Want to compress multiple files on your Chromebook or open an archive you recently downloaded? It’s easy, because Chrome OS includes a built-in tool for packing and unzipping ZIP archives. No third-party software is needed.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to compress and decompress files on a Chromebook. We’ll also list two free apps designed to add support for even more file types.
Create an archive
Since the archive tool is built into Chrome OS, you don’t need to upload or find anything except the files you want to compress. If you just compress a single file – a huge PSD, for example – the resulting file will have the same name. If you compress multiple files, the archive will be automatically saved as archive.zip. The built-in tool does not allow you to create and save an archive in a location other than the source file (s).
Step 1: Click it Files icon located on the shelf. It looks like a folder.
2nd step: Find the files you want to compress into a zip file.
Step 3: Click and hold your mouse button to draw a box around the files you want to add. To select specific files in a directory, do not draw a box. Instead, press the Ctrl button by clicking.
Step 4: Once you have selected your files, right-click and select Zip selection in the context menu.
Step 5: Right click on your new archive and rename the file if necessary.
Unzip an archive
Unzipping files is quite easy. The only unusual aspect of Google’s built-in method is that Chrome OS mounts archives as a drive instead of opening them as a stand-alone folder. This is different from the way Windows and MacOS handle archives.
Step 1: Double-click on the archive you want to unload. Chrome OS mounts it and lists it on the left (see below) in Files.
2nd step: Select the files you want to extract.
Step 3: Right click and select Copy in the context menu.
Step 4: Navigate to the destination where you want to save these files.
Step 5: Right click and select Dough in the context menu.
Step 6: When you’re done, click the arrow Eject icon displayed next to the zip file mounted in Files (see above).
Step 7: Delete the archive if necessary.
External tools, like Zip Extractor, can help extract and store the contents of the zip file. Zip Extractor is a web-based Chrome application that manages and stores files on your Chromebook or Google Drive. This tool can unzip files in these locations and redistribute them into folders instead of organizing them like a hard drive. The first time you run Zip Extractor, the service will ask you if you want to use it as the default tool to open zip files in the future.
The downside of Zip Extractor is that it is exclusively an internet application. Without Wi-Fi, it won’t work. However, as long as you never need it offline, this tool remains a simple and convenient option.
Archive Extractor is excellent for unloading archives that are not zip files. It is an extension that you can plug into Chrome that successfully extracts several types of compressed files. We mean 7-Zip, TAR, DMG, crunch, NSA and many more. Archive Extractor is able to support password protected files and multi-faceted archives.
This tool is particularly suitable for anyone who regularly works with unusual files.