Q&A: Zipping up a folder

Q I want to send a folder via Dropbox having ‘zipped’ it first. I have tried control-clicking on the folder and the Compress command from the pop-up menu, but nothing happens. How should I do this?

A Normally invoking the Compress command in the Finder’s contextual menu should generate a compressed file with the suffix .zip. If that does not work, find your way to the /System/Library/CoreServices/Applications folder, and locate the app within it named Archive Utility. Put it in the Dock for easy access without moving the app, which would only cause problems.

Click on the Dock icon to open the app, open its Preferences, and ensure it is set to save archives into the same directory using the Zip format.

To zip any file or folder, simply drag and drop it onto the Archive Utility icon in the Dock. If you have a series to compress, you can open the app first before dragging and dropping items on its icon, to save it from opening and closing every time.

If none of these works, there is something wrong in your OS X installation, which you may fix it by re-installing the app from a backup, perhaps.

Updated from the original, which was first published in MacUser volume 31 issue 1, 2015.