How to Create and Extract Zip Files on Android

Compressed files, also commonly known as zip files (zip is a format and so is rar) and archives are extremely convenient when it comes to distributing large or multiple files over the internet or other mediums, where storage capacity, bandwidth or connectivity is a concern. You can simply select as many files as you want on your computer for instance and create one compressed file to include all of them. You then have to simply distribute that one file, and receivers can use software to extract its contents, getting all the files you originally compressed. With the increasing reliance on smartphones, it has become common to download files directly, and at times you get compressed files, which are not natively supported by the Android operating system. However, like nearly everything else, there are apps which let you both create and extract zip files directly on your Android device.


  • 1

    Make sure you are connected to the internet and have access to the Play Store in order to download apps on your device.

  • 2

    Use the search function on the Play Store to look for an app called ZArchiver. The app is developed by Ant-ON and is free for downloading.

  • 3

    Once the app is installed, browse through your app drawer and tap on the icon to run it.

  • 4

    The app’s main screen takes you to the root of your internal memory, or SD card. You can scroll down the list to browse through the available folders and files. If you wish to navigate to the external storage, tap the box with two dots, located right on top of the list.

  • 5

    Now you should be in the root of your storage, with access to both internal and external memory. The two are likely to be denoted as sdcard0 (internal) and sdcard1 (external).

  • 6

    Once you navigate to the folder containing the files you want. You can tap on individual files once to open up a list, from where you can select either the ‘extract here’ or ‘compress’ option. You can also long-press a file to open up a different list, from which you can select to copy, cut, rename or delete the file.

  • 7

    If you want to compress a complete folder, long-press the folder title (without opening up the directory) and the popup list should give you the option to ‘compress to (foldername).zip’ on the very top. Select this option to create an archive containing all the files in that folder.

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