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5 Ways to Fix Unable to Expand Zip Mac Error [2024]

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Are you unable to expand zip on Mac? Zip files offer many advantages like making it easier to send emails and saving space by compressing large files into smaller ones. But what if zip file won’t open on Mac when you try to unzip it? Yes, it can happen.

That’s why in this guide we’ll discuss five quick fixes to get you out of the jam. Besides, we’ve also shared symptoms associated with this error, reason why it occurs, and some tips to steer clear of this issue in future. Let’s roll!

Part 1: What Is Unable to Expand Zip File Mac Error?

To figure out and solve how to fix ‘zip file won’t open Mac’ issue you first need to know what signs it shows and why it happens.

1.1 Symptoms of Unable to Expand Zip File Mac Error

Here are symptoms of ‘unable to expand zip file’ issue and error codes and messages you may receive with it:

  1. Error 1: Operation not permitted - If you get ‘unable to expand zip Mac error 1’ it often means you don’t have permission to access or unzip file. Maybe you can’t read or write to it, or the folder you’re extracting to doesn’t allow it. Sometimes, you may also get ‘Error 1: unable to expand no such process’ if your system blocks extracting zip file directly to main directory.
  2. Error 2: No such file or directory - This means the zip file you’re opening isn’t where you’re looking for it. This might occur if “Archive Utility” doesn’t recognize file name and assumes file isn’t there.
  3. Error 22: Invalid Argument - This error hints that extraction command used a wrong parameter. It could also be because zip file is corrupted, causing problems when you try to unzip it.
  4. Error 79: Inappropriate file type or format - The ‘unable to expand zip Mac error 79’ means the file you’re trying to open isn’t a proper zip archive. It could be because the zip file’s header info is corrupted, so it’s not recognized as a valid archive.

1.2 Reasons Behind Unable to Expand Zip File Mac Error

Though there are various symptoms associated with ‘zip file won’t open Mac’ error, the actual reasons behind them are only a handful. Let’s understand them:

  1. Incomplete or Interrupted Download - If zip file didn’t download completely, you might encounter errors during its extraction.
  2. Large File Size - Your Archive Utility might have limitations regarding unzipping excessively large files.
  3. Permissions or Password Issue - Files downloaded from websites usually lack permissions, and for files from non-public sources, you might need special permissions granted by sender. In addtion, some zip files are also password-protected, leading to ‘unable to expand no such process’ error.

4. Incomplete Compression - If compression process was interrupted (e.g., due to sudden shutdown or file transfer), it could lead to difficulty in unzipping.

Part 2: 5 Ways to Fix Unable to Expand Zip Mac Error Easily

Knowing both symptoms of ‘unable to expand zip file’ error and reasons behind its occurrence makes it easier to troubleshoot and fix it. Here are five solutions to resolve ‘zip file won’t open Mac’ error depending on various scenarios:

2.1 Repair Zip File by 4DDIG File Repair

The best course of action is to use a zip repair tool like 4DDiG File Repair. Rather than resolving ‘unable to expand zip mac error 1, 2, 22, or 79’ error manually, this tool can fix them all. Moreover, it offers an automatic process, with no technical know-how required, and can also repair severely corrupted zip files. Check out what more this tool can do:

●  Extract contents successfully from severely corrupted zip files.

●  Fix various zip issues including damaged, or unable-to-open zip files.

●  Compatible with various zip formats.

●  Supports older and latest versions of macOS.

●  Repair multiple zip files of various formats at once.

Here’s how to use this tool to repair corrupted zip file that won’t open:

Step 1: Download and install zip file repair tool on your Mac and open it. In “File Repair” section, add your corrupted zip files by clicking “Add File(s).”



Step 2: Click “Start Repair” to initiate repair process. After completion, click “View Results” to see the list of fixed zip files.


Step 3: Preview each file to confirm repairs, then click “Export” to save repaired zip files, selecting a destination folder.

2.2 Try Using Decompression Utility Software

Certain read/write permissions can cause ‘unable to expand no such process’ error, preventing you from unzipping files. Sometimes, this error can be triggered due to a corrupt or large zip. The most basic method is to use a free decompression utility software like Stuffit Expander. It can extract files from various formats including ZIP, RAR, TAR, GZIP, and BZIP2.

Besides, it works by analyzing file’s header information to determine format and then applies appropriate decompression method. Stuffit Expander also comes with repair features to fix minor corruption in ZIP file and allows you to extract specific files. Here’s how to use Stuffit Expander on Mac to unzip a file that won’t expand:

Step 1: Go to “App Store” on Dock and download “Stuffit Expander” onto your Mac.

Step 2: After installation, use “Spotlight” to find and open “Stuffit Expander.”

Step 3: Locate zip file you want to unzip, click “Open,” select destination for extraction, and Stuffit Expander will handle rest.



Step 4: Restart your Mac and check if the “unable to expand zip mac” persists.