Files you can use on your machine would be of various formats, and you will probably have come across .zip files no matter which operating system your computer is running on. When you want to save room on your computer and even when they need to be sent over the internet, zipped files or compressed files, as they're called, are used.

Zip files have been around for many years now and are helpful if you have to deal with a large number of files that you may need to send via email to someone or minimize the actual size of files when sharing them. You can also open .zip files on your Mac, just like on Windows, and build .zip files by compressing other files.

We'll list the programs you can use to open and compress .ZIP files on a Mac in this article.

Mac’s Archive Utility

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In the form of the Archive Utility, Mac provides a native compressing and decompressing solution that is built right into the macOS system. Not only can you call the app from the Launchpad or via Spotlight, but it also incorporates the ability to compress a file into archive format right into the Finder app of the Mac. You are not allowed to open a separate app or preset compression values in this way.

The Archive Utility inside the Finder compresses ZIP files by default and leaves the files and archives alone when they are decompressed or compressed. By opening the Archive Utility and moving to 'Preferences', you can change these choices. You do not, however, get additional choices anywhere inside the tool to adjust the compression ratio.

You can use the Archive Utility to compress files on your Mac, pick the files you need to compress, right-click or control-click them, and from the pop-up menu, select 'Compress'. The compressed file is saved with an extension of .zip. By simply double-clicking on them, you can open compressed files on a Mac. You can also open the Archive Utility by pressing the keyboard shortcut 'Command + Spacebar' and then searching for 'Archive Utility' and pressing the 'Enter' key.

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The Unarchiver

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The native Mac Archive Utility will be appropriate for most occasions, but if you want a bit more options when compressing files, you can choose The Unarchiver from MacPaw Inc. All major compressed file formats, including Zip, RAR, 7-zip, Tar, Gzip, and Bzip2, as well as older compressed file formats such as StuffIt, DiskDoubler, LZH, ARJ, and ARC, can be opened using the app.


Some Windows .EXE installers and ISO and BIN disk image file formats can also be opened using the Unarchiver. In addition, the program can also correctly detect and manage filename encoding so that it can properly open the files without displaying garbled filenames. You can also use the app to open password-protected archives and select the correct encoding for additional protection.

Download The Unarchiver from Mac App Store

RAR Extractor

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RAR Extractor is a Mac application that helps you to decompress files in all major archive formats, such as Rar, Zip, Tar, 7zip, Gzip, Bzip2, XZ, Tar.gz, bz2, iso, pkg, swf, exe, jar, xip, dms, and more. The program supports opening password-protected archive files and you can decompress several archived files all at once with batch-extraction.

If the RAR Extractor is available, you can simply double-click a file to safely extract it. Another quick way to extract files is to drag and drop them on to the dock software icon of the RAR Extractor.

Download RAR Extractor from Mac App Store

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Keka is the only paid app for extracting archived files that you can download after paying $2.99 for the app on the Mac App Store, among all the apps listed in this article. Keka is a relatively new application in this list, created by Jorge Garcia Armero, but was swift to receive praise for being a full-featured file archiver.

The following file formats can be extracted from Keka: 7Z, ZIP, RAR, TAR, GZIP, BZIP2, XZ, LZIP, BROTLI, ZSTD, LRZIP, DMG, ISO, LZMA, EXE, CAB, WIM, MSI, PAX, JAR, APK, APPX, XPI, IPA, CPGZ, CPIO, XIP, etc. Keka supports 7Z, ZIP, TAR, GZIP, BZIP2, XZ, LZIP, BROTLI, ZSTD, LRZIP, WIM, DMG, and ISO file formats when it comes to making a compressed file.

Not only can you open archives that are password protected, you can also encrypt your compressed files in 7z and Zip formats. In addition to selecting the level of compression, Keka allows you to split large files so that you can share them without any size restrictions with others.

You can read more about how you can compress files with Keka in the guide the developer has prepared here.

Download Keka from Mac App Store

What app would you probably use to open and compress ZIP files for your Mac? Let us know in the comments below.