The first way is the time honored Zip archive which is built-in to macOS. Go to some files and folders in the Finder. Put some files into a folder, or simply select a bunch of files, and then right-click.
What you get is a context menu of options, so select the one that says Compress (file name). That’s it. You now have a Zip file or a zipped up archive of files. Most of the time the file size is smaller so it’s easier to send to someone else.
What if you want to zip up some files and add a password?
That’s when it gets tricky. It can be done using some Terminal.app commands, but using iZip is much easier. This simple Mac utility lets you walk through a few steps to zip up files, add a password, and even encrypt the files.
iZip is a good alternative to vanilla Zip in macOS and it handles RAR, TAR, TAR.GZ and 7ZIP, too, but if you need more, there is another alternative.
This one is called Keka and it works simply enough to compress files on your Mac with even more options than iZip. Keka compresses files into 7-zip format, Zip, Tar, Gzip, Bzip2, IOS, and even Apple’s own DMG format. At the other end, Keka extracts various file archive formats including RAR, 7z, Lzma, xz, Zip, Tar, Gzip, Bzip2, ISO, EXE, CAB, PAX, among many. Not bad for a couple of bucks, right?
So, what if you have all kinds of file archive requirements that go well beyond even Keka’s built-in flexibility?
Enter BetterZip, perhaps the Rolls-Royce of Mac file archive managers. This one is much beloved by the Villagers crew because it does so much so simply and straightforward.
For example, if you share Mac files with Windows users or upload Mac files to a Linux server, all kinds of Mac cruft goes along for the ride and that messes up servers and can be disconcerting for Windows users. BetterZip has options galore, and one of them is to remove the extra Mac file meta data and cruft, so the file itself remains pristine and easy to use or store.
It’s our favorite, the one I use the most. If you don’t mind fewer features, Keka is a good choice. If all you need is zip up and unzip, you can’t beat the free in iZip.