How to Hide a ZIP Archive in an Image File on a Mac

If there are some sensitive files on your Mac that you do not want others to have access to, you might want to hide them from public view. There are various ways to hide files on a Mac, and you can even encrypt the files if privacy is your biggest concern.

While the traditional methods of hiding a file leave traces so that others know you have hidden something, a new method that we are going to show you in the following guide does not let anyone know you have actually hidden something. What the method described below does is hide your files inside another file, and users will only see that other file and not the content hidden in it.

Note: the following method is not a failsafe method to hide your files from prying eyes.

First, place all of the files that you wish to hide in a ZIP archive. You will then hide this archive in an image file, so also keep an image ready on your Mac. Make sure all of these files are placed on your desktop.

In the below example, I have two files named “Letter.docx” and “Format.docx” inside a ZIP archive called “” I will hide this zip archive in an image file called “New_York.png.”


1. Launch Terminal by clicking on Launchpad in your dock and searching for and clicking on it.


2. When Terminal launches, type in the following command and press Enter. It will change the current working directory to the desktop.

cd Desktop


3. Once the directory has been changed to Desktop, type the following command into Terminal and press Enter. This is the command that will help you hide your ZIP archive inside an image file.

cat New_York.png > NewYork.png

Here’s the breakdown of the command:

catcat stands for concatenation which means merging two files together

New_York.png – It is the image file in which the files are going to be hidden. Replace it with the name of your image. – It is the ZIP archive in which your sensitive files are located.

NewYork.png -It is the resulting image that will contain the image itself plus the archive you wish to hide.


3. As soon as you have run the above command, a new file will be created on your desktop named “NewYork.png” that now contains your ZIP archive in addition to its own content.


4. When you double-click the newly created file, it will open as an image in your media viewer and will not show any sign of a hidden archive. Only you know what exactly it cobtains.

5. To extract the archive from the image, you can use the following command in Terminal, and it will extract your ZIP archive from the image to your Mac.

unzip NewYork.png


6. You will get the following message in the Terminal window indicating what files have just been extracted from the image file. These are the sensitive files that you had placed in the archive.


If you wish to hide some files on your Mac without letting anyone know, the above method can help you do that.

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