Ping Fm Logo
Roman Kropachek Photo
Written by:

Last update on

Archive Utility for Compressing and Extracting files on Mac [Alternatives Included]

Archive Utility for Compressing and Extracting files on Mac [Alternatives Included]

Welcome to our comprehensive overview of Archive Utility Mac, the built-in/b>/compression and decompression tool for macOS systems. This blog aims to provide Mac users with valuable insights into the features, pros, cons, and alternatives to Apple’s Archive Utility. Additionally, we’ll discuss the Commander One app, a popular third-party solution often used by those looking for more functionalities than the native app offers. Please note that we’re providing balanced opinions based on firsthand experiences with these applications.


Archive Utility Mac

Archive Utility is the default software embedded within macOS that allows users to compress (.zip) and decompress files with a simple double-click. It integrates seamlessly with the operating system, offering basic functionality for handling archives without needing to install additional software.

Official Website


  • Seamless integration with macOS.
  • Simple and straightforward to use.
  • Supports quick compression to ZIP format.


  • Limited to only ZIP file format for compression.
  • No advanced features or customization options.
  • Does not support encryption.

Commander One

Commander One is a dual-panel file manager and archive software for macOS that offers a plethora of features beyond simple compression and decompression. With its intuitive interface and powerful tools, it is tailored for users who need advanced control over their file management.

Official Website


  • Extensive file management capabilities.
  • Support for multiple archive formats such as RAR, TBZ, TGZ, and 7z.
  • Allows users to customize compression settings.


  • May have a learning curve for casual users.
  • The pro version, which unlocks all features, is not free.
  • Some users might prefer a more minimalistic interface.


File compression serves not only to save space but also to streamline the sharing and storage of data. With cloud storage services like iCloud and Dropbox, users can compress files before upload to save bandwidth and storage costs. Moreover, compressed files can reduce the risk of file corruption during transfer, as smaller files are less prone to errors over a network. For privacy-conscious individuals, some utilities provide the option to password-protect archives, adding an extra layer of security to sensitive information.

Selecting the right file compression tool often boils down to balancing simplicity with functionality. While the built-in Archive Utility on Mac may cater to the needs of casual users, professionals often turn to more powerful applications like Commander One or WinZip for Mac, for their versatility and multitude of offerings. Nevertheless, user preference can be very subjective, and some might choose an open-source alternative like 7-Zip which, despite its basic interface, provides robust compression algorithms and broad format support.


The builtin Archive Utility on Mac can natively compress and decompress formats like ZIP, CPGZ, and TAR, among others.

To create a compressed file with Archive Utility, select files in Finder, right-click, choose 'Compress,' and a .zip file will be created.

To unzip files, double-click the .zip file in Finder, and Archive Utility automatically decompresses it into the same folder.

Yes, you can set preferences like default extraction location by opening Archive Utility, and navigating to Archive Utility > Preferences.

Archive Utility does not support password protection. To password-protect files, use third-party apps like WinZip for Mac or BetterZip.

If a file format is unsupported, download third-party utilities like The Unarchiver. It can handle many more formats.

Archive Utility is accessed through /System/Library/CoreServices/Applications on your Mac's hard drive.

Archive Utility cannot create split archives; for this, you would need a third-party app like Keka or BetterZip.

No, Archive Utility doesn't have the feature to repair corrupted zip files. A specialized tool is required for repair operations.

Yes, Archive Utility can be integrated into Automator workflows, and it can be controlled via AppleScript for automation.