How many ways can you archive files and folders on your Mac? The built-in way is the Archive app which both zips up files and folders and unzips files and folders. What if the files and folders are not standard zip files?
The problem is that archives, or compressed files and folders, come in many flavors; most of which we don’t even know the differences. Zip, Zipx, RAR, 7z, Stuffit and Stuffit X, XAR, RPM, Deb, Gzip, Bzip2, Packit, and many, many others are floating around, ready to stymie your Mac’s built-in Archive extraction app. There’s a better way and it’s free.
Unarchive Me, Baby!
What the world– and Mac users– need is a better way to unarchive; to see what is in archives before extracting them, and to archive them in whatever format exists, add encryption and passwords, and do it all for free.
Alas, I haven’t found that digital unicorn yet, but part of the problem is solved with The Unarchiver app for Mac. It’s free, installs easily, and handles every popular archive format I’ve ever used, including a bunch of old ones mostly exclusive to Mac users, and a laundry list of unusual archive formats.
There’s not much to using The Unarchiver, either, but it is somewhat convoluted to get started.
Select the archived file. Go to File in the Mac’s Menubar. Select File, then Get Info. In the Open With… option, select The Unarchiver. Click on the Change All selection. From then on, The Unarchiver opens pretty much any archived files you’ll run into.
What else does The Unarchiver do?
That’s about it. The name– The Unarchiver– says it all. It un-archives archived files. It’s free. What else would you want?
Well, actually, plenty. For example, the opposite of unarchiving a file is archiving a file or folder of files and The Unarchiver doesn’t do that, though other Mac apps do. One of our favorites at Mac360, a single app that does it all, is BetterZip. If you need more, it does more, but has a price tag. I’ve yet to run into or use an inexpensive or free utility which does it all– archive, encrypt and password protect, unarchive, or extract files for viewing, but there are dozens of such apps around that do some of everything.
For the money, The Unarchiver is pretty good. It just doesn’t archive, but that’s built into the Mac already.