one before you send them via email. You don't have to attach the files one by one. All you have to do is create a zip file and attach it to the email you want to send. Here are the steps for how to zip a folder on Mac.

  1. Have the files in one folder: drag and drop the files in one location.
  2. Right-click on the folder with the files to be zipped. You can also control-click to open your contextual menu.
  3. Click on "compress the folder". The option automatically activates Mac's built-in compression feature. It will compress your files and folders within a short time.

The compressed file will have the same name as the original folder. The only difference is that it will have a .zip extension at the end. The zip folder will also be in the same folder as the original folder. Those are the simple steps to how to compress a folder on Mac.

How to open a zip folder

You can open your zip file by double-clicking on it. You'll see all the files in that zip folder. Zip files are handled internally on the Mac operating system. But there are also third party tools you can use.

Opening zip files using Mac's archive utility

  1. Double click on your zip file on Mac.
  2. The file automatically opens and the archive utility decompresses the file into the same folder as your zipped file. For instance, if you had the zip file on your desktop, then the uncompressed file will also be on the desktop.

Opening files with the Unarchiver

You can also use the Unarchiver to open your zip folder Mac. You first have to download and install the tool from the Mac app store.

  • Launch your Unarchiver and associate it with the archive files.
  • Double click on the zip archive to open it and decompress it using the Unarchiver.

That is how you open a zip file on Mac. The archive utility tool for Mac opens and extracts the zip files and places them in the same folder as the zip archive. Opening zip files on Mac is a matter of double-clicking whether you use the Unarchiver or Mac's archive utility tool.

What does it mean to extract files?

File extraction means uncompressing the zipped files. You can extract your zip files on Mac by right-clicking on the .zip archive. Next, choose "open". In case you are using a third-party tool, choose the option "open with" and select "another archive tool".