Since you need to create a compressed archive using your Apple computer, you are looking for a solution to do it completely free, perhaps if you are a beginner with macOS. In this guide today we will explain in detail how to create ZIP files with Mac in a simple and immediate.

How to create ZIP files with Mac using the integrated tool

If you do not want to install any program on your Mac, then you can use the integrated tool from Apple in macOS called Compression Utility. As the name suggests, this allows you to compress files via a few simple steps.

Let’s find out together the steps to follow:

  • Look for the file you intend to compress with your Mac, right-click on it and choose Compress “file name” from the menu that appears.
  • At this point, Compression Utility will start compressing the selected file or folder, which should take a few minutes depending on the size of the same.
  • Once the process has been completed successfully, the ZIP archive will be in the same folder as the original file. If your intent is to include multiple files within the same ZIP, you can do it in a very simple way. Select with the mouse pointer photos, videos, music and other files you want to zip, right click on one of them and choose Compress xx items from the menu shown.
  • After completing the creation, you can also open the ZIP file on other operating systems (such as Windows and Linux ) and device. However, inside it there is a folder called _MACOSX that contains several important files inside with the same names as those in the archive but with the prefix ._. On macOS, they are hidden while on Windows they are completely visible. To some users, this may be annoying. For those who do not know within the _MACOSX folder there are structured data ( resource fork) that are generated by the operating system of Apple.

How to create ZIP files with Mac via Keka

If the Compression Utility has not satisfied you, you can consider using Keka. It is a free and open source software able to support different types of files such as ZIP, ISO and DMG and it is also able to create password protected archives, archives divided into several volumes and more. In addition to the included standard tool, it also excludes hidden files created by macOS.

Let’s see how it works:

  • Open the default browser on your Mac (eg. SafariChrome or Firefox ), connect to the Internet site of Keka and proceed to download the program by clicking on the button Download Vx.xx. If you want, you can also support the developer by downloading the paid version from the Mac App Store.
  • Once the installation is complete, open the free software, choose ZIP from the drop-down menu at the top right and then drag the files you want to compress into the Keka window.
  • In conclusion, assign a preferred name to the file in the appropriate field and click on Compress to start the creation. After waiting a few moments, you will find the ZIP archive with the files in question inside. If you want to delete the hidden items in the _MACOSX folder, check the box next to Exclude resource fork Mac and then press the button to start the compression.

Other features offered by Keka include the creation of a password-protected ZIP file by typing the security key in the Password and Repeat fields. Using the Method bar, however, you can adjust the compression level of the created archive.

Following the path Preferences > Compression, you can adjust some compression settings. If desired, you can also start a compression from the Finder, by right clicking on the file or files to be compressed and choosing Compress with Keka from Services through the context menu.

How to create ZIP files with Mac through BetterZip

The second solution alternative to the Archive Utility for MacOS, that you should use, is called BetterZip. We talk about a truly complete archive manager which allows you to create archives in various formats like TAR, ZIP, TGZ, TBZ and so on. The only flaw to accept is that it is a paid software with a cost of $24.95, although it can be used for free for 30 days.

Let’s find out together the steps to follow:

  • Open the default browser (eg. Safari , Chrome or Firefox ), connect to the Web portal of BetterZip and pressed the green button Free Download to download the trial version.
  • Once the installation is complete, open the program, choose whether to set it as default for opening the archives and add the dedicated button in the Finder toolbar to access it with a simple click.
  • After giving other settings through the boxes provided, press the Go button to go to the next step, which is the creation of the ZIP archive through BetterZip.
  • At this point, identify the desired files to be included in the ZIP, drag them into the software window and click on Save at the top left to proceed with saving the file in the same folder.

BetterZip also allows you to manage additional settings such as adding a password protection, compression level and deletion of hidden files. Instead of just clicking the Save button, make a long one and choose Save for PC.

At this point, through the Compression drop down menu, adjust the compression level, using the Encryption Method menu to set a password and check the Remove Mac-specific material checkbox from the archive to delete the hidden files. Once you have chosen the destination name and folder, press Save to complete the operation.

If you want to add or remove a file from the newly created archive, open BetterZip and drag the files to be added by a simple drag in the program window, and to proceed with deletion, select it and press the keyboard backspace key. Complete the procedure by pressing the Save button.

If you want, you can also start from the Finder or from the Desktop to create a new ZIP archive. Just select the file or files to be compressed and choose Compress with BetterZip (from Services ) from the contextual menu that appears after pressing the right mouse button on one of the files.


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