Extracting Compressed Files on a PC and Mac
After downloading a zipped folder, you must extract the files to use them. After extracting, you may then delete the zipped folder.
On a PC, double-click to open the zipped folder and drag the files out. Another easy method in Windows is to right-click on a zipped folder, and select Extract All from the context menu, which gives an option to select a destination.
For a Mac:
To unzip an archived file, double-click on the zipped folder, or using Finder, locate the zipped files, right-click and select Open With > Archive Utility. The files will extract to the same directory as the zipped archives. You can select multiple archive files by using the Shift-or Command-click selection methods.
If your downloaded file is archived in a different format than ZIP, such as RAR, there are free third party free apps available to do the job.
PeaZip Extractor http://www.downloadcrew.com/article/33203-peaextractor
This very simple app extracts several types of archived files, including ZIP and RAR. It keeps the extraction process as quick and easy as possible, by dragging and dropping a compressed file onto the PeaExtractor window, and clicking OK. By default this extracts the contents of that archive to the same folder. It also provides a simple context menu. Right-click an archived file and you can extract it to the current folder, or another folder of your choice.
Bitser for Windows http://www.bitser.org/download_zip.shtml
This free software for managing archives and backups is a favorite of mine. It supports over 20 compression formats, including ZIP and RAR. What I like best about Bitser is it can extract a whole folder full of compressed files at once. Just select multiple files, right click on them, select Bitser from the context menu which pops up, and watch it go to work extracting each one. You are given a choice where to extract the files.
The Unarchiver http://wakaba.c3.cx/s/apps/unarchiver.html
This is an open source app which supports a wide range of archive formats, including ZIP and RAR. It works seamlessly within OS X just like the built-in Archive Utility. After installing this app, to extract a compressed file, simply double-click on the file; The Unarchiver will create a folder with the same name as the archive and extract its contents into the folder.
Windows and Mac:
This is a universal free archived file opener for ZIP, RAR, and several other formats. At the download page, look under the screenshot for the download links for Mac and Windows versions.