Archiver 2: A Fresh New Take on Compressing and Extracting Files

Archival tools aren’t usually the first thing you’d think of when looking for a cool new app to download. Sure, anyone with a history with PCs likely remembers installing WinZip as one of the first programs on a new computer — and then ignored the “trial over” popups for months after. But today, when you download a zip file in Safari it’s automatically extracted, and most of us aren’t trying to cram as much as possible into 700Mb CDs these days.

But there’s still space for archival tools. If you want to save space on your backups, easily extract archives in formats that Finder doesn’t support, encrypt your archived files, and more, you’ll need a better tool.

That’s what the freshly released Archiver 2.0 does. It’s a simple yet powerful solution to your advanced archive needs.

Compressing Archival Tools Down to the Minimum

Archiver 2 doesn’t look like an advanced app at first launch. It’s tastefully minimal, giving you only a target to drop files. There’s not much more minimal you could get.

It’s what happens next that matters, though. Drag a set of files to Archiver, and it’ll give you the options to compress them as you need, including brand-new tools to shrink images and audio files in your archives to save even more space. Or, drag an archive to the window, and you’ll be able to extract the whole archive, use Quick Look to find the one file you need and only extract it, or convert the archive into a different format and split it if needed. Now that’s a lot of power to pack into such a little app.

Serious Compression

Archiver 2 takes compression seriously, letting you create archives in zip, 7zip, Archiver, and a number of tar variants. You can choose the compression level you want to use: higher levels will get your archive file smaller, but they’ll also take longer to compress. Or, if you need more security, you can encrypt your archives with a password.

Then, sit back, and Archiver will take care of the rest. It’ll make your archives as small as possible — it shrunk our 820Mb test folder down to a 172Mb archive, when Finder’s default compress tool only shrunk it to 278Mb — though it may take longer than get those archives created than the default OS X compression. But that’s ok if space is at a greater premium than time. Once it’s done, you’ll get an option to drag the archive wherever you want, or just close the window and leave it saved in the top folder of the files you compressed.

All together, it’s just 4 steps: drag files into Archiver, hit the Create Archive button, choose the type of compression you want or just run with the last one you used (which is chosen by default), and finally drag your archive to the place you want to save it. Simple.

There’s one more nifty feature: the Archiver format, which lets you pre-compress audio and images in the archive file to make them even smaller. It’ll reduce the quality of the audio and images, but with the medium option you should be fine if space is a priority. And, you can make the files zip compatible so they’ll open on computers without Archiver. It’s not for everyone, but that’s sure a nice feature if you really need to squeeze stuff down as small as possible — though we wouldn’t recommend using it for archiving your files to keep in your backups. It’s best for sharing when quality doesn’t matter quite as much.

…and Expansion

You’ll still need a way to get your files un-archived, and Archiver 2 is great at that too. You can just double-click on any archive file in Finder to un-compress it with Archiver, once it’s set as your default app for archive files, and it’ll un-compress over 28 formats.

But sometimes you don’t want to extract everything: you only need that one specific file. Archiver 2 is great for that too. Just open the app, drag your archive to it, and you can then browse through the files in the archive and even preview them with Quick Look to find exactly what you need. Then, just drag the file out of the archive and onto your desktop or into another folder, and you’re done.

Alternately, you can use Archiver to convert an archaic archival format — like one from the Amiga — to a more standard archive format, or you can split archives into smaller chunks to fit, say, on CDs or DVDs if you have really large archives. Or, if your site or file sharing tool won’t let you upload files over a certain size, you can split archives into that size and then share them individually.


If you’re needing a tool to archive and un-archive files, you can’t go wrong with Archiver 2. It’s simple and fast to use, works great, and makes extracting individual files easier than ever.

Archiver 2 is also on sale this week for its launch, so you can get a copy from the Incredible Bee store for just $16.99, or if you already have a copy of Archiver 1, you can upgrade to v.2 for just $14.99. That makes it quite a good deal if you need to deal with archived files regularly, and want a simpler way to save more space.


A great update to a standby archival tool for Macs, Archiver 2 makes it simple to create archives and then extract individual files from them.