Thanks to the advantages the ZIP format provides, file compression is common, especially where large file sizes are involved. From time to time, you might download a ZIP file on your Android phone. To read its contents, you must unzip the file first.
Here’s how to open zip files on Android.
What Is a ZIP File?
A ZIP file is an archive of one or more files compressed together using a compression algorithm. .ZIP is one of the many types of compressed file formats and one of the most common forms of compressed files you’ll see around. Other common compressed file formats include RAR, 7Z, and GZ.
Unlike normal files, which you can open directly with compatible applications, compressed files must be uncompressed before you can see what’s inside.
How to Unzip Files on Android
To unzip files on Android, we’ll need an app that provides such functionality. Not all file managers on Android do. This tutorial will use Files by Google, pre-installed on Android One devices, Android GO devices, and Google’s Pixel series. It’s also available as a free download from the Play Store.
Before you extract a file, you’ll need to have sufficient space for this process to take place. Without adequate storage, you’ll receive a “memory full” error. It shouldn’t be an issue unless you’re working with very large files, but to avoid this, check out our tips on how to free up storage on your Android device.
- Download and install Files by Google from the Play Store if it’s not available on your device already.
- Open the app, then navigate to the folder containing your ZIP file (ZIP files have a .ZIP file extension).
- Tap the ZIP file and select Extract from the pop-up to start the process.
- Once extraction is finished, the app will display a preview list of all the extracted files.
- If you no longer need the ZIP file, select the Delete ZIP file checkbox and tap Finished.
Files by Google extracts files and stores them in the same folder as the original ZIP file. If you choose the Delete ZIP file option, the original file will be deleted but the contents will remain in that folder.
Other Apps for Opening Zip Files on Android
Besides Files by Google, you can use other apps to do the same on your Android smartphone. Here’s our list of the best apps for opening ZIP files on Android.
WinZip is the mobile version of its famous desktop counterpart. The app supports ZIP and ZIPX file formats, but you can opt for the Windows version if you need more file format support. You can also compress and encrypt ZIP files using the app, but the latter is a paid feature.
Another key function that gives WinZip an edge is integration with three of the most common cloud storage solutions: Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive. This integration enables you to open ZIP files stored in the cloud, copy files from the cloud to your device, and save your files to the cloud.
Additionally, you can view archive contents without unzipping.
Follow these steps to unzip files in WinZip on Android:
- Open the app and select All Archived Files on the home screen.
- Tap the three-dot menu adjacent to your archive of choice and select Unzip.
Download: WinZip (Free, in-app purchases available)
ZArchiver is another excellent program for opening ZIP archives on Android. The app supports lots of compressed file formats, from the most common ones to not-so-common formats. Some supported file formats include 7zip, RAR, RAR5, BZIP2, GZIP, XZ, ISO, and TAR, to name a few.
ZArchiver lets you view archive contents on select formats without uncompressing, and you can create your own password-protected archives as well if you want to. The app also includes support for split archives, although this is not available for many file formats.
The file extraction process in ZArchiver is as follows: tap your ZIP file, then select Extract here or Extract to. Use Extract… to dictate where your uncompressed files should be located.
Download: ZArchiver (Free)
RAR is another all-in-one file management program. Made by the same developers behind WinRAR, it can open RAR, ZIP, 7Z, ISO, and other file types. You can compress files as well, in select file formats. RAR can view ZIP and RAR archives without opening them, and the app is lightweight and easy to use.
RAR comes with additional functionality, including the ability to test and repair damaged archives. But like on Windows, the repair feature is not highly reliable.
To open a ZIP file in RAR, tap and hold the archive, select either Extract files to…, Extract files… or Extract here. Select Extract files to… to choose your preferred location.
Download: RAR (Free, in-app purchases available)
ALZip supports the most popular compressed file formats, ZIP, 7z, and RAR. But in addition to these two, you can also decompress other file formats. It also includes additional features like split archives, and a way to preview files before uncompressing an archive.
Additionally, ALZip supports drag-and-drop functionality, so you can easily create an archive by dragging a file to another one, and move or copy files between folders.
Unzipping a file in ALZip is easy. Navigate to your ZIP archive, tap and hold the file, and select Extract. Now choose where the extracted files should be stored, and tap OK.
Download: ALZip (Free)
You can also use the Zip-Unzip-File Extractor to open ZIP files on your Android smartphone or tablet. It’s a lightweight app, and, as the name suggests, you can create and open ZIP files. Encryption is available for securing your ZIP archives, too.
Like other apps in the list, you can view the contents of an archive before unzipping.
The only downside to Zip-Unzip is it only supports ZIP files. However, it has a friendly user interface which is one of the app’s key features.
To unzip a file, tap the Compressed Files option in the app’s home screen, navigate to your ZIP file, and tap the adjacent three-dot menu to the file. Finally, tap Extract Here.
Download: Zip-Unzip-File Extractor (Free)
Open ZIP Files on Android
Knowing how to open ZIP files on Android is essential because, whether you like it or not, you will bump into this type of compressed file format from time to time.
Files by Google makes the whole process easy, but it only supports ZIP files. For RAR archives, check out the list we’ve compiled on the best RAR file extractors on Android.
Need a RAR file extractor for Android? Here are the best apps for working with RAR archives on your Android device, and they’re free.
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