How to Extract on Mac

Charlotte Daniels

Mac, Tutorials


Welcome to this step-by-step tutorial on how to extract files on your Mac. Extracting files is a common task that allows you to access the contents of compressed folders or archives. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced user, this guide will walk you through the process, ensuring you extract files quickly and efficiently.

Step 1: Locate the Compressed File

First things first, you need to locate the compressed file that you want to extract. This file usually has a .zip or .rar extension and may be saved in your Downloads folder or any other location on your Mac.

Step 2: Select the Compressed File

Once you’ve found the compressed file, select it by clicking on it once. The selected file will be highlighted, indicating that it’s ready for extraction.

Step 3: Extract Using macOS Built-in Archive Utility

macOS comes with a built-in utility called Archive Utility that can extract files effortlessly. To use it, simply right-click (or control-click) on the selected compressed file and choose “Open With” from the context menu. Then select “Archive Utility.”


If you prefer using keyboard shortcuts, select the compressed file and press “Command” + “Option” + “Spacebar.” This will automatically launch Archive Utility for extraction.

Step 4: Wait for Extraction

After initiating the extraction process, a progress bar will appear indicating that macOS is extracting your files. The time taken for extraction depends on factors such as file size and system performance. Please be patient while macOS completes this task.

Step 5: Access Extracted Files

Once the extraction is complete, a new folder will be created in the same location as the original compressed file. This folder contains all the extracted files and folders. You can now access and use these files as needed.

Step 6: Delete the Compressed File (Optional)

If you no longer need the compressed file, you can delete it to free up disk space. To do this, simply select the compressed file and press the “Delete” key or right-click on it and choose “Move to Trash” from the context menu.

Final Thoughts

Extracting files on Mac is a straightforward process that can be accomplished using macOS’s built-in Archive Utility. It’s an essential skill to have, especially when dealing with downloaded files or archives from other sources. Remember to locate your compressed file, select it, use Archive Utility for extraction, wait patiently for completion, access your extracted files, and optionally delete the compressed file.

By following these steps, you’ll become proficient in extracting files on your Mac in no time. Enjoy exploring your newly extracted content!

I hope this tutorial has been helpful! If you have any further questions or need additional assistance, feel free to reach out.

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