I have a huge .zip which extracted takes up to 100 GB, and storing that amount of data on my MBP's SSD is not an option.

Is there a way to extract a zip file directly to an external hard drive, without filling up the MBP's SSD?

I tried copying the .zip to the external drive I have and extracting it from there, but it gets unzipped in the Downloads folder.

Does anybody know how to achieve this?

Thank you for your time.


Terminal (Hackers way)

Open the Terminal.app (Hidden in Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal) and Navigate with cd to your Folder where the zip file is stored.


cd ~/Desktop/

And extract the ZIP file with the OSX command line tool unzip

unzip /path/to/the/archive.zip -d /Volumes/USB_Drive/

the -d switch let you set the extraction Archive - the second path is your external HDD - you may have to change the name USB_Drive (Tipp: Type /Volumes/ and the hit the Tab-Key twice to see all Volumes.



I know the Software Kea.app where you can specify in the Setting a custom folder for the extracted folders.


Also StuffitExpander will let you choose for every extraction the location in a Finder Window

I hope it helps - and happy extracting 😊

| improve this answer | |

If you open Terminal, you can use the unzip command.

unzip /path/to/the/archive.zip -d /Volumes/target_location/

(To type these paths, you can just drag the file/folder into the Terminal window.)

| improve this answer | |

Open Terminal.app

cd to the zip file:

cd /Path/to/directory_containing_zip/

then enter

unzip filename.zip -d /Path/to/folder/on/external/drive

With -d you may determine an optional directory to which to extract files.

| improve this answer | |

If you are comfortable with the command line (via Terminal ), cd to the directory you are interested in

cd /Volumes/your-external-drive

If it is from an internet source, use curl or wget to pull done the file

wget http://my-data/data.zip

this will bypass the default action (like unzipping upon download)

and unzip the file

unzip data.zip

Each command has extra options which man which help with. For example

man wget

which will describe all the details

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    Actually not the Answer for this Question ... the Question is only about extracting and not downloading and bypass the auto extraction. – bMalum Jul 23 '15 at 18:37

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