Safari unzips .zip and .gz files after downloading. How can I stop this behavior?

4 Answers 4


In the menu bar, go Safari -> Preferences. In the "General" tab, uncheck "Open 'safe' files after downloading". This will stop Safari from automatically unzipping the files.

Safari Settings, General tab

  • 1
    don't know since when it is the case, but for me and a fresh mojave installation the checkbox did not appear. i first had to activate developer options under Advanced > Show Develop menu in menu bar. Afterwards more options appeared on the general tab.
    – isaias-b
    Commented Apr 7, 2019 at 12:06
  • This is a workaround with side effect: all opening of files after download becomes disabled. A full solution without side effects given by @redochka: hold ⌥ alt when clicking to download. See apple.stackexchange.com/a/115634/330523 Commented Oct 23, 2022 at 15:01

Just hold the ⌥ alt button while clicking on the download links.

Tested on OS X Mavericks, Big Sur, Monterey. Still works in October 2022.

  • 1
    Still works fine in Yosemite, and is a useful "I only want to do this occasionally" option. Commented Jan 18, 2016 at 10:37
  • 1
    Still works on Big Sur (Intel)
    – ThorstenC
    Commented Jul 21, 2021 at 10:16
  • Still works on Monterey 12.6 (ARM) as well in October 2022 Commented Oct 23, 2022 at 15:03
  • Still works on Ventura 13.1 in Mach 2023
    – Xaver
    Commented Mar 5, 2023 at 15:18

In Preferences, at the bottom of the General tab, uncheck the "Open "safe" files after downloading" check box.


Check out this article if you want to keep the "Safe Downloads" behavior but tweak it a little.

  • Please provide a full answer, do not just link out. This goes against Stackexchange policies. Commented Oct 23, 2022 at 15:02

You must log in to answer this question.