How to Compress Folder on Mac

Joel Mason

Mac, Tutorials

When it comes to managing files on your Mac, one common task is compressing folders. Compressing a folder allows you to reduce its size, making it easier to transfer or store. In this tutorial, we will guide you through the process of compressing folders on your Mac using the built-in Archive Utility.

Step 1: Select the Folder

First, locate the folder you want to compress. You can navigate to it using the Finder or Desktop.

Once you’ve found the desired folder, right-click on it and select “Compress [Folder Name]”. Alternatively, you can also select the folder and choose File > Compress from the menu bar.

Step 2: Wait for Compression

After selecting the compress option, Archive Utility will start compressing your folder into a ZIP file. The time taken for compression depends on the size of the folder and your Mac’s performance. During this process, you might see a progress bar indicating how much time is left for compression to complete.


If your folder contains large files or subfolders, it may take longer to compress. It’s recommended to avoid interrupting this process until it’s finished.

Step 3: Locate the Compressed Folder

Once compression is complete, Archive Utility will automatically create a compressed ZIP file with the same name as your original folder in the same location. You can identify it by looking for an icon with a zipper overlay.


If you prefer a different file format for compression (such as TAR or GZIP), you can use third-party apps like The Unarchiver, which supports various compression formats and provides additional features.

Step 4: Use the Compressed Folder

With the folder successfully compressed, you can now use it as needed. You can transfer it to another device, upload it to cloud storage, or simply keep it as a backup on your Mac.

Step 5: Extracting the Compressed Folder

If you need to access the contents of the compressed folder, simply double-click on it. Archive Utility will automatically extract the files and restore them to their original location. You can also choose a different destination by right-clicking on the ZIP file and selecting “Extract All”.


If you’re using a third-party compression app like The Unarchiver, the extraction process may vary slightly. However, most apps provide an intuitive interface for extracting compressed files.


Compressing folders on your Mac is a useful skill that allows you to save space and easily share files. The built-in Archive Utility makes this process quick and straightforward.

Remember, if you need additional compression formats or advanced features, consider using third-party apps like The Unarchiver. Now that you know how to compress folders on your Mac, go ahead and declutter your storage!

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