Compressing and Extracting Files on Android

Android devices don’t always allow you to open every file type you might be emailed or download. The same goes for compressing a file or group of files. Depending on what the file is, this might be a big inconvenience. Some file managers let you compress or decompress zip files, but what happens if there is a rar or 7z file you need to open? ZArchiver is a great option for compressing and extracting files on an Android.

Compressing a file on an Android

The process of making a compressed folder is pretty easy actually. After ZArchiver is installed and opened, there are some icons in the top right corner of the window. The one farthest to the right will give you a drop-down menu. In these options is where you will be able to make a compressed folder.


When you click create, you can create a folder or an archive. The archive formats can be 7z, Zip or TAR.


Like many desktop apps, you can choose the settings of the archive. You can add a password, choose the level of compression and even split the archive into multiple volumes.


Once you have all of the settings ready and the archive named, you are ready to add the files. It is a good idea to make sure you are in the correct folder or subfolder so you can easily add the files at this step. You can create a new folder and move all the files there if needed. Tap the files to highlight them and press down arrow icon to create the compressed archive.

Decompressing a file on an Android

Decompressing a file is just as straightforward. When there is a file emailed to you or otherwise downloaded to your Android device, you have a few options. The first option is to view the contents of the compressed archive.

Open ZArchiver and use the file manager to find the archive. click the archive when you find it. You should be presented with a few options, one of which will be View. You will be able to see the folders and files in the compressed archive. If needed, you can extract a single file.


If you want to extract all of them, there are other options. You can Extract here, this will empty the contents into the main folder. You can Extract to ./<Archive name>/, this will create a new folder and extract all of the files into it. This is usually a great option.

File types

This is a list showing all of the compatible file types you can compress, view and decompress. If you notice, there are a lot of not so commonly accessible files on an Android.

Create archive: 7z (7zip), zip, bzip2 (bz2), gzip (gz), XZ, tar

Decompress archive types: 7z (7zip), zip, rar, bzip2, gzip, XZ, iso, tar, arj, cab, lzh, lha, lzma, xar, tgz, tbz, Z, deb, rpm, zipx, mtz

View contents: 7z (7zip), zip, rar, bzip2, gzip, XZ, iso, tar, arj, cab, lzh, lha, lzma, xar, tgz, tbz, Z, deb, rpm, zipx, mtz

Final words

When you use your Android phone for more than calling and texting, you will need apps like ZArchiver. Compressing and extracting files on an Android is very useful. The more apps you have to make your Android more like your desktop will help you be more efficient while you are mobile.

What do you use to open a 7z file on your Android device?

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