Dr. Unarchiver fixes one of the most irritating things in macOS

Dr. Unarchiver adds a missing feature from macOS on the Apple Mac. It lets you extract single files from zip archives. This is a free utility for the Apple Mac.

There is a major irritation in macOS on the Apple Mac that has been around for many years. Probably forever. Now a free utility in the Mac App Store called Dr. Unarchiver fixes it at last!

What is the irritation? Zip file handling. Not just zip, but all archives. Zip is just the most common archive type and it is almost always used when compressed files are required.

If you regularly work with zips on the Mac, you will be aware of the problem. You can extract all the files from a zip archive or none. With macOS it is all or nothing.

Windows for example, lets you look inside zip archives and see what files it contains. You can even extract one or more files and save them elsewhere without having to unzip the whole archive.

This is very useful when the zips are large and contain a lot of files. To get one file out of a zip containing 100 files you must unarchive all 100 and then select and drag 99 to the Trash. Just so you can get that one file. It’s crazy!

Dr. Unarchiver is a free app in the Mac App Store that lets you open a zip and see what files it contains. It then lets you select one or more files and just extract those, leaving the rest alone. This is brilliant and just what we need.

Let's see how macOS works first.

Compress files

Suppose you want to create a zip archive of some files on the disk. Open a finder window and select the files, Ctrl+click them and then select Compress 15 items.

Compress files into an archive in macOS on the Apple Mac

Rename the archive

Another irritation of macOS is that the zip archive is always called Archive.zip. You must rename it afterwards or you won’t know what it is.

An archived.zip file in Finder on the Apple Mac

Extract the files

If you double click a zip file macOS extracts all the files and places them in a folder with the same name as the zip. If you Ctrl+click the zip archive and select Open With > Archive Utility, the same thing happens and all the files are extracted with no option to extract just one or two.

macOS extracts all files from an archive into a folder of the same name

Use Dr. Unarchiver

This time let's use the Dr. Unarchiver utility. Instead of double clicking the zip file, which would trigger the macOS unarchiver, Ctrl+click the file and select Open With > Dr. Unarchiver.app.

Open archive files like zips with Dr. Unarchiver

View the archive files

The app displays a list of the files in the archive. If you let the mouse hover over a file in the zip an blue eye icon is displayed next to it. Click the blue eye and the contents of the file is displayed on the screen.

In this case it is a JPEG image, but you can view Word documents and other files. It appears to use the same Quick View that macOS uses.

Dr. Unarchiver on the Apple Mac

Extract selected files

If you select a file and click Extract in the Dr. Unarchiver toolbar you can extract and save it to disk. In the file/folder selecter window that opens is an Extract option with All archive file or Selected files.

You can choose what to extract. There is also an option to show the extracted file(s) in a Finder window afterwards.

Extract all files from an archive or just one with Dr. Unarchiver

This is a great utility. It is so simple, yet so useful when you have to work with a lot of zip archives. Just being able to see what is inside an archive is useful,but adding the option to extract only the files you select makes it even better.

Quick Extraction

There is an option to monitor the creation of archive files in the Downloads folder. When you download a zip or other archive file type from the web (many archive types are supported by the app), Dr. Unarchiver displays a notification on the screen and there is an option to open it.

I haven’t enabled this because it's not a function I need, but it’s there if you want it.

Application: Dr. Unarchiver - RAR and Zip archive browser 
Price: Free
By: Trend Micro
macOS: 10.10 or later
Size: 7.3MB
Verdict: Get a copy of this free app, it is really useful.

 

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