Not all PC files work on your Android smartphone or tablet, but there are a few exceptions. For example, you can unzip any archive file. Most smartphones currently have built-in file managers with decompression tools, but if they don’t, you might find a file manager in the app store that can decompress you.
Let’s see how to unzip files and open them when using your Android smartphone or tablet.
How to unzip files on Android
For this guide, we’ll assume that your Android smartphone doesn’t have a file manager with tablet features. If you already have a file manager installed, you can try repeating these steps with the application preinstalled.
- First, visit the Google Play Store and download it Google Files.
- Once installed, open Files by Google.
- Give the app access to your storage when you request permissions.
- Then tap the button Browse at the bottom of the app.
- Find the folder where the zip file is saved. If you download it from the Internet, it’s likely in the downloads folder. Find the zip file and tap the button extracts button.
- Once extracted, a pop-up menu will appear telling you which files have been extracted. You can delete the ZIP file here to save space on your smartphone. By default, the ZIP file will remain on your phone even if you have already extracted it.
- Then tap Finished.
How to Create Zip Files on Android
Creating Zip files is also possible on Android, as long as you download an app with the right functionality.
Unfortunately, most of the apps that offer this feature are not exactly among the best Android apps available. Searching for zip apps is a minefield of intrusive ads, apps that run smoothly or barely, or apps that require unnecessary permissions to run, creating obvious privacy issues.
Be careful when downloading these apps. For this guide, we recommend ZArchiver, which has no ads, and is requesting permissions to access the files, as it should be. ZArchiver doesn’t come without some bugs and issues, but it works most of the time.
- Once you’ve installed ZArchiver, open the app. You will see a simple file browser. Locate the folder that contains the files you want to compress.
- Then tap the three dots at the top and select To create.
- Then select Create a file.
- Choose the file type (go with .zip if you’re not sure), then choose a name.
- Then click Okay. You can then tap to select multiple files for your zip folder.
- Once you’ve selected the files, tap the green mark at the bottom of the screen. If you have been successful, you will see a pop-up message saying file created successfully and you will find the new archive file in the folder where you created it.
Why should I compress files?
When you compress files into one .zip file, it is much easier to send and transfer multiple files at once. A single .zip file can include hundreds of other files and folders, which would be a nightmare to send them individually.
In addition, .zip files reduce the overall file size of your content. This means that you can store files in compressed .zip files and save storage space. It is becoming faster to send compressed files and download them faster due to the compression that occurs. Don’t worry, though: once you unzip a zip file, you’ll get all the files in their original quality.
If you transfer a lot of .zip files, be sure to delete the files after unzipping them, otherwise you will have both the contents of the .zip file and the original .zip, which will take up storage space.
The best Zip and Unzip apps for Android
We’ve already suggested Zarchiver, but there are many alternative apps for compressing and decompressing files on Android.
As mentioned above, many of these have intrusive ads or apply for unnecessary application permissions. We’ve chosen two of the most reasonable options available so you can stay away from a frustrating experience with these types of apps.
RAR by RARLAB
RAR is an application published by RARLAB, the same company responsible for the most popular online zip tool. WinRAR. Unlike WinRAR, the RAR app for Android is not freeware. Instead, you get ads that appear while you use the app and you can pay to remove them. Nor is it a single payment. Instead, you have to pay $ 0.99 a year.
From time to time, RAR freezes or stops, usually when you try to call ads. But when it works, the functionality and user interface of RAR is very simple. Simply tap to select files, folders, or folders, then tap the file or unzip buttons at the top. There is also a trash can button to delete files.
RAR does not request unnecessary permissions.
WinZip: a Zip UnZip tool By WinZip Computing
With WinZip, you’ll see ads at the bottom of the screen, which can be removed with a single purchase of $ 1.49. This also gives you access to cloud backups via Google Drive, Dropbox, and ZipShare.
To use it, simply long-press files and folders in the file browser, then tap the zip button at the bottom of the screen. You can also create new folders to organize files, and unzipping is as easy as clicking the file and tapping unzip.
Overall, the functionality of WinZip is a bit more advanced than RAR. You can quickly mail .zip files from the app and from creating folders in the app. The only frustrating problem is that WinZip will start you in the root directory of your phone every time you create a new file, which means you’ll have to go through multiple folders in some cases to get back to your previous folder.
WinZip does not request any unnecessary permissions, so you do not have to worry about any major privacy issues.
As you can see, unzipping and opening files on Android is very simple. While downloading a trusted app, you should have no problem.
We hope this article has helped you learn how to decompress files on Android. Have a question about archiving apps on Android? Be sure to leave a comment with your thoughts and we will collaborate.