How to Zip and Extract Archives on Mac

How many files that you downloaded from the Internet ended up being zip archives? I know – many of them. ZIP archives allow users to put a number of files into one single file that when extracted, gives all the compressed files back to the user. Mac comes with a built-in feature to create and extract ZIP archives, thus eliminating the need of downloading a third-party compressing tool. If you are curious to know how you can create and extract archives on your Mac, this guide should help you do that.

Creating a ZIP Archive

Creating a new ZIP archive is as simple as pie. Just follow a couple of steps mentioned below and you should be all set.

1. Open Finder and go to the folder where the files are that you want to create an archive of.

2. Select all the files you want to add into the archive. Right-click on any file to activate the context menu. Select “Compress X Items,” with X being the number of files that you have selected for compression.

3. As soon as you hit the option mentioned above, it will create a ZIP in the same folder where your files are present. The archive name will be “” by default. You can change it later, though.

There you go. You have successfully created a ZIP archive containing all the files you selected before and it is all ready to be sent to whomever you want to send it to.
Creating a ZIP using Terminal

If you are a geeky person and would rather create an archive right off Terminal, we have you covered. It is actually much simpler to create an archive using Terminal than you think. Here is how you can go about doing that.

1. Fire up Terminal on your Mac from Launchpad.

2. Use cd command to get to the folder where your files are available. If you are confused, fire-up the ls command and it should list out all the directories for you to choose.

3. Once the folder where your files are located has become your current directory in the Terminal, type the following command:

zip FileName.ext

Where “” is the name of the archive that will be created, “FileName.ext” is the name of the file that will be added to the archive.

4. It will let you know when the archive has been created and it should become available in the folder where you created it.
Extracting a ZIP Archive

Now that you have created an archive, you might want to learn how to extract one. This one is much easier than the creation process above, here is how you can do that.

1. Open the folder where your archive is saved.

2. Double-click on the archive you want to extract and all of its files will be extracted to the same folder where you are.

You are all done. Your archive has been extracted and the original files that were put in are now available for you to use.

Having the knowledge of creating and extracting archives will definitely help you when you are surrounded with so many files that need to be sent at the same time.