Zip (file format)

How to Open and Browse ZIP Files on macOS Without Unarchiving Them

What’s up with ZIP files on macOS? Anyone coming from Windows, which opens ZIP files as though they were a folder, might feel confused about the way their new Mac handles things. When you open a ZIP file on macOS, the contents are automatically unarchived to a new folder.

Many Mac users prefer this functionality, which gets the archive file out of the way quickly so you can get to the files you want. But if you miss the way Windows works, you’ve got a few options to open and edit archive files, without uncompressing them first. Here are the two best free options we could find.

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Dr. Unarchiver: Straightforward ZIP, RAR, and Other Archive Management

If you want a simple program for opening and browsing ZIP files, Dr. Unarchiver is a simple option from security company Trend Micro. A free download from the Mac App Store that supports ZIP, RAR, 7z and many more file formats, Dr. Unarchiver sports a simple user interface.

Users can click and drag individual files from this window to the Finder, and even open files directly from the archive. There’s even support for Quick Look; just press Space and you can preview a file.

It’s not quite full Finder integration, but all the basics are there. And the toolbar offers a few more features.

“Open,” somewhat confusingly, opens a new ZIP file: it does not open files in the current ZIP file. “Extract” will extract all files or your currently selected file, while “Secure Extract” will scan files for malware, assuming you’ve downloaded Trend Micro’s Mac Malware scanner. Finally there’s the Share button,…