I'm working on an automator folder action and am running into some issues!

I have a source folder where a zip file is dropped regularly and overwritten.

my automator actions take that zip file, copy the zip to my destination, uncompress it.

but everytime I run it, it creates a new folder (folder, folder 1, folder 2)

how do I overwrite the folder so I only have 1 "destination" updated folder from the zip?

alternatively, I also was going to see if I can get the contents of the freshly unzipped folder and copy that..but couldn't get at that either!

many thanks for your insights and help!

automator image

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1 Answer 1


You probably don't need automator for this. Just configuring the archive utility should be enough. Set the "save expanded files" destination folder on the hidden preferences panel. Follow the steps below to enable it.

Change How macOS Handles ZIP Files With These Hidden Preferences

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A hidden System Preferences pane lets you configure how archives work on your Mac. You can stop ZIP files from going to the Trash after you unarchive them, or you can have newly created archives spawn in a particular folder. Enabling this panel just takes a couple minutes.

Find and Install The Hidden Preferences Pane

Open the Finder, then click the icon for your computer in the “Devices” section of the sidebar. From your system drive, browse to System > Library > CoreServices > Applications, a folder that houses a few application your Mac uses regularly.

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We’re interested in the Archive Utility, which is the program that opens ZIP files by default on your Mac. Right-click this application, then click “Show Package Contents.”


This allows us to browse the files that make up the application. Head to Contents > Resources and you’ll find a file called “Archives.prefPane.”


Double-click this file and System Preferences will launch, asking you if you’d like to install the pane. Click “Install.”


You’ve now added the Archives pane to your System Preferences.

Change How Archives Work On Your Mac

You’ll find the new Archives pane in the bottom section of the System Preferences.


Click it and you’ll see a few options.


First, you can choose where unarchived files end up. The default is in the same archive as the archive itself, but you can choose a specific folder if you want. Next, you can choose what happens to archive files after you unarchive them. By default, such files are sent to the trash, but you can optionally leave the archive alone or even delete it outright.

The bottom half of this preference pane concerns archives created by this application. If you select a bunch of files in the Finder, right-click them, then click “Compress,” you can create a ZIP file.

Source: https://www.howtogeek.com/284856/change-how-macos-handles-zip-files-with-these-hidden-preferences/

  • There is no need to go through such rigmarole to change the preferences for Archive Utility. Simply open it, using Spotlight press ⌘Space and start tying Arc… and press Enter. Then press ⌘, to bring up: Archive Utility Preferences Apr 30, 2020 at 17:56
  • @user3439894 ah I see!
    – Jim
    Apr 30, 2020 at 19:32

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