In Windows I can create self-extracting archives, which end in exe instead of rar, and then you don't need to have an unarchiver available to extract them. How can I create a self-extracting archive for Mac?

I need to distribute for download a large (100 mb when compressed) archive from a server to many mac users. I'd rather use a better compression like RAR or LZMA, but I need to be sure that it can be opened by everyone without needing to install anything.

4 Answers 4


OSX contains an unarchiver so you don't need the equivalent of a .exe so you can extract on any machine and not be stuck as you are on a Mac when you receive a Windows self-extracting archive

To archive select the files in Finder. Command-click or right-click and choose compress from the menu - you will get Archive.zip. To unzip just double click on the .zip file

The tool that does the unarchiving is Archive Utility.app and understands various compression schemes from Wikipaedia including bzip2 which can be better than zip - but you need to compress using a command line tool bzip2

  • I think he wants to create them. He doesn't want to know how to create/decompress an archive. He's looking for an equivalent for Mac OS.
    – dertkw
    Commented Jul 28, 2011 at 12:54
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    @timboo And the point is that there's no need for self-extracting archives on a Mac, because a Mac can extract archives out of the box. Self-extracting archives were a necessary evil over a decade ago on Windows, since Windows didn't have any built-in archive utility. Those times are long gone, there's basically no advantage for these technological dinosaurs anymore.
    – deceze
    Commented Jul 28, 2011 at 14:35
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    my comment is that you don't need an equivalent for OSX - zip/unzip is built in
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Jul 28, 2011 at 14:35
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    Mark, @deceze Well, I know that it's not usual. However he asked it, Stuffit Deluxe can provide that functionality and the OP seems to be happy with the answer. So what is this discussion here about?
    – dertkw
    Commented Jul 28, 2011 at 15:45
  • @Mark, you're wrong, because I want to compress to a 7z archive, and that I don't think Mac supports out the box, so I need a self-extractor. Commented Oct 1, 2014 at 0:07

According to the StuffIt for Mac comparison page and an ehow howto, the Deluxe version can create self-extracting archives.

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  • 6
    There's no reason to do this, nor to purchase a more expensive version to get this functionality. This is a marketing gimmick aimed more at switchers who have always needed extra software to handle archives.
    – Bryson
    Commented Aug 3, 2011 at 19:13

Also 7zX (Freeware) has the ability to create self-extracting archives. But I didn't know if the is a possibility to run or execute some code after extraction.


Hide the zip

Put a Python->exe file in this thingy that extracts the zip and runs what's inside!

That's the Best Way for it, ok?

  • Thx but this does not appear to be a good answer. Though it's free, many people don't know how to program in Python and your answer has very few details in it.
    – Alper
    Commented Feb 19, 2022 at 20:46
  • As it’s currently written, your answer is unclear. Please edit to add additional details that will help others understand how this addresses the question asked. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
    – Community Bot
    Commented Feb 19, 2022 at 20:55
  • "Hide the zip" isn't useful -- the point would be to have the extractor and the archive be parts of a single file. Except (as the other answers point out) that's not necessary on macOS, because there's a built-in expander. Furthermore, recent versions of macOS quarantine downloaded executables, and require special hoops to be jumped through before they can be executed; this makes self-extracting archives much more difficult to use than plain ones. Commented Feb 19, 2022 at 22:43

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