6 Excellent Archiving Utilities for Mac

I’ll be the first to admit that there’s nothing particularly fascinating about archiving and zipping files. It’s a fairly mundane operation, but something that many of us do regularly on a day-to-day basis. For that reason, it seems sensible to spend a few minutes picking the right application for the job.

This roundup will cover 5 different apps that can help make archiving easier. One you’ll certainly already have, and the others are mostly free or relatively inexpensive. I hope you find something useful to make your life slightly easier!

Finder

Finder

Finder

The OS Finder already has in-built support for basic archiving operations. If you’re just wanting to open a zip file or compress a few images, it’s a simple process. Just select the files or folder you would like to archive, right click, and select “Compress x Items”.

This will create a new Zip archive in the same location. Quick, easy and simple! The only problem is that the Finder isn’t capable of any advanced archiving operations, or opening slightly more obscure file types. For that, you’ll need a seperate application…

Price: Free
Developer: Apple
Requires: Any version of OS X

BetterZip

BetterZip

BetterZip

BetterZip is one of the few commercial applications featured here at $19.95, but you do receive a good range of features for your money. You can browse archives and extract only certain files, create archives in all manner of formats, easily password protect an archive (that’s compatible with WinZip), and update archives without needing to extract and re-create the whole thing.

As you’d expect, BetterZip can open almost any type of archive: ZIP, SIT, TAR, GZip, BZip2, RAR, 7-Zip, CPIO, ARJ, LZH/LHA, JAR, WAR, CAB, ISO, CHM, RPM, DEB, NSIS, BIN, HQX, DD. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never even heard of half these formats! You should be well covered.

Price: $19.95
Developer: MacItBetter
Requires: OS X 10.4 or Later

The Unarchiver

The Unarchiver

The Unarchiver

The Unarchiver was one of the favourites of our readers on Twitter, due mainly to the seamless integration with OS X. It acts as a replacement for the in-built archiving tool, capable of opening any archive you throw at it.

The downside when compared to BetterZip is a lack of functionality for creating archives.

Price: Free
Developer: wakaba.c3.cx
Requires: OS X 10.3 or Later

UnRarX

UnRarX

UnRarX

UnRarX is a very simple app that facilitates the opening of RAR archives (the second most popular format after ZIP). It’s straight-forward, and doesn’t have a particularly wide feature set. Perfect if you know the only additional format you require access to is RAR. It’s also capable of restoring corrupted or missing archives using a command line utility called “par2”.

Price: Free
Developer: Eugene Roshal
Requires: Mac OS X

Springy

Springy

Springy

Springy is another full-featured commercial application that provides full archive browsing (so you don’t need to extract everything to view the files within). You can also create and modify existing archives, and the software integrates with the Finder’s contextual menu.

A fairly new player, but it’s a decent piece of software to consider and packs all the features you could need from an archiver. Of course, the fun name and friendly icon may be enough to win you over on their own!

Price: $19.95
Developer: Dragan Milić
Requires: OS X 10.4 or Later

Stuffit

Stuffit

Stuffit Expander

I’m reluctant to recommend Stuffit in general, as their website is incredibly confusing, misleading and difficult to understand. It feels more like a Windows application that something developed for the Mac, and lacks the simplicity and style of other apps featured here.

That said, Stuffit do offer a free utility for expanding files – unsurprisingly called Stuffit Expander. This could be worth considering, but I’d check out the above software first.

Price: Free
Developer: mysmithmicro
Requires: OS X 10.3 or Later

Conclusion

Although the Finder has the basics built-in, you may like to consider one of the above for slightly more advanced archiving functionality. They are all good quality applications, but I’d probably recommend either BetterZip or The Unarchiver, depending upon how often you need to create complex archives.

Are you fond of an application we haven’t covered here? Please do let us know in the comments and share your knowledge with our other readers!