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How To Compress Files On Mac [Step-by-Step Guide]


In this step-by-step guide, we have detailed all you need to know about how to compress a file on Mac.

The size of every file is important, either for storage on your device or sending it over to a third party. Files that are compressed occupy less storage on Mac hard disk than uncompressed files.

Compressing a file is not difficult to learn, you know every byte matters to the smooth running of your hard disk or device.

When you want to send files as attachments in E-mail, you have to make sure the files are of smaller sizes.

Fortunately, Mac has a built-in file compressor, which makes it easier to have free and clear hard disk space.

The compression and decompression of Mac’s built-in use the most commonly used archived file format, which is ZIP. Your data looks the same when you use the ZIP program to compress and decompress your data, this is known as ‘lossless of data’.

Some data are more compressible than others when using the ZIP file format, this is more dependent on the content of the data which causes the variations.

If you can compress and decompress your file faster, then it means your Mac’s processor is fast, and you have a large RAM.


How To Compress Files On Mac

Below are the comprehensive steps to compress a file on Mac;

  1. Select the file or folder from the finder
  2. Right-click for the pop-up menu to appear
  3. Select Compress file name
  4. Mac will begin to compress the file you have selected. When it’s done, it will display the file name ending with ‘.zip’.
  5. The original file remains as it was, and the compressed file ending with ‘.zip’ is the archive format.

Compressing files on Mac doesn’t make them smaller?

If you create Zip files and see files that cannot be significantly compressed, it is probably because they already contain compressed data, or they are encrypted. If you would like to share a file or some files that do not compress well, you might: Email photos by zipping and resizing them.

How to make a file smaller on Mac

To make a file smaller on Mac, Choose File > Reduce File Size (from the File menu at the top of the screen). Select the adjustments you want to make: Scale down large images: Images are scaled to the resolution used in the document, while preserving visual quality.

How to zip a file on Mac with a password

Below are the steps to zip a file on Mac with a password;

  1. Open Terminal on your Mac
  2. Type in ‘cd’ (no parentheses) and the location of the file or folder you want to compress and protect
  3. Note: if your file or folder were saved to the desktop, you’d type in: cd desktop
  4. Type this command into Terminal: zip -er filename.zip
  5. Note: let’s assume that our folder is named ‘blogs’ so the command reads: zip -er blogs.zip
  6. Enter and verify a password

How to Decrease PDF Size on Mac Online for Free

If you are a one-time user, you might prefer to downsize your PDF files using online tools. Given that, we will demonstrate an excellent online PDF compressor that will assist you in shrinking PDF size on Mac without the need for any additional third-party software. That’s Smallpdf for you.

Here’s how to use Smallpdf to downsize PDF on Mac online:

Step 1. Go to its official website, and click “CHOOSE FILES” to upload your PDF file.

Step 2. Once imported, click “Compress” to start the process.

Step 3. Click “Download’ to get the compressed PDF on your Mac.


Below are the frequently asked questions on how to compress a file on Mac

How do I reduce file size on Mac?

Choose File > Reduce File Size (from the File menu at the top of the screen). Select the adjustments you want to make: Scale down large images: Images are scaled to the resolution used in the document, while preserving visual quality.

Why can’t I compress files on my Mac?

If you can’t compress your files and folders, check the permissions settings for those items. If permissions aren’t correct, you might not be able to copy, move, or overwrite certain items. On your Mac, select the item, then choose File > Get Info or press Command-I.

How do I reduce the size of a zip file on Mac?

To compress a file or folder: Control-click it or tap it using two fingers, then choose Compress from the shortcut menu. If you compress a single item, the compressed file has the name of the original item with the. zip extension. If you compress multiple items at once, the compressed file is called an Archive.


If you have followed this guide very well, I am pretty sure you have successfully been able to know how to compress your file on your Mac. If you still have challenges, kindly let us know your questions via the comment section.

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