Caution filename not matched when unzipping multiple files

By | May 23, 2008

Fix for “caution: filename not matched” error when trying to unzip multiple files at once in Terminal.

Solution for unzipping multiple zip files with a single command.

Open up a Terminal window on OS X, go to the directory containing the zip files and enter this command:

unzip *.zip

The backslash escapes (prevents) the wildcard character (the “*”) from being expanded by bash shell interpreter. In English: the files in the directory are the filenames “unzip” is trying to extract from the first file it finds when using “*”.


/myzips directory contains zip files:

Trying to run: “unzip *.zip” will cause the unzip program to take “” as the archive to play with, and will look for files “” and “” within “” to expand/extract. Obviously not what you want to do.

Not escaping the * character will result in errors like: “caution: filename not matched”.

17 thoughts on “Caution filename not matched when unzipping multiple files

  1. Pingback: Caution filename not matched when unzipping multiple files | Mac OS X Leopard & Tiger Dual Boot | Archive Utility Software

  2. Uncle Ben

    Thanks! I always wondered why “unzip *.zip” didn’t work (as it would in a good ol’ dos box :-D). Cheers.

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  4. Amy

    Finally a reason to why I have been getting this freaking message: “caution: filename not matched”. Thanks for a solution.

  5. Sam

    This is a good little command to have. I’ve run into many problems with zip files.


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