Empty Zip Files: Catalina or No?

macOS & Mac Apps

Hi all. So I updated my Mac to Catalina, and noticed something weird. I was downloading some zip files from Audio vault. I don't know whether to think that the zip files I ended up with are empty because of Catalina being weird or is it the website administrators? I'm posting this here because I've downloaded zip files from them before with no problems, using the same config with Catalina and using the same utility thingy that opens when you hit Command plus O on a zip file, and there were no problems. I don't know if Catalina is the problem or the website forgot to put all the files in a zip file archive in there. I should probably download zip files from other locations, but not sure how to test this problem I've found. ... What do you guys think? Catalina or not?



Submitted by Igna Triay on Thursday, October 17, 2019

I think its the websight admins. I've downloaded zip files in catalina and they are fine. Try unzipping them in your iphone to test this out

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Thursday, October 17, 2019

Agreed. It is not mac os 10.15. I download zip files every day and can unzip with no problems.

Submitted by Beth Taurasi on Friday, October 18, 2019

Figured it was the website acting strangely. I’ll have to try again, but yeah. I didn’t think it was 10.15, it struck me as weird.

Submitted by sundog on Friday, October 18, 2019

The same issue. When I updated to Catalina ALL my ZIP file cant open. I even downloaded NEW Zip files on my MacBook that CAN be opened on an iPhone and other computers, but NOT on my 2018 MacBook Pro. I get the message that says " Unable to expand, it is in an unsupported format." Any ideas?? Who else is having this issue? Thanks.

Submitted by Igna Triay on Friday, October 18, 2019

try downloadind the unarchiver from the mac appstore. I haven't had any problems with zip files in mac os catalina, using the unarchiver

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Friday, October 18, 2019

Yep I use and love "the unarchiver" I have not used anything else for 10 years now.

Submitted by Subjeez on Monday, November 11, 2019

I have a couple of zip files that I have previously opened that were still on my hard drive. Just updated to Catalina the other day, and cannot open zips. It goes through the unzipping process, creates a folder, but the folder itself is always empty.

However I just used StuffIt Expander and it worked. I do think this is a Catalina issue.

Submitted by Leo Kage on Friday, November 15, 2019


We are having a similar issue. We deliver a zipped file from our website, and only on Catalina is it broken. Once you unzip it, the .app file loses it's executable permission. So it's just a text file to our users. It's stopped us from releasing any content for Catalina users.

We discovered using a different zip utility fixes the issue, but this doesn't help our users. We also discovered if we unzip, and rezip the file on an older version of OSX it will work on Catalina after. There is something seriously wrong with the unarchiver that comes with Catalina.

Submitted by Ademar on Monday, November 18, 2019

Hey there,

we've noticed that when we use Safari (it works fine on Chrome and Firefox) on Catalina, like described by others, to download a zip file, it will auto unzip it and display that error message.

If we change file permissions to something more promiscuous (like 777) and zip the file, it will open fine. Not the best solution, but it's something.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Monday, November 18, 2019

Why not just use "the unarchiverf" I have files not set to open after downloading as I really don't think for me that is very secure.

Take care