[Full Guide] How to Unzip Files on Mac

Jerome Peng
Last updated: Apr 23, 2024

Do you want to unzip received or downloaded ZIP files? Do you also want to unzip password-protected ZIP files? This guide will explain how to unzip files on Mac for free, including encrypted ZIP files.

ZIP files cannot be opened directly. You have to unzip files before you open them. In this guide, you'll learn how to unzip files on Mac in 3 easy ways. Read on for the step-by-step guide.

Unzip files on mac

3 Ways to Unzip Files on Mac

Open a ZIP File on Mac for Free - Double Click

Actually, Mac comes with an Archive Utility app. Simply double-click or right-click and select "Open" on the target ZIP file to unzip it.

How to Unzip Files on Mac - Terminal

In the Terminal app, use the unzip command to unzip ZIP files.

  1. Open Terminal via Spotlight.
    Type Terminal in the search box to open
  2. Type unzip followed by a space.
  3. Find and drag the file you want to unzip.
  4. Press Enter.
Press Enter to unzip the ZIP file

Unzip RAR/Password-protected ZIP files

On Mac, you can also unzip password-protected ZIP files by double-clicking as long as you know the correct password.

If you need to unzip compressed files like RAR from Mac, we recommend using a third-party decompression tool.

Bonus: Too Many ZIP Files? Organize and Delete Them

Are there too many ZIP files on your Mac, occupying your precious Mac space? Here's how to delete unnecessary ZIP files from your Mac with just a few clicks.

  1. Free download, install, and launch BuhoCleaner.
DownloadFor macOS 10.10 and above
100,000+ Satisfied Users Worldwide
  1. Click Large Files>Scan>Archives.
    Quickly find large files Mac
  2. Check all unnecessary ZIP files>Click Remove.
    Scan zip file and delete


Here, we will explain common issues encountered during the unzip process.

Where are the unzipped ZIP files?

Generally, the unzipped files appear in the same folder as the ZIP file.

However, they may sometimes be saved in the "user/user name" folder.

Why can't I unzip ZIP files?

There are various reasons for not being able to unzip ZIP files. For example, insufficient storage space, file errors, file encoding issues, etc.

Jerome is a passionate enthusiast of all things Apple. He is expertise in crafting tech-related articles, with a portfolio of more than 100 articles covering various Apple products like the iPhone, iPad, and Mac.