How to Zip a File on Mac & Unzip Files (MacOS Monterey Update)

Here's how to create a zip file or zip folder on a Mac. This will compress the file or folder's data and make it easier to share via email or other methods

How do I reduce file size on a Mac? You don't have to pay for a file compressor to create a zip file or zip folder. We'll show you how to compress a file (or folder) in three easy steps! We'll also cover how to unzip files on a Mac.

Related: How to Save a File as PDF on iPhone & iPad

How to Make a Zip File & Zip Folder on Mac 

Here's how to create a zip file on a Mac. When you zip a folder or file, you make it easier to email or send a file, or make a PDF smaller. For more great tutorials about how to save storage and share files on a Mac, check out our free Tip of the Day. You may also want to learn how to zip files on an iPhone or iPad. Now, let's learn how to make a file smaller on a Mac. 

Making a zip file is one of the many times you can use Mac keyboard shortcuts. This time, you'll use the Control-click shortuct. 

  1. Locate the file or folder you want to zip in the Finder.

    open the finder and find the file or folder to zip
  2. Right-click or Control-click the file or folder you want to zip (press Control then click the file with your mouse or trackpad).control key on mac keyboard
  3. Click Compress or Compress X Items in the shortcut menu.

    compress file

If you created a zip file, it will keep the original file name and add .zip. If you compress more than one item in a zip folder, the file is named Archive. zip.

How to Unzip Files on a Mac (Decompress a Zip File)

If you've been wondering how to unzip files on a Mac, it's super easy! All you have to do is double-click the .zip file or file. 

If you found this tip helpful, you may also want to learn how to sync a Mac to your iPhone.

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Author Details

Leanne Hays's picture

Author Details

Leanne Hays

Leanne Hays is a Feature Writer at iPhone Life, and has written hundreds of in-depth how-to and troubleshooting articles. She's a former Associate Editor for iPhone Life magazine, and has written for the Iowa Source, as well as web content for education marketing. Leanne has an associate's degree in education, with a focus on curriculum development, as well as a bachelor's degree in science. She has over nine years of experience with SEO, social media management, and web development and writing. Despite years of web work, Leanne is by no means an early adapter; she's only owned a smartphone for five years, which makes her highly sympathetic to the learning curve of new iPhone owners. She enjoys making reader's lives easier and putting her education experience to work by walking them through the most practical ways to use Apple devices, step-by-step.

In off-work hours, Leanne is a mother of two, homesteader, audiobook fanatic, musician, and learning enthusiast.