By default, the Safari browser on Mac will extract ZIP files you’ve downloaded—and even discard the original compressed ZIP files. If this bothers you, there’s an easy way to turn it off, and you can keep your archived downloads in once piece. Here’s how.

First, open Safari on your Mac. In the menu bar at the top of the screen, click “Safari,” then select “Preferences” in the menu that appears. (Or you can press Command+Comma on your keyboard.)

In the preferences window that pops up, click the “General” tab at the top, then look at the very bottom of the window. Uncheck “Open ‘safe’ files after downloading.”

In Safari's General preferences on Mac, uncheck "Open 'safe' files after downloading."

After that, close the preferences window. The next time you download an archived file with Safari, the archive will remain in tact!

You’ll most likely find the downloaded file in your Downloads folder. If you need to manually unzip the file later, just locate it in Finder and double-click its icon—or right-click it and select “Open.” Happy browsing!

RELATED: How to Find Downloads on a Mac

Profile Photo for Benj Edwards Benj Edwards
Benj Edwards is a former Associate Editor for How-To Geek. Now, he is an AI and Machine Learning Reporter for Ars Technica. For over 15 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
Read Full Bio »