Unzipping Large Files with the Mac Terminal

Unable to expand a file on your mac? Could it be too large? Maybe an invalid file type or format? Error 79? WTF does that mean?

error 79 unable to expand inappropriate file type or format

You just downloaded a large zip file and can’t open it because of the error:

Unable to expand “name of file” into “Desktop”

(Error 79 – inappropriate file type or format)

— stupid mac error

Don’t fret you can still open this file with your terminal

Terminal is an application that allows you to access the operating system using text-based commands, as opposed to the mostly graphical interface of OS X. It can be found in the Utilities folder within the Applications folder, or by searching for Terminal in OSX’s search function (located in the top right corner of Finder).

Step 1- Move .zip File to the Desktop

Move your desired .zip file to the desktop, it will make it easier to find your .zip file.

Step 2- Open Terminal

You can either search for Terminal in upper right corner or locate it in the Utilities folder, which is in the Applications folder.

You can also open you terminal by hitting “command + spacebar” which will open the spotlight app. Then you can type terminal and hit enter.

Step 3- Change Directory to Desktop with the “CD” command

When you have terminal open, type in the following commands- 

cd desktop

— my terminal input

Step 4 – Unzip the file with the “unzip” command

 unzip {name of your zipped file}.zip

unzip test.zip

— my terminal input

The output of your terminal will look like this:

Archive:  nameoffile.zip
creating: directory/filename
inflating: directory/filename.txt  

— my terminal output

Forget about using the Archive utility when your files are huge. If you have this problem just use the terminal.

Happy Inflating!

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