The Unarchiver
Original author(s)Dag Ågren
Developer(s)Circlesoft, MacPaw[1]
Stable release
4.3.6[2] Edit this on Wikidata / 20 October 2022
Operating systemmacOS, Linux using GNUstep libraries, and command line only on Microsoft Windows, Linux, macOS
Available in18 languages
List of languages
English, Arabic, Bulgarian, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Latvian, Norwegian Bokmål, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Turkish
TypeFile Extractor / Decompressor
LicenseProprietary since acquisition[3]
Formerly LGPL

The Unarchiver is a proprietary freeware[3] data decompression utility, which supports more formats than Archive Utility[4] (formerly known as BOMArchiveHelper), the built-in archive unpacker program in macOS. It can also handle filenames in various character encodings, created using operating system versions that use those character encodings.[5] The latest version requires Mac OS X Lion or higher. The Unarchiver does not compress files.[6]

Prior to the purchase by MacPaw in 2017,[7] The Unarchiver was previously free software licensed under the LGPL, up to version 3.11.1 (released 2016).[8][9] The Unarchiver version 3.11.1 provided a free-software implementation of extraction of RAR versions up to RAR5.[10][11]

The corresponding command line utilities unar and lsar are free software licensed under the LGPL[12][13] run on Microsoft Windows, Linux, and macOS.[14]

A main feature of the Unarchiver is its ability to handle many old or obscure formats like StuffIt as well as AmigaOS disk images and LZH / LZX archives, and so on. This is credited in its source code to the use of libxad, an Amiga file format library. Ågren also worked to reverse engineer the StuffIt and StuffIt X formats, and his code was one of the most complete open source implementations of these proprietary formats.


  1. ^ "MacPaw acquires The Unarchiver Mac app, will keep it updated & free". 9to5Mac. 27 July 2017.
  2. ^ "The Unarchiver | Top Free Unarchiving Software for macOS".
  3. ^ a b "End User License Agreement (EULA) for MacPaw Products. Disclaimer and Limitations". Retrieved 2019-01-04.
  4. ^ Popescu, George (19 August 2013). "The Unarchiver – A Better Way to Decompress Archives". Softpedia. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
  5. ^ Seff, Jon. "Mac Gems: The Unarchiver is a free, robust file-extraction utility". Macworld. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
  6. ^ Fenton, William. "The Unarchiver (for Mac)". PC Magazine. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
  7. ^ "MacPaw acquires The Unarchiver and commits to making it even better". MacPaw. 2017-07-27. Retrieved 2024-02-18.
  8. ^ "The Unarchiver". The Unarchiver. Archived from the original on 2017-06-21.
  9. ^ "The Unarchiver source code from 2016 is licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License v2.1". GitHub. 2011-05-11. Retrieved 2024-02-18.
  10. ^ "Another High Priority Project done: The Unarchiver provides free RARv3 extraction tools". Free Software Foundation. Retrieved 2024-02-18.
  11. ^ "The Unarchiver changes". The Unarchiver. Archived from the original on 2017-07-06.
  12. ^ "Unar and Lsar - Command Line Tools for The Unarchiver". The Unarchiver. Retrieved 2024-02-18., including The Unarchiver source code from 2016.
  13. ^ "MacPaw/XADMaster is licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License v2.1". GitHub. 2018-03-21. Retrieved 2020-06-01.
  14. ^ "Command line tools". The Unarchiver. Retrieved 2 March 2019.