This step by step guide will show you how you can view the contents of a ZIP file without having to open it, in macOS.
Normally when you select a .zip file and tap the space bar on your keyboard (to bring up “Quick Look”), you’d see something like this:
With a small, free-to-try App for macOS, instead of just seeing a large icon, you can see what’s inside the zip file – like this:
Follow the step by step directions below and from now on you’ll be able to quickly view the contents of a ZIP file without having to open it.
- Head over to the BetterZip download page and download the current version. Note: BetterZip is free to try for a month, and then costs $24.95, or you can get it via SetApp. The installation is very straight forward – just unzip the file and move the App to your Applications folder. Run it from there.
- The first time you open BetterZip you’ll be presented with a ‘Welcome’ screen. Click the Let’s Go! button.
- If you’re using macOS 10.15 (“Catalina”) or later, you’ll be prompted to allow BetterZip access to a series of folders – click the OK button on each one.
- The main BetterZip window will appear. Select BetterZip from the main menu bar, and then Preferences… from the drop down menu.
- Select the Quick Look tab at the top of the Preferences. Choose the attributes that you want to be able to see when you use Quick Look to view a .ZIP from the Show Columns section. Finally, exit out of the Preferences when you’ve made your selections.
- Open a Finder window and locate a .ZIP file somewhere on your Mac. Select that .ZIP file by clicking it once, and then invoke Quick Look by tapping the space bar on your keyboard. Ta-da! From now on, this is the view that you’ll get using Quick Look on a .ZIP file.
- If you want BetterZip to behave like the built-in Archive Utility (ie. when you double-click a .ZIP file it extracts the contents of the file and then closes itself), open the Preferences again and on the General tab, place a check in the box labelled Opening an archive from the Finder immediately extracts it
- All done!