Open Zip, RAR, Tar, BIN, and EXE files on a Mac.
Most of the files you download from the Internet are usually in a zipped format and one of the formats used for archived and compressed files. Opening these ZIP, RAR, TAR, BIN and EXE files on a Mac may seem impossible the first time, as your computer is simply not compatible with these formats by default.
Attempting to open these incompatible file formats will only result in errors on your screen telling you that the file you are trying to open cannot be opened. Since these file formats are among the most popular and you probably come across them from time to time, you will need to do something to make your Mac compatible with these formats.
Fortunately, there are several ways to add support for the aforementioned file formats to your Mac.
Open ZIP, RAR, TAR, BIN and EXE on Mac with Unarchiver
If you’re looking for one app or utility that can handle all of the file formats mentioned above, the Unarchiver is the one that can do it all. This is an awesome free software that adds support for almost all archive formats and lets you extract them on your Mac.
- Launch the App Store on your Mac, search for the Unarchiver and install it on your computer.
- Once installed, you will need to set it as the default application for your unsupported file formats. To do this, first launch the app by clicking Launchpad, searching for The Unarchiver and clicking the app.
- You will most likely be taken to the application settings panel. Otherwise, click the Archiver menu at the top and select Settings to go to the panel.
- Make sure you are on the Archive Formats tab, as this is where you can choose which formats the application should open on your Mac. Select all the ones you want to open in the app and you’re done.
- If you are unable to select file formats, you need to manually set the application as the default application for each file format. To do this, select any file in one of the formats mentioned above, right-click the file and select Get Info.
- When the Info menu opens, find the Open With option. Use the drop-down menu to select an Unarchiver from the list and then click the button that says “Change All”. It will link the application to all files in the current format.
The next time you double-click the file, the Unarchiver will automatically launch and open the file for you.
You will need to follow the above steps for each file format you want to open in your application.
Open the ZIP on Mac without an app
Since ZIP is an extremely popular and widely used format, macOS had to make an exception and include it in its supported file formats. You can actually open the ZIP file on Mac without the need to install any third party applications.
Using the graphical user interface:
- To open the zip file on your Mac, search for the file using the Finder.
- Double click the zip file and it will extract to the same folder.
You will then be able to view the extracted contents of the archive.
Using Terminal to Open ZIP on Mac
The Terminal app also supports extracting ZIP archives without installing anything on your Mac.
- Launch the terminal in any way convenient for you on your computer.
- Type the following command and press Enter. Your desktop will become the destination folder for the extracted files.
- Enter the following command, replacing sample.zip with the actual name and path to your file. You can drag and drop the file to Terminal and the path will be added.
The contents of your zip file should now be available on your desktop.
Open RAR on Mac using two methods
If you only want to open RAR format on Mac, you have two ways to do it.
Using an extractor to open RAR on Mac
There is a free app on the App Store that allows you to extract RAR as well as several other archive formats on your computer.
- Launch the App Store, search for Extractor and download it to your Mac.
- Open the application and you will see an interface asking you to add an archive. Drag the RAR archive into the application and it will open it for you.
Using Terminal to Open RAR on Mac
You can also open RAR files using Terminal, but you need to install the utility first.
- Launch Terminal on your Mac.
- Enter the following command and click Login. It will install Homebrew, a software management system.
ruby ??-e “$ (curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)”
- After installation Homebrew run the following command to install a utility called Unrar.
brew install unrar
- Please wait while the utility is installed. When done, use the following commands to open the RAR file on Mac. Make sure to replace sample.rar with your own RAR file.
unrar x sample.rar
Open TAR on Mac using Terminal only
Like ZIP, Mac has built-in TAR support and you can open TAR files on your Mac without installing any utilities.
- Open a terminal on your Mac.
- Type the following command and press Enter. Replace sample.tar with your own TAR file.
tar -xzf sample.tar
It will unpack the contents of your TAR archive to your desktop.