You may already know that macOS has a built-in archive management utility, which you can use to open and create compressed files. Although it offers the best speeds as it is optimized and well integrated with macOS, there are times when you need better control over the process.
In such cases, you will need third-party file compression apps that help you create, open, and manage ZIP or RAR files along with other compressed file formats. Below we will discuss the best compression software that you can use on your Mac.
1. Archiver 4
Archiver 4 is perhaps the best third-party file compression app you can find for Mac. It brings together an intuitive user interface and rich features. Moreover, it integrates well with macOS, so you can easily integrate this app into your workflow.
The app doesn’t compromise on the compatibility aspect in any way – you can use it to handle over 30 archive formats, including RAR, ZIP, StuffIt, 7z, and TAR. There is also a dedicated compression format called .archiver, which is a great choice when you want to compress large audio or image files.
We also loved Archiver 4’s drag-and-drop user interface. You can drag and drop as many files as you want and click Archive to get started. The app lets you change the level of compression, which comes in handy when you’re really low on space.
So, if you need a balanced file compressor to handle different archive files on Mac, you should check out Archiver 4.
To download: Archiver 4 ($19.99, free trial available)
WinZip is another great file compression utility for Mac, especially if you recently switched from Windows to macOS. Although it has “ZIP” in its name, this compressor can handle various archive files including but not limited to RAR, 7z, JAR and WAR – the application supports more than one dozen archive file types in total.
You’ll love the user interface if you need to create multiple ZIP/RAR files per day. For example, it lets you open your favorite folders in the app and drag and drop files. Once you’ve added the files and folders, you can save, email, or share the compressed file.
WinZip for Mac goes even further in terms of customization. For example, you can encrypt and add a watermark to photos when you create an archive. There are also options to convert the images to the desired format. And finally, the app works in sync with macOS.
We recommend WinZip for Mac if you need maximum control and customization options when creating ZIP and RAR files.
To download: WinZip for Mac (From $29.95, free trial available)
Sometimes you need an advanced file compressor to handle multiple archive files. BetterZip 5 is another popular app for macOS, and the best thing about it is its expandability.
If you just need it to open and create ZIP/RAR files, you can do that without any problem. But when you need advanced options, BetterZip 5 has plenty to offer. For starters, this app can create files in 14 different formats. So, you can choose one according to your preference. You can also optimize archive files to work well on Windows PC.
Like other compression apps, BetterZip also offers encryption options. On top of that, you also get a password manager that keeps track of all the passwords you use. It can also suggest stronger passwords for your archive files. It also lets you create presets and filters to automate the workflow.
BetterZip 5 integrates well with macOS, as you can access Finder’s context menu options with a right-click or control-click. Overall, this is our favorite option for opening ZIP files on a Mac and browsing through them.
To download: BetterZip 5 ($24.95, free trial available)
Keka is a minimalist file compression software that you can safely use on your Mac. It doesn’t consume much space on your Mac but offers a decent archive file management experience. Unlike the other apps on this list, Keka lives on the macOS dock.
You can drag the files you want to compress and drop them on the Keka app on the dock. Despite its small size, Keka can create archive files in 14 formats and easily open even more file types.
When you first open Keka, you can select the default format, compression level, and encryption options. Using the Preferences panel, you can customize Keka to your needs. You can also install a Finder extension to improve Keka’s integration with macOS.
Together, Keka ticks all the boxes to become an efficient file compression utility for Mac. Therefore, you can expect the best performance even if Keka has a simple package.
To download: Keka (Free)
iZip for Mac is another application that we would like to recommend on this note. This app doesn’t look the best but offers a decent experience. Thanks to its support for a wide range of archive file formats, it will recover almost any compressed file you throw at it.
Although the user interface is not its strong point, it is nice to finish creating an archive file in just a few seconds. You click a button, add the files and you’re ready to go. If necessary, you can enable additional options, such as more powerful compression algorithms.
The browser UI for the app is also relatively faster. You can use it to browse the contents of larger ZIP and RAR files. For example, if you have a ZIP file with many documents, you can preview them even without extracting them first.
That said, there is a huge caveat: iZip only supports creating archive files in ZIP format, which is a shame if you want to share files with someone who uses WinRAR. However, it does work with other formats when it comes to opening/ripping.
To download: iZip (Free)
Create better archive files with these apps
All of these file compression software will help you create better ZIP, RAR and other archive files without wasting time. If you want, you can customize things according to your needs.
For example, you can rely on these compression tools if the situation requires a ZIP file with a stronger compression algorithm or encryption system. Rest assured, all of them work perfectly with macOS.