Not all PC files work on your Android smartphone or tablet, but there are some exceptions. For example, you can unpack any archive files. Most smartphones these days have built-in file managers with unpacking tools, but if they don’t, you will probably find a file manager in the app store that can unpack files for you.
Let’s see how to unzip files and open them on an Android smartphone or tablet.
How to unzip files on Android
In this guide, we will assume that your Android smartphone does not have a file manager with an archive option. If you already have a file manager installed, you can try repeating these steps with the pre-installed application.
- First go to the Google Play store and download files from Google.
- After installation, open Files from Google.
- Grant the application access to your store when it asks for permissions.
- Then click the Browse button at the bottom of the application.
- Find the folder where the zip file is stored. If you downloaded it from the Internet, it is most likely in your downloads folder. Find the zip file and click the extract button.
- After extraction, 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 unzipped the files.
- Then click Finish.
How to Create Zip Files on Android
Creating Zip files is also possible on Android, if you download an app with the features you want.
Unfortunately, most of the apps that offer this feature are not among the best Android apps available. Finding zip apps is a minefield of intrusive ads, apps that crash or barely work, or apps that require unnecessary permissions to run, causing obvious privacy concerns.
Be careful when downloading these applications. For this guide, we recommend ZArchiver, which is ad-free and only asks for permission to access the files as it should. ZArchiver is not without bugs and problems, but it works most of the time.
- After you have installed ZArchiver, open the application. You will see a simple file navigator. Find the folder with the files you want to zip.
- Then click on the three dots at the top and select “New”.
- Then select “Create archive”.
- Select the archive file type – use .zip if unsure – and then choose a name.
- Then click OK. Then you can click to select multiple files for the zip folder.
- With your files selected, click the green checkmark at the bottom of the screen. If successful, you will see a pop-up message that the archive was 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 a .zip file, you make it much easier to send and transfer multiple files at the same time. A single .zip file can contain hundreds of other files and folders, which would be a nightmare to send separately.
Also, .zip files actually reduce the overall file size of your content. This means you can store your files in compressed .zip files and save storage space. It becomes faster to send zipped files and download them faster due to the available compression But don’t worry – after unpacking the zip file, you will get all files in their original quality.
If you are transferring a lot of .zip files, be sure to delete the archives after unpacking, because otherwise you will have both the contents of the .zip file and the original .zip, both of which will take up space in your storage.
Best Zip and Unzip Apps for Android
As mentioned earlier, many of them contain intrusive ads or ask for unnecessary permissions for apps. We’ve selected two of the most sensible options available to help you avoid the hassle of this type of application.
RAR by RARLAB
RAR by RARLAB
RAR is an application published by RARLAB, the same company that created the most popular online file archiving tool, WinRAR Unlike WinRAR, the RAR app for Android is not free. Instead, you get ads that appear as you use the app and you can pay to remove them. It is also not a one-time payment. Instead, you have to pay $ 0.99 per year.
Sometimes RAR will freeze or force stop, usually when trying to trigger an advertisement. But when it works, the functionality and user interface of RAR is very simple. Just tap to select files, archives or folders, then tap the archive or unzip button at the top. There is also a trash can button for deleting files.
RAR does not ask for unnecessary permissions.
WinZip – an archive unpacking tool from WinZip Computing
WinZip – Zip UnZip Tool by WinZip Computing
With WinZip, you’ll see ads at the bottom of your screen, which can be removed with a single $ 1.49 purchase. It also gives you access to cloud backups via Google Drive, Dropbox, and ZipShare.
To use, simply press and hold files and folders in the file browser and then press the zip button at the bottom of the display. You can also create new folders to organize your files, and unzipping is as easy as long tapping on an archive and tapping on unzip.
Overall, WinZip has a few more advanced features than RAR. You can quickly mail .zip files from within the app, as well as create folders in the app. The only annoying problem is that WinZip will launch you in the root directory of your phone every time you create a new archive, which means that in some cases you will need to flip through multiple folders to return to the previous folder.
WinZip doesn’t ask for unnecessary permissions, so you don’t need to worry about any major privacy issues.
As you can see, it is very easy to unpack and open files on Android. As long as you download a reliable app, you shouldn’t have any problems.
We hope this article helped you learn how to unpack files on Android. Do you have questions about archiving Android apps? Be sure to leave a comment with your thoughts and we will interact with you there.