It’s pretty helpful that most file compression apps offer an option to password-protect your ZIP file. It is good when you want an additional layer of protection for something important. But all the conveniences stop when you forget the password of this ZIP file.
But did you know that you can often hack or crack password-protected ZIP files using a Mac terminal or other tools? In this short guide, we will talk about three ways to break ZIP files on your Mac. So, the next time you forget the password for an important ZIP file, you can try one of these methods.
Crack ZIP Password on Mac Using Terminal Utility
You may already know that Mac has a powerful Terminal utility. Mac enthusiasts use Terminal to take care of multiple aspects. But you may not know that the Terminal utility can be used to crack the ZIP password effectively. The steps you have to follow are:
Step 1. Open Terminal via Spotlight search or by going to Applications > Utilities
Step 2. Once the Terminal is open, you can type the following command:
unzip -P password /path1/ -d /path2/
Step 3. Of course, you have to replace path1 with the path of the existing ZIP file and path2 with the location where you would like to save the unzipped file.
Step 4. Press the Enter key and let your Mac do the job
You will be able to see the password of the ZIP file in a few seconds. You can use this password to open the ZIP file you want to crack. As you can guess, this process does not work consistently. However, before we try third-party methods, you should see if the built-in Terminal utility on macOS can help you.
But you do not have to worry if the process does not work as expected. You can try the following methods, which offer a better chance of success.
Crack Zip Password on Mac Using A ZIP Password Cracker Online
If the Terminal method does not help you crack ZIP password, you should check whether online tools can be helpful. As you may know, you can find hundreds of websites that claim to crack the password of ZIP and a few other compression formats. However, it is not a good idea to trust all these claims.
The password recovery/decryption tool from password-online is quite effective and trustworthy. It means you can confidently upload encrypted files from your Mac. The website will do the job and make it easy for you to understand the file’s password. As you can imagine, this website is designed to decrypt various file types, including PDF, RAR, DOC, XLS, and PPT.
Rest assured, you do not have to worry about the lack of results. The website does not want you to pay if the decryption task is ineffective. If the decryption does not work, you can walk free. The website can also provide you proof of decryption before you make payment. Even if we keep aside this economy-friendly system, there are additional benefits to this method. For instance,
- You do not have to worry about system resources on your Mac. As long as you have a good internet connection, you can crack the ZIP password of almost every file.
- More importantly, you can upload almost any document with a file size of less than 1GB. Running native apps for decryption can take up a lot of system resources or time.
- Compared to conventional solutions, cracking a password-protected ZIP on Mac using an online tool is better.
So, we recommend this method if you want to decrypt the password of a ZIP file quickly. But it comes with a fair share of disadvantages.
- Essentially, you have to upload your ZIP file to a third-party website, and it may not be an appropriate option from a data security standpoint. So, if you are dealing with confidential files, you are better off with a local decryption tool.
- As we said, you cannot use the online cracker option when dealing with big files. So, if you have a file that is 2GB or more, the uploading/decryption process will take some time. On the other hand, local decryption tools use system resources to achieve the same/better results.
Therefore, if you are worried about maximum efficiency and privacy/security, you should keep looking for local tools to crack password-protected ZIP files.
Bonus: Best ZIP Password Cracker for Windows
Sometimes, you may not find a suitable option to crack ZIP files on a Mac, partly due to the various limitations that Apple has set up for macOS. In these instances, however, you can rely on ZIP password cracker software for Windows. All you need is a Windows PC and some medium to share password-protected ZIP files to the PC.
PassFab for ZIP is an effective way to recover or remove the password from a ZIP file. Unlike the two options we recommended, this powerful decryption software uses multiple methods to find and remove the ZIP file password in the shortest duration possible. You can choose between three options such as dictionary attack, brute-force with mask attack, and brute-force attack.
Even though some of these modes may take time, you have a better chance of finding complex passwords. So, if you can find a PC to install PassFab for ZIP, you do not have to worry about password-protected ZIP files.
How do I open a password-protected ZIP file on a Mac?
If you know the password of the ZIP file, there is nothing to worry about. You can enter the password, which will open like any other file. However, things are a little complex when you forget the file’s password. In such cases, you will need the help of professional password-cracking software or something like the password-remover utility in Terminal.
Can password-protected ZIP files be hacked?
Yes, unlike popular opinion, password-protected ZIP files can be hacked with the help of the right tools. Of course, the decryption process may take time and require system resources, but that is a different story. But the point is that you can circumvent the protection offered by ZIP file encryption algorithm using online or offline tools.
How do I password-protect a ZIP file on a Mac for free?
Because the archive utility on Mac is built into Finder for the most part, you may not find an option to set up passwords for the ZIP file. Therefore, you should get used to the Terminal method, where you can use a variety of commands to password-protect the ZIP file. You can also use Terminal to hack the ZIP file if you forget the password.
What do you think about these methods to hack and crack password-protected ZIP files on Mac? Of course, we wanted to cover maximum results-oriented options. So, if the Mac-exclusive options do not work, you can try the online method or get a PC to install one of the professional decryption tools.