How to Send Zip Files on a Mac

By Chris Anzalone

i Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Mac OS X, Apple’s standard operating system, allows you to create ZIP files with a single click. ZIP files are beneficial because they allow you to turn multiple files into a single compressed smaller file, which you can send to someone who clicks the zip file to decompress it—restoring all the original files in a new location. Since ZIP files are accessible on Windows and Mac, compatibility problems are not an issue.

Step 1

Highlight all of the files that you want to compress. This may include a series of family photos, a collection of songs or a series of important documents. Drag your mouse over all the files to highlight them—or hold down the “Shift” key and click them individually.

Step 2

Hold down the “CTRL” key and click any of your highlighted files. When the pop-up window appears, select the “Create Archive” option if using Mac OS X 10.4 or earlier, or click "Compress" if using Mac OS X 10.5 or 10.6. As an alternative, you can click "File" on the menu bar at the top of your screen and select the "Create Archive" or "Compress" option from the drop down menu. Your zip file will then appear on your desktop.

Step 3

Send your ZIP file by email. If your ZIP file contains 10 megabytes or less, you can send it using your personal email account. Just open your standard email client, which may include Apple Mail or Microsoft Entourage, create a new message, enter a subject title and recipient email address on the appropriate lines, click the “Attachment” icon, select your ZIP file from the desktop and click “Send.” To find out if your file is the appropriate size for emailing, hold “CTRL” and click the ZIP file on your desktop. Select “Get Info” from the pop-up menu and locate the size beneath the “General” heading.

Step 4

Send your ZIP file using a free file-sending service, if your file is too large to send via email. Open Apple’s Safari browser, or any other browser of your choosing. Visit the URL of any file-sending service such as SendSpace, YouSendIt or RapidShare, upload your ZIP file using the “Upload” field, enter a recipient’s email address and click “Send.” You may also need to check a “Terms of Service” box.