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How to Unzip Files On Android in 2 Easy Steps

Do you regularly find yourself needing to access compressed ZIP, RAR or other archive files while on the go from your Android device? Unzipping these packaged folders and files easily on your phone or tablet can seem daunting at first.

But don‘t worry – with just a couple handy tools and techniques, you‘ll be able to extract archives on Android in no time. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the step-by-step process and offer insider tips to unzip files swiftly like a pro!

An Overview of Unzipping Archives on Android

Compressed archives like ZIP and RAR files are commonly used to bundle together multiple files and folders into one easy to share and store package. According to 2021 reports, over 60% of internet users download these types of archived attachment files on their mobile devices regularly.

Whether it‘s accessing an important document sent as a zipped email attachment, retrieving media files from cloud storage, or even installing apps and games – you‘ll inevitably need to extract archives on your Android.

Unzipping or decompressing these packages allows you to easily access all the individual files and folders bundled within. Android offers several quick methods to handle this right on your device itself. Let‘s check them out.

Step 1: Locating Your Zipped Files

The first step is finding where the ZIP, RAR or other archive file you need to unpack is located on your Android device.

For this, you‘ll need a trusty file manager app. Thankfully, most Android phones and tablets come pre-installed with fully-featured file explorers that make finding your way around a breeze.

For example, Samsung Galaxy devices have the My Files app, Xiaomi phones have File Manager, Motorola phones have File Browser, and so on. Open your device‘s pre-loaded file manager app to get started.
File manager apps on popular Android phones
Built-in file manager apps on common Android devices

These apps provide a straightforward way to browse and search through folders and files on both your internal device storage and external SD card.

Use the search functionality or navigate to the Downloads or Storage folder to locate your archive files. Compressed items are usually saved under the generic "Archive" or "Compressed" categories in most file explorers.
Locating archives in file manager categories
Finding compressed archives under Storage categories

Once you‘ve spotted your ZIP, RAR or 7Z file, tap to open it. This will reveal the contents nested within and allow you to view individual files and folders in the archive itself.

You‘re now all set to move on to extracting those compressed goodies to a location of your choice.

Step 2: Extracting Those Zipped Files

With your archive file opened and its contents visible, it‘s time to unzip and access those individual files and folders.

The easiest way is to long press on the archive file icon and select "Extract" or "Extract Here" from the pop-up menu.
Using Extract Here on long press
Long press and use Extract Here to unzip files

You‘ll then be able to choose whether to extract the contents to internal device storage or your SD card. Pick your preferred location.
Choosing storage location for extracted files
Select device storage or SD card to extract files to

For more control, tap the 3-dot menu within the archive file and choose "Extract To" instead. This allows you to pick a specific folder as the destination.
Using Extract To for picking folder
The Extract To option lets you choose a target folder

You may get prompted to overwrite or rename existing files in the destination location. Make your choice to continue.

The extraction process itself can take from a few seconds to minutes depending on how large the archive is. Once done, you can navigate to the destination folder and access all the individual files and folders from the archive!
Accessing extracted files on Android device
Opening extracted files from the archive on your Android device

Note that the original archive file still remains on your device storage even after extracting contents from it. Feel free to delete the archived copy to free up space.

While the basic process is straightforward, the native capabilities of file manager apps varies across Android versions and manufacturers. Here‘s a quick comparison:

File Manager Unzip Support Special Features
My Files (Samsung) ZIP, RAR, 7Z, ISO Cloud integration, zip creation
Files (Xiaomi) ZIP, RAR, Tar App management, APK installs
File Browser (Motorola) ZIP only Basic file management

As you can see, built-in file managers may lack versatility for handling less common archive types. Third-party apps offer advanced functionality in such cases.

Unzipping Archives with Third-Party Apps

For full control over the unzipping process, dedicated archive utility apps are your best bet. The Google Play Store offers many reliable file extraction apps like:

  • ZArchiver – Supports ZIP, RAR, 7Z, TAR and over 20 formats. Provides encryption and cloud storage capabilities.
  • ES File Explorer – Unzip ZIP, RAR, 7Z, ISO. Also allows browsing cloud services like Google Drive.
  • RAR – Handles RAR, ZIP, 7Z, ISO formats. Can create archives and encrypt.
  • Astro File Manager – Unpacks ZIP, RAR, 7Z, BZ2, GZ, TAR etc. Extra media features included.
  • AndroZip – Quickly extracts ZIP, RAR, 7Z, BZ2. Makes shareable zip files.

I recommend ZArchiver as an all-around top choice for unzipping archives on Android. But feel free to pick the one that best fits your personal usage needs.

Here‘s a quick 2-minute video that walks through installing ZArchiver and using it to extract a ZIP file on an Android device:

{{< youtube id="Bys7IXryRy8" title="Unzipping Files on Android Using ZArchiver App" >}}

As you can see, using a third-party extraction utility is really simple:

  1. Install app from Play Store
  2. Open it and tap on your archive file
  3. Select the items you want to extract
  4. Choose "Extract" and pick a destination folder

These apps make accessing even uncommon archived formats effortless. The ability to create password protected and encrypted archives is an added plus for security.

According to cybersecurity experts, it‘s best to only use reputed apps with many downloads and positive ratings on the Play Store. Avoid sideloading unauthorized apps with extraction capabilities as they pose a malware risk.

When Unzipping On The Go, Exercise Caution

While Android offers handy ways to access your important zipped data on mobile, it also warrants mindful security habits.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Verify email attachments and their sources before downloading and opening.
  • Use trusted cloud storage services like Google Drive when sharing archived files.
  • Enable Play Store protection to avoid untrusted app installs.
  • Grant extraction apps limited permissions for better privacy.
  • Create backups of your data in case of accidental corruption during extraction.

Unzipping on mobile has become an inevitable need for most Android users given how commonly archives are used to share data. I hope this guide has equipped you to handle zipped files swiftly and securely on your phone or tablet.

The key takeaway is that with the right tools like dedicated extraction apps, unlocking the contents of compressed archives on Android can be accomplished in just a couple of taps.

So go ahead and access those critical documents, media files, offline app installers or anything else, without the headache of being "stuck in the zip"!