How to Compress a File on Mac

Charlotte Daniels

Mac, Tutorials

Compressing files is an essential skill for any Mac user who wants to save disk space or send files quickly over the internet. Luckily, macOS provides a built-in tool that makes file compression a breeze. In this tutorial, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of compressing files on your Mac using the native Archive Utility.

Step 1: Select the Files You Want to Compress

The first step in compressing a file on your Mac is to select the file or files you want to compress. To do this, follow these simple steps:

  1. Click on the Finder icon in your dock to open a new Finder window.
  2. Navigate to the location where your file(s) are located.
  3. Select the file(s) you want to compress by clicking and dragging a selection box around them or by holding down the Command key and clicking each individual file.

Step 2: Right-click and Choose “Compress”

Once you have selected the file(s) you want to compress, it’s time to initiate the compression process. Follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on one of the selected file(s) to open a context menu.
  2. Navigate down to the “Compress” option in the menu.
  3. Click on “Compress” with your left mouse button.

Step 3: Wait for Compression to Complete

Your Mac will now begin compressing the selected file(s) into a new compressed file with the .zip extension. The time it takes to complete this process will depend on the size of the file(s) you are compressing and the performance of your Mac. Once the compression is complete, you will see a new file with the .zip extension in the same location as the original file(s).

Step 4: Accessing and Extracting Compressed Files

Now that you have successfully compressed your file(s), you may need to access or extract them at some point. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Double-click on the compressed .zip file to open it.
  2. Navigate to the location where you want to extract the files.
  3. Drag and drop the extracted files from the .zip window into your desired location.


  • You can compress multiple files or even entire folders by selecting them all before right-clicking and choosing “Compress”.
  • If you want to change where your Mac saves compressed files by default, go to Finder > Preferences > General, and select a different option from “Save files” dropdown menu.

With these simple steps, you can now easily compress files on your Mac using the built-in Archive Utility. Whether you’re trying to save disk space or send files over email or other platforms, compression is an invaluable tool in your arsenal. Start compressing those files today and enjoy more efficient file management!

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