How to Zip a File on Mac

What is a ZIP file?

After a vacation with friends or completing various tasks for your company, you need to transfer the copies to the relevant people. You are likely to have your digital files, such as photographs or documents, in folders. So how do you include the folders as email attachments? The easiest way to achieve this is by using a zip file.

A zip file is a collection of files compressed into one single file. It is like having a bunch of coins all together in one pouch, then you zip and close so that you can move with them quickly, transfer, or send them without hassle. Apart from the ease of transfer, you can email various digital files at once as an attachment.

Zipping files decreases the size of the files, helping you recover some of the space other digital files would take. Furthermore, you can protect your zip file using a password to ensure maximum security and control who can view your files.

Are zip files dangerous?

Zip files are not necessarily dangerous. They are just a collection of various digital files like those you have on your computer. However, they are known to contain malicious code used by intruders to send malware and viruses.

Since it is a collection of different files, any evil person can intentionally put trojans and viruses, which can cause issues with your computer systems if you execute.

Luckily, you can prevent this easily by practicing measures to improve your security by:

  • Updating your system regularly: Updates help to secure your computer effectively. They come with essential security fixes, and enhancements always accompany them to boost your security to the maximum.
  • Know your zip sources: Just like any other digital file, you need to trust the person and place you are getting a zip file to use. Don't open zip attachments from unknown senders. You can always confirm from your sender that you know if the zip file is legitimate.
  • Install anti-virus: Having a proper anti-virus in your systems helps to keep your system integrity and security in check. They scan all your files and will detect the presence of malware and viruses in your system.

How to zip a file on Mac

Whenever you need to email several files, you can spare a lot of time and hassle that you will get trying to attach each file individually to an email address. One zip file will contain the bunch of files you need to send and attach them in one go.

Use these easy steps that explain how to make a zip file on Mac:

  1. Put all the files you wish to zip into one folder. You can achieve this easily through drag and drop.
  2. Right-click on the folder with all the files you want to zip. It will open a pop-up menu.
  3. Click on Compress (folder name) to automatically activate your built-in compression feature.

The compressed file will have the same name as your folder with a .zip extension.

How to open a zip file

Opening or unzipping your zip files on a Mac computer is also a breeze. Use the steps below:

  1. Double click on the zip file folder
  2. The file automatically decompresses as an action of Archive Utility in the same folder your zip file is.
  3. You can access all your single extracted files by selecting their icons.

What does it mean to extract files?

Extracting files means decompressing files from a zipped folder by restoring them into the original form so that you can access each file individually. You can only open the files in your zipped file by first extracting them.