How to Unzip Files on Android Devices

Who needs a computer? Learn how to unzip files on your Android device

What to Know

  • First, open the Files by Google app.
  • Then, locate the file you want to expand and tap Extract.

This article describes how to unzip ZIP files on an Android device, regardless of its manufacturer.

How to Unzip Files on Android

In the context of ZIP files, unzipping means extracting the files from a compressed folder. The official Files by Google app does the job.

  1. Go to the Google Play Store and install Files by Google.

    Files Go was rebranded Files by Google in late 2018. If you haven't updated your OS in a while, the app may still be called Files Go on your Android device. Update your version of Android before proceeding.

  2. Open Files by Google and locate the ZIP file you want to unzip. If you downloaded the ZIP file from a website, it may be in the Downloads folder.

    ZIP files always have the .zip extension.

  3. Tap the file you want to unzip. The list of files in the compressed ZIP folder appears.

  4. Tap Extract to unzip the file. After the files are extracted, a list of the unzipped files displays.

  5. Tap Done.

    In the Files by Google app, tap the file you want to unzip, then tap Extract and Done.

All of the extracted files are copied to the same location as the original ZIP file.

Do ZIP Files Work Differently on Smartphones and Tablets?

There is no difference between how ZIP files are managed on Android phones and tablets. ZIP files are compatible with all devices running modern operating systems such as Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows.

Other Popular Unzippers for Android

While opening ZIP files on Android can be done with the Files by Google app, there are several alternative ZIP file extractor apps if you want a dedicated solution. You'll need one of these apps if you want to create ZIP files on your Android smartphone or tablet.

  • ZArchiver: The ZArchiver app is one of the best free ZIP file extractor apps on Android. It features an easy-to-use interface and supports over 30 different types of files including ZIP and RAR.
  • WinZip: Easily the most-famous ZIP app, WinZip's official Android app opens and creates ZIP files and supports ZIPX, 7X, RAR, and CBZ file types. Extra features, such as Google Drive support, require a paid upgrade. WinZip apps can be glitchy and feature ads.
  • RAR: The RAR Android app creates and extracts ZIP and RAR files on any Android device. It also opens TAR, GZ, BZ2, XZ, 7z, ISO, and ARJ files.
  • How do I unzip files on my Mac?

    Unzipping files on a Mac is done via the built-in Archive utility. Other compressed files, like RAR files, will require other software to open.

  • How do I unzip files on my iPhone?

    ZIP files on your iPhone can be opened directly through the Mail app, as well as other apps that support ZIP files. The Shortcuts app is also able to compress and open ZIP files, and there are several third-party apps available that can do the same.

  • How do I unzip files on my Chromebook?

    Unzipping archive files on a Chromebook is done via the Files app. Unlike most other platforms, rather than directly opening the ZIP file you'll be selecting the files within the ZIP archive and copy-and-pasting them elsewhere on your hard drive.

  • How do I unzip a GZ file?

    Most popular archiving programs can be used to unzip a GZ (GZIP) file. In some cases, depending on the file, the GZ may open to reveal a TAR file that will require further extraction—typically within the same program.

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