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Beginner’s Guide for Managing Zip Files on Macs

zip files on Mac

So you recently made a shift from the PC world to the Mac land. Great, Welcome to the fun side! Understandably, you might be struggling a bit to find your way around the new operating system. Almost everything is different (read: better) here — even small things like zipping and unzipping files! And that’s exactly what this guide is about. Step-by-step instructions for managing zip files on Mac.

Zipping Files and Folders

  • Find the files or folders you want to compress on your Mac
  • You can select them in three ways: One, press Control + A to select all items. Two, hold Shift and click on the first and the last file or folder to select a whole range. Three, hold Command and click on every file or folder one by one.
  • Hold Control and click or right-click while keeping the cursor on the selected files or folders.
  • You’ll see a context menu. Choose Compress (number) Items.

And there you have it! You will see a zipped file which contains all the selected items. The default name of the file is Archive, and to rename it, just right-click and choose Rename or click Return on the name and type a new one.

Unzipping Files and Folders

Now on to, unzipping. (The files, not anything else!) There’s nothing much you need to do actually. Just double click, and you’ll see a folder appear on your screen. If you open the folder, you’ll find all the files or folders there.

Tweaking Archive Utility

Archive Utility is your Mac’s in-built tool that performs all the files zipping and unzipping functions explained above. By itself, the utility is intuitive and automatic. But if you like the play around with the app settings, here’s how you can change Archive Utility preferences:

  • Click the ‘Go’ section on the top menu bar and click ‘Go to Folder
  • Copy-paste this path: /System/Library/CoreServices/Applications
  • And then, click on Go.
  • Scroll to Archive Utility in the list, open it with a double-click.
  • Finally, click on Archive Utility > Preferences.

You’ll get a pop-up window where you can make whatever changes you want. Just remember to close the preferences windows once you’re done with the changes.

Third-party apps

I know, we said, “be done with third-party apps”. But here’s the thing. You could be someone who’s always sending and receiving multiple files and big files. Now, we’re not concerned about what’s in those files, but if you’re frequently dealing with such file transfers, you might need a little helping hand. That’s where third-party apps come in. Mac App Store has these apps with extra features to make your life easier:

  • WinZip (₹2,079) – allows direct sharing and password-protection compression
  • A-Zippr: RAR & Zip Tool (free with in-app purchase) – comes with AES encryption and file previews
  • RAR Extractor Expert (free with in-app purchase) – offers decompression of password-protected files and batch extraction

So, there you go! Hope we made a boring Mac guide a little less mundane to read. And of course, we hope this helped. Happy zip, zap zipping and unzipping!

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