How to Open a Downloaded Zip File on My Mac

By Bennett Gavrish

When downloading files from the Internet, you may come across items with the extension ".zip." A ZIP file is a container or archive file that is capable of storing several documents to save space on your hard drive or make it easier to transfer them. The Mac OS X operating system includes full support for ZIP files. Mac users can compress documents into a ZIP file or open ones that have been downloaded online.

Things You'll Need

  • Mac running OS X 10.3 or later

Step 1

Click on the "Finder" icon on the far left end of your Mac's dock.

Step 2

Navigate to the location of the ZIP file you downloaded. If you have not moved it yet, the ZIP file can probably be found in the "Downloads" directory on the left side of the Finder window under the "Places" heading.

Step 3

Click on the icon for the ZIP file once to highlight it.

Step 4

Double-click on the file or go to "File" in the top menu bar and choose the "Open" option. A dialog box will appear that tracks the opening process. Depending on how large the compressed files are, it may take several minutes to open them.

Step 5

Double-click on the uncompressed file that you want to open. All the files that were stored in the ZIP file will automatically appear in the "Downloads" window.