Preview content of zip archive on Mac

Mac comes with the unarchive app you can use to unzip or decompress zip archive. The stock compress/decompress utilities on Mac however is limited to very basic tasks. For example, you can’t encrypt files, preview content of zip files. In a related article, we demonstrated how you can add password to protect Zip files on Mac using a third-party free zip utility. Today, we will show you how the same zip utility can help us open, preview content of zip files on Mac without unzipping them?

Get this free zip/unzip app for Mac and install it on your computer.

Find the zip archive in Finder, right click on it, choose Open with > eZip from the contextual menu to open the zip archive on Mac without unzipping it. You can then see the full list of all the archives contents, including file name, file size, modification date and time, file types. You can even click to select a file to open it with compatible apps installed on your computer. For those common file types, such as image files, PDF documents, Pages files, you can select the file, then press the Space bar on your keyboard to preview the file content without uncompressing the zip archive. 

open, preview content zip archive with ezip on Mac

View files in zip from Terminal

You can use the zipinfo command to quickly view files contained in a zip file on Mac. Open the Terminal from Launchpad > Other > Terminal. Type in zipinfo followed by the file path and full file name, then press Enter or return key on your keyboard to execute the command and return the basic information of the contained files in the zip archive. Note that you can simply input the zipinfo in the Terminal, then drag and drop the zip file from its folder to the Terminal window, this can help you automatically input the full file path and file name. You can then find the file name, size, permission, modification date and time, etc. You can’t view the actual content of the files though.