62 responses

  1. sault
    February 14, 2013

    It was high time someone talked about this problem. Well done.

  2. Caleb Grove
    February 14, 2013

    Thanks guys! I had a .zip file that was doing this to me, but The Unarchiver came to my rescue!

  3. Joe
    November 16, 2013

    This will also happen if someone mails you a link to a zip file in Dropbox, and you right-click on that link and ‘Save Link As’.
    Instead, click on the link, and download it from the Dropbox page that is displayed.

    • Paul
      February 25, 2016

      Thanks folks, the command line thing did the trick…not sure why the dropbox download does that.

    • pierre
      July 3, 2016

      Thanks!! Nothing worked for me except clicking on the link first, then download.

  4. Derek Scott
    November 16, 2013

    I had this problem with a zip of mp3 files (Mac OS X and downloaded via Firefox). I went o the File menu, clicked on “Get Info” and then changed Open with: Archive Utility to Open with: Stuffit Expander.
    To my surprise it worked a treat. This seems to indicate that the files had downloaded OK, and the problem lies elsewhere.

    • Diane
      November 19, 2015

      This worked quickly and easily. Thanks for the smart workaround.

  5. Nina
    January 4, 2014

    Thanks so much for this! Had a zip archive that was doing this but the Terminal work around solved it. You’re a life saver!

  6. paymar
    January 9, 2014

    any way to open zip files with spaces in file name..tried few attempts different software, but no luck

    • im cool
      October 30, 2014

      did you try just changing the name to something with out spaces?

  7. Lucas
    March 10, 2014

    Terminal works thks! =D

  8. Jeffcm
    March 13, 2014

    I downloaded a 4 gb file several times, and tried two different browsers, safari and firefox. System 10.8.4 would NOT open it, even using Terminal. Terminal said the file was corrupt…

    I copied it via an external hard drive to my old 10.4.11 laptop, and that old system opened it up just fine! Copied the open folder back to the new laptop and everything installed perfectly.

  9. Harsh
    March 30, 2014

    The inbuilt inflater ability of OSX does not recognise some of the modern formats of .zip packing, thereby causing this. The ‘unzip’ CLI tool may work sometimes, but otherwise one could also do a “brew install 7zip” and use “7za x ” to extract just about any format on the command line.

    The Unarchiver is a nice suggestion, thanks.

  10. Lisa
    April 2, 2014

    I just downloaded a file like this. The name of the file had no extension. When I added “.zip” to the end of the name, it unpacked normally when double-clicked. May be the easiest thing to try first.

  11. ffs
    June 13, 2014

    new mac user here, jays us it worked! thank you!

  12. Warren Fedderichi
    June 24, 2014

    It Worked! – The CPGZ loop threw me off for some time. After reading your advice I tried the terminal method and worked perfectly.


  13. Jordan
    July 26, 2014

    I get this error when trying to use terminal

    pcn:~ JordanLawrence$ unzip /Users/JordanLawrence/Downloads/Jordan.zip
    Archive: /Users/JordanLawrence/Downloads/Jordan.zip
    skipping: For Jordan.xls need PK compat. v5.1 (can do v2.1)
    pcn:~ JordanLawrence$

  14. sumit
    August 23, 2014

    stuffit expander seems to work too..

  15. thedoger82
    November 13, 2014

    I didnt any if the steos above, i opened it in windows with winrar, and it work normally

  16. David
    February 11, 2015

    Thank you! Terminal worked.

    FYI, in case others can’t find their uncompressed file/folder, mine showed up in the root of my user directory (alongside Applications, Documents, Pictures, etc).

    • Ashish
      December 27, 2015

      That is because your terminal defaults in that folder. You can always get to the directory you want using cd command and then do the terminal method.

  17. Miles
    May 4, 2015

    I have an ongoing problem with this and was hopeful after reading this thread. I have OS X 10.10.3 and have tried many unarchivers, including the one listed above. The Unarchiver preferences won’t even allow me to select .zip file types. Ran terminal which ran a while and did not unzip the the file. Very frustrating, keep getting the .cpgz files created and no content.

    • htn
      May 4, 2015

      If zip and Unarchiver won’t open the file it is probably corrupt and you would need to re-download it

  18. Deja
    May 20, 2015

    THANK YOU!!! I was at a loss to know how to get out of the infinite loop. Downloading from another browser worked. Great tutorial!

  19. Stasw
    June 11, 2015

    Great clearly written article. The unzip from command line option did the trick for me. Thank you!

  20. dub
    June 12, 2015

    You wouldn’t think there are differences in zip files between operating systems, but I think the reason I ran into this problem may have been because I was downloading a zip that was intended for windows except I was on a macintosh. I was downloading an internet explorer image for a virtual machine from modern IE. To be specific, I was downloading IE11.Win8.1.For.Windows.VirtualBox.zip I’m not going to download the whole 5 GB file again to test if that was the problem, but just note that perhaps you could run into this problem if you are using a zip file that is intended for a different operating system

  21. Vanita
    June 30, 2015

    its helpful

  22. Chris
    July 1, 2015

    Very helpful! Thank you for the info!

  23. Cherie deLeon
    July 19, 2015

    This was super helpful! Thank you!

  24. vivian
    July 22, 2015

    Yay, thank you so much for sharing!

  25. John
    August 28, 2015

    I’d never encountered this problem before. Unarchiver worked.


  26. Mike
    September 10, 2015

    Firefox was the culprit. Thanks for the great advice.

  27. Adrian
    September 21, 2015

    Thanks for this! I’ve been having this problem with files supplied by a client. The Unarchiver (free download) was able to unarchive the original .zip file first time. Thanks!

  28. Carl
    October 7, 2015

    Thankyou thankyou thankyou!

  29. Jonathan
    October 11, 2015

    Thank you! The terminal command was a short and sweet solution.

    It happens reliably when I create a .zip on a windows server, copy the file down to my mac via RDC (mapped drive). It only happens with one particular server, otherwise I use this method routinely with other win servers with no problems. The file is not corrupt as far as i can tell, or incompletely copied, some sort of bug or mismatch created by this sequence of events is responsible.

  30. Edaf
    October 22, 2015

    I tried the Terminal workaround. It did fill in the name of the file after I dragged to the terminal window, but when I hit return, nothing seemed to happen. Where should the unzipped file be? It did not appear on the desktop or in the Terminal window. Should I look somewhere else?

    • chocolate
      October 22, 2015

      The new file would be in the same location as the origin, so if you dragged it from the desktop, the new file would be on the desktop too

      • Edaf
        October 22, 2015

        OK. It didn’t work. Any suggestions?

      • Ashish
        December 27, 2015

        The new file would be where your is operating, which is usually the home folder. You can run pwd command to see your current location in terminal

      • Ashish
        December 27, 2015

        where *your terminal is* operating.

        Sorry for the typo.

  31. Tricia
    November 3, 2015

    I just want to say a big THANK YOU. Suddenly had problems opening a zip file with archive utilities, spent hours on it, read this very informative article. Downloaded Unarchiver and solved the problem…

  32. Demar
    November 17, 2015

    tried in console, but also not working:

    unzip theFile.zip
    Archive: theFile.zip
    warning [theFile.zip]: zipfile claims to be last disk of a multi-part archive;
    attempting to process anyway, assuming all parts have been concatenated
    together in order. Expect “errors” and warnings…true multi-part support
    doesn’t exist yet (coming soon).
    error [theFile.zip]: missing 8526108894 bytes in zipfile
    (attempting to process anyway)
    error [theFile.zip]: attempt to seek before beginning of zipfile
    (please check that you have transferred or created the zipfile in the
    appropriate BINARY mode and that you have compiled UnZip properly)

  33. Steve
    November 23, 2015

    ditto -k -x worked for me.

  34. drojas
    December 9, 2015

    Thanks! I pulled down the Unarchiver using brew cask (for mac), and it worked perfectly. :)

  35. Jared
    December 17, 2015

    I was investigating this same issue and found that the Windows Server 2012 box that was generating the zip file was using version 4.5 of PK tools (remember pkzip/pkunzip?) whereas El Capitan only supports zip archives up to version 2.1. Unarchiver was the answer here since it incorporated newer tools.

  36. Bharat
    December 21, 2015

    Thanks! Terminal did the job for me.

  37. Ashish
    December 27, 2015

    Thanks. unzipping from command line worked for me.

    Has anyone reported this to Apple?

  38. Jaime Carrión
    January 21, 2016

    Thanks for the tip! It helped me to export several sliders using LayerSlider for WordPress. Terminal says there was “1 extra byte at beginning or within zipfile”. But it unziped it anyways, once that was done I was able to create a zip easily!

  39. Courtney
    January 28, 2016

    This is a great tip but I have an older Macbook and the newest version of the Unarchiver does not work. Is there any way to download an earlier version that will work on my Mac OS X Version 10.6.8?

  40. Courtney
    January 28, 2016

    The second tip also didn’t work as I got this response in the launch terminal:
    “End-of-central-directory signature not found. Either this file is not
    a zipfile, or it constitutes one disk of a multi-part archive. In the
    latter case the central directory and zipfile comment will be found on
    the last disk(s) of this archive.”
    It also stated it could not find a zipfile directory in this particular file.
    Any suggestions?

  41. Jennifer
    May 12, 2016

    The Unarchiver did not unzip the cpgz file, but actually created yet another .zip file, and simply continued the cycle. Also, it does not appear in my applications folder, and I cannot locate it to delete it. Now it is set to unzip all my files – but will not unzip any files with the .zip extension! I get an error message that The Unarchiver cannot open this type of file. Any suggestions about how I can delete this app when it does not appear in my applications folder? Thank you.

  42. David Fraga
    May 30, 2016

    Thanks for this tip! Unzipping via the terminal did the trick for me.

  43. newtoid
    August 10, 2016

    In my case, I changed the file extension from .mysql.gz to sql and the file is fine, I guess it was never an archive in the first place.

  44. Pratik Panchal
    October 12, 2016

    Open a terminal

    Rename the offending file.zip to file.tar.gz
    mv file.zip file.tar.gz

    Use tar command to untar it
    tar xvzf file.tar.gz

    This should correctly untar (unzip) the original file.zip file.

  45. gaurav
    April 22, 2017

    The unarchiver fix worked for me.

  46. Daniele
    May 4, 2017

    You opened Pandora’s box!

  47. Mario
    November 13, 2017

    tl;dr In my case the file extension was .zip and the file was actually a RAR archive.

    The command “7z x Renamed.zip”, showed the following:

    Path = Renamed.zip
    Open WARNING: Can not open the file as [zip] archive
    Type = Rar

    As a test I also used the unrar command “unrar x renamed.zip” which worked.

    If you use brew you can install “unrar” and/or “p7zip”.

    I would recommend that if you do use the command line, to use 7-zip as it’s output is helpful when diagnosing issues with archives.

  48. Bloozman
    January 14, 2018

    Just to add the the list: I was having this same problem using the archive utility:

    Surprisingly, even the terminal command approach failed, despite an “inflating” message which made it appear it may have worked. Indepently, I also tried a third party (like Derek Scott suggested above way back in 2013, but prior to reading his comment). In my case I tried Winzip for Mac free trial, and it worked beautifully! Nothing is as simple as advertised, in the world of electronics: hardware and software.

  49. Paola Ramirez
    January 25, 2018

    This article saved my life. Thank you!

  50. Brenda Greenwald
    March 20, 2018

    It worked! Terminal totally solved this annoying issue. I just had to LOCATE the files (just do a quick search – they don’t appear on the desktop). Awesome. Thanks for the advice! Brenda

    • Paul
      March 20, 2018

      Happy to hear this worked to fix your issues opening a zip / CPGZ file! You’re welcome!

  51. Tanja
    March 30, 2018

    Thank you! I’ve been trying to figure out this problem without success until I found this article. The Unarchiver didn’t work. Then I realised the file I was trying to extract had zero bytes. So I found another copy I had downloaded in the earlier step, which was over a gb. The Unarchiver was able to extract it where my mac simply couldn’t on its own. Thanks!

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