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How to Zip Files to Save Space on a Mac

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Lack of storage space has long been one of the main cons of Mac computers. Fortunately, Apple is aware of this and seems intent to fix it.

That said, what if you have an older Mac device that’s running out of space? Well, one solution is to compress some files so they take up less space. This is also a good idea if you’re planning on sending these files to someone else.

How to Zip Files to Save Space on a Mac

How do you compress or zip files on a Mac? This guide has all the information you need!

How to Zip a File on a Mac

Zipping a file (whether it’s a video, picture, document, or something else) on a Mac is very easy.

First, right-click the file you want to compress and select “Compress file.” Wait for a bit and you’ll soon see a .zip file next to the original file. Larger files and folders may take a while to compress, so be patient.

If you want to save your compressed files in a specific place, head to Archive Utility. Click the dropdown menu at the top and select Preferences. Then, click “Save archive,” select “into,” and choose your new destination.

Once you have a compressed version of a file, you can safely delete the original. Read more on how to delete files from a Mac.

Zipping Multiple Files

To compress several files at once, you’ll need to create a new folder. Drag the files you want to zip into the folder and hold Alt before releasing the mouse button. Click the folder while holding Ctrl and select Compress.

If you’re sending the zip file to a Windows user, they’ll see some “dotfiles” as well. They’re files and folders with dots or underscores in the filename. These are Mac system files and you can ignore them.

Opening a Zip File

Compressing a file to save space is all nice and well, but how do you open it later? Well, this part is even easier than the zipping. Simply double-click the zip file and the unzipped version will show up alongside it.

Need to open an archive that’s not a .zip file (such as a .rar)? If so, install an app called The Unarchiver from the App Store. It works the same way as the built-in unzip tool—all you need to do is double-click a file to open it.

Protecting Zip Files

If you’re sending zip files to someone else, you may want to protect them as well. The best way to do so is to encrypt the zip file. That way, anyone who wants to open it will need to enter the right password.

To set up a password, open Terminal and type in the following:
cd Desktop

zip -e file.zip file.jpg

In this example, the file you want to compress is file.jpg and it’s located on your desktop. Make sure to change the parts that are relevant for you. Once you type this in, Terminal will ask you to enter and verify your password, so do that.

More Space Saving Tips for Your Mac

For a Mac user struggling with storage space, zip files are the perfect solution. Other than taking up less space, these files are also more secure. Plus, your Mac already contains everything you need to compress files.

Looking for more ways to save space on your laptop? Keep reading our Technology section!

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