How to Zip and Unzip Files on a Chromebook

Learn how to zip like a ChromeOS pro

Using zip files is a popular way of compressing multiple files into one smaller package. Like other operating systems, ChromeOS makes it easy to zip and unzip a file on Chromebook with built in tools. We'll show you how it's done.

How to Zip Files on Chromebook

Zipping and unzipping files both happen in the Files app, which is a built-in app in ChromeOS.

  1. Open your app launcher and click Files.

    The Files button in the Chrome app launcher

    You can also open the Files app by using the keyboard shortcut Shift+Alt+M

  2. Use the left sidebar to locate the files you want to zip. Check the circle in front of each file.

    • To select multiple consecutive files: Click the first file, hold the Shift key, and then click the last file.
    • To pick several files, but not all: Hold down Ctrl and click the files you want.
    • To select all files: Press Ctrl+A, which selects all the files in a location.
    A file selected for compression
  3. Right-click the selected files and then select Zip selection. The files are compressed into a zip file titled Archive.zip. It appears in the same folder as the files you just zipped, alphabetically near the top. If you zip a folder, the name is the same as the folder with a .zip extension.

    Zip selection option in Chromebook right-click menu
  4. If you want to rename the archive.zip file, you can. Right-click the file and click Rename.

    The right-click menu showing the Rename option

How to Unzip Files on Chromebook

Extracting zipped files is not as straightforward. Rather than unzipping the archive, you manually extract files out of it. Fortunately, it's easy to do that.

  1. Navigate to and double-click the archive.zip file in the left pane to open the archive and display the contents.

    An expanded archive.zip file showing individual files
  2. In the expanded archive screen, select and right-click the files you want to extract. Click Copy.

    The right-click menu showing the Copy option
  3. Navigate to the location where you want to extract the files. Right-click and choose Paste. The files you copied are placed in this new location, and you can edit them.

    Pasting archived files into a new location to expand them

    Files in archived folders can be opened without extracting them, but changes cannot be saved.

  4. When you're done, click Eject next to the archive.zip folder in the left column of the Files app.

    The eject button next to the archived zip file