How to unzip a file on a Mac so that its contents are usable on your computer

  • You can unzip a file on a Mac by double-clicking on it, or by right-clicking and selecting “Open”.
  • The unzipped file will expand its contents into a folder on your desktop.
  • If you have a RAR file on your Mac, you can extract its contents by downloading free software.

A ZIP file is a convenient way to give your computer or phone some extra space when you are about to reach its storage limits.

Zipped files compress the data of photos, media, documents, etc., which you have received from friends, family, work or just downloaded from the internet.

Compression also makes it easier and less time consuming to share large files over the Internet, but these files must be unzipped once shared. Here’s how to unzip files on a Mac.

How to unzip files on a Mac

To unzip compressed files on a Mac, just double click on the compressed file and the Archive Utility will unzip the files, creating a new folder of its contents next to the zipped folder on your desktop.

The Archive Utility will automatically create a folder of the contents of the compressed file.


You can also right-click the folder and click Open to perform the same task if the archive utility is set as default. Otherwise, right click and select Open with then Archiving utility.

How to Unzip RAR Files on Mac

Comparable to ZIP filesAnother file format where you can keep large amounts of compressed data is Roshal Archive (RAR).


Unlike ZIP files, RAR files need software to unzip the files and turn them into a folder. Still, the process of unzipping a RAR file on a Mac is relatively straightforward thanks to free and compatible software known as The Unarchiver.

1. Download the unarchiver.

2. You will be prompted for the types of files you want the software to open. Make sure RAR Archives is selected from these options.

3. Then select the Extraction to indicate how you want the program to handle the folder.

4. Once your settings are done, right click on the RAR file and select Open with and The unarchiver.

5. Select the destination of your RAR extraction folder. When done, click on the blue Extract button at the bottom right of the window.

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