How to Zip a File in Mac OS X

By Andrew Schrader

Zipping files in Mac OS X, also called archiving or compressing, is useful for backing up data, saving space on your hard drive or sending smaller files as attachments in an email. Mac OS X comes with a compression application called "Archive Utility." "Archive Utility" is an Apple Core Service. It is hidden from searches in your Finder window, but it automatically launches when you zip or unzip files in Mac OS X.

Step 1

Click "Finder" and locate the file or files that you want to zip.

Step 2

Select your file. Select multiple files by holding down the "Command" key while selecting the files.

Step 3

Right-click your highlighted files and select "Compress" to launch "Archive Utility" and zip the files. If you zip a single file, the archive file will retain the original filename with a ".zip" file extension. If you zip multiple files, the resulting compressed file will be called ""

Step 4

Change your ZIP filename if "Archive" is insufficient. Retain the ".zip" file extension.

Tips & Warnings

  • "Archive Utility" is in your Mac OS X's "/System/Library/CoreServices" folder. Open "Archive Utility," click the "Archive Utility" icon and select "Preferences" to change where zipped and unzipped files are saved.