I am using Mac OS X 10.8.2. I don't know exactly when it started (might have been after the upgrade to 10.8.2, but not sure), but now, any zip file I try to open starts up 'Archive Utility', but then it just hangs and I have to force quit it. The zip file is never unzipped.

As a workaround, I can go to the command line and use the 'unzip' command, but that is not very convenient.

Can I re-install this application to see if that would help or is this part of the OS and thus cannot really be re-installed separately?

  • This comment seems to describe the same problem: discussions.apple.com/message/19927593#19927593 Oct 31, 2012 at 9:42
  • I've tried to reproduce the problem so I could test if the 10.8.1 or 10.8.0 versions of the app crash, but I can't get Archive Utility to crash. It's not something you can generally reinstall, but you could try using Time Machine to revert to an earlier version and see if it behaves even worse than the current. It's not ideal, but I've done that in a pinch while waiting for a bug fix. You could see if The Unarchiver or Stuffit Expander let you avoid the hang.
    – bmike
    Nov 1, 2012 at 16:19
  • Do all zip files truly fail for you or should we interpret part of this as hyperbole? Does this file error out? cl.ly/MN9L
    – bmike
    Jan 23, 2013 at 15:24
  • Yes, all zip files fail. Jan 24, 2013 at 20:41
  • Thanks - If you reboot the Mac, those same zip files will work until the underlying bug is triggered. It wasn't clear to me and I was confusing the unzip as the root cause of the problem and not simply a symptom of a deeper problem with Finder not being able to unzip, reveal a folder, etc.. since the events daemon is stuck.
    – bmike
    Jan 24, 2013 at 22:06

2 Answers 2


I have run into this a couple times, both in instances where I didn't have time to dig into the cause. A restart will recover from the underlying failure between finder and apple events server so that you can unzip files, but that's not ideal since the underlying condition is likely to be triggered again.

As it has become clear that an OS bug is causing the hang, I keep a copy of the free app The Unarchiver in my Application folder.

  • Restarting my MBP did indeed solve the issue. Nov 2, 2012 at 7:26

It's related to the Apple Events bug in 10.8.2 that also makes revealing files in Finder stop working.

As a workaround, you can terminate the appleeventsd process with sudo killall appleeventsd sudo killall -KILL appleeventsd. (Without -KILL the process is sent a TERM signal and many processes stop responding as @myhd described.)

  • 1
    I first thought killing appleeventsd was a good idea, but every time I used it, it rendered my system unusable: dead Dock, stuck Spotlight menu etc. Anyone else has this problem?
    – myhd
    Nov 14, 2012 at 10:33
  • 1
    On 10.8.2 Archive Utility was working fine except for unzipping a password protected file. I was baffled why it would just hang with a grayed out Cancel button and I had to force quit it. Killing appleeventsd as Lauri indicated fixed the issue. Moreover, it fixed a problem I was having with Spotlight's drop down menu. When I hovered over an item and then Cmd-clicked or Cmd-R to reveal the item in Finder, the system would take me to Finder but not display the item. Now it does. The Apple Events bug appears to have vast consequences.
    – apta
    Jan 7, 2013 at 6:57
  • My Mac still screws things up on 10.8.2. I hope this is fixed in 10.8.3.
    – avocade
    Jan 23, 2013 at 14:57
  • 2
    @bmike It's caused by all files. I've reopened appleeventsd at least 50 times by now. There are probably a lot of bug reports already, but a post at TotalFinder's support forums describes a way to reproduce it.
    – Lri
    Jan 23, 2013 at 16:35
  • 1
    @bmike Yeah, it also happens with tar.gz files. It doesn't make Finder crash or anything, but Archive Utility just shows the extracting dialog indefinitely.
    – Lri
    Jan 23, 2013 at 17:06

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