Unzipping a DCP

Why ZIP?

We generally deliver DCPs via internet as ZIP files.

If you've purchased a DCP from us, we recommend keeping it in this format. If you're uploading it to your own Dropbox/Google Drive/etc, or sending the DCP to cinemas/festivals, it's best to just upload the ZIP file, and not "unzip" it first.

A DCP consists of several files together, and the DCI spec mandates a particular combination of these files, and the exact file naming. If the DCP has a file moved or renamed, a cinema projector may not be able to play it. Unfortunately web browsers, and many online storage platforms, "helpfully" alter filenames or add file extensions where there shouldn't be one, which can render the DCP invalid.

Keeping the DCP as the single ZIP file we've provided prevents all these problems.

Avoid Safari and Edge browsers

Please avoid downloading DCPs with Safari or Microsoft Edge browsers. Both will "helpfully" unzip the ZIP file when you download it without asking.

Worse, both browsers can't handle ZIP files over 4 GB in size, so they will completely mangle the DCP when they try to unzip it.

We recommend using either Firefox or Chrome browser. Both are free.


If you do need to "unzip", please be aware that not all unzip software supports ZIP files over 4 GB in size (which is almost every DCP).

In particular, Apple Mac's built-in unzip program "Archive Utility" has a horrible bug in it with large files. This bug has been present in Mac's software for over 10 years, so it seems unlikely they're going to fix it any time soon.

The result is that ZIP files created correctly to the ZIP specification won't open on Mac OS. And ZIP files created on Mac won't open anywhere except a Mac. Thanks Apple!

Unzipping on Mac

On Mac, we recommend using The Unarchiver.

The Unarchiver is free to download, and works very well with large ZIP files.

If you are still having problems, please contact us.

Other help topics

Read more