Is there a way to open .ace compressed file on macOS? I tried searching for solutions but haven't come across any method to extract it yet.


Shameless plug: With acefile there is now a python based solution to uncompress ACE archives, that is slow, but works on OS X. Simply make sure you have Python 3 and then install acefile:

pip3 install acefile

Then you will have the acefile-unace utility installed, that you can use to extract ACE archives, including the newer ACE 2.0 format that is not supported by most archivers with ACE support on platforms other than Windows. Run something like:

acefile-unace -x example.ace

You may have to explicitly give the bin path of your python installation if you don't have that in your PATH (e.g. /Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/3.4/bin/).

  • 2
    During the last days of 2017 I suddenly needed to unace an old archive, and unlike literally every other tool mentioned in replies here, acefile worked frictionlessly the first time. Thank you and well done.
    – wjv
    Jan 3 '18 at 8:25
  • 1
    Thanks! This works as a great solution.
    – Jash Jacob
    Mar 27 '19 at 7:37

You have the following three options:

  • The Unarchiver, which supports only older ACE archives (not created with WinAce). It is available either as a direct download, or from the Mac App Store (with further restrictions/sandboxing).
  • RAR, which can decompress ACE archives. On macOS, it is only available as a command-line utility. As I recall, it supports WinAce archives.
  • MacUnace from the makers of WinAce. Note that this is a very old executable, dating back to 2003. Compatibility is not guaranteed. And beware that some versions of WinAce used to ship with bundled adware.
  • I already have The Unarchiver but I wasn't able to export the file.
    – Jash Jacob
    Feb 2 '17 at 10:40

The commandline Mac version of RAR does not do .ace files, even if the author's site says their GUI Windows one (WinRAR) can. I just tried: "cait_farm.ace is not RAR archive". (Nice grammar, there.) I've tried both their freeware version and their trial commercial version.

It's correct that The Unarchiver can't handle WinAce files; its failure is why I came looking.

MacUnace doesn't run on modern Macs, nor (obviously) will the GUI wrapper for it, UnaceX. Seems our only option is to take the .ace to a Windows box, or run Windows in a virtual machine to do it (I keep a Win7 VM around for tasks like this, but it's a hassle.)

UPDATE: The python-based acefile utility mentioned by Daniel Roethlisberger here, after a minor patch made in response to a bug report of mine a while back, is now working like a charm on every single .ACE file I have thrown at it, including the "extended" version of the format. We have a winner!


Just use Boxer (http://boxerapp.com/) and the original ACE (http://www.winace.com/files/ace26.exe)

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .