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The Unarchiver page

I have been looking for a good archive expander for a long time. I like the archives to be expanded to the desktop, and BOMArchiveHelper doesn’t do that. Stuffit Expander can do it, but I find it slow and I don’t need an icon bouncing in the Dock every time I expand something. I want a progress bar too so that rules out the various CLI tools.

I made a ruby script (wrapped with the excellent Platypus) to move files to the desktop, open them with BOMArchiveHelper then move them back1, but it was far from ideal.

Then, I found The Unarchiver and it’s exactly what I was looking for.

  • You can choose where to expand the archives.
  • It’s fast.
  • It’s free.
  • It handle a lot of file types2:
    • Zip (incl. encrypted archives), 7-zip
    • Tar, GZip, BZip2, Compress
    • StuffIt (.sit, not .sitx)3
    • Rar, Ace
    • BinHex and Mac Binary
    • Many other more or less obscure formats.
  • You can choose which filetypes it will handle, it doesn’t “steal” them all4.

The Unarchiver is a perfect replacement for the OS X built-in BOMArchiveHelper, it does everything better and I can’t see any downside.

  1. This was better than just moving the expanded files, as BOMArchiveHelper handles duplicates filenames better than I was willing to do. ;)

  2. “Support for so many formats is achieved by using the libxad unarchiving library.”

  3. .sitx hasn’t been reverse engineered, AFAIK.

  4. A lot of applications should provide this feature.