Need to open a password protected zip on Mac OSX?

Recently we were sent a password protected zip file at work. If you have ever tried to double click open a protected zip file you know that you will get an error not a password prompt.

If we ignore third party applications to open these files we are left with running the unzip command from terminal. You can use the option “-P password” where you replace the word password with actual password used to protect the file. An example command might look like:

This may have been good enough for me. But we have less technically inclined folks in our group who needed access to the provided files. So I made an Automator that everyone in the group could reuse for even future files. The Automator needed several features.

  1. Provide a GUI browser selection box to choose the protected zip file.
  2. Prompt for the password needed to unzip the file.
  3. Send the content to the user’s desktop regardless of whom ran it.

Here is how we build the Automator. The key components are the use of variables within Automator and a shell script object that takes the file and password as arguments that were provided by the user.

Continue reading “Need to open a password protected zip on Mac OSX?”


What a week. I wish I could have Automated a few folks this week.

I love Automator on my mac. It can just make certain tasks so easy to setup and repeat. Recently, I posted a couple of useful Automator tricks over on Now that I have gotten better with it I want to redo my modification of Paul Asadoorian’s nmap scripts. It was a fun trick to map a network and bring it into Mind Manager as a map. I will play with it and see if I can turn it into a saved Automator application that just makes you select the text source file of networks to scan. It has been a long week and time for bed.

Here are my recent Automator posts from