How to open ZIP, RAR or TAR files on Android smartphones/ tablets?

Android OS is known for its versatility and flexibility. But that doesn’t mean that all functions are allowed in a pre-configured form. Its flexibility comes from the option to choose from an endless array of apps. So when it comes to opening and accessing ZIP, TAR or RAR files, you will have to use the right app to open these folders. The default Android file manager cannot open or create these archive files. This is why you will need a third-party app.

This guide provides you a step by step guide on how to read or open ZIP/RAR or other archived files using an advanced file manager that you can choose from the Google Play Store.

Choose an App

It is recommended to choose a file manager app that can do everything:

  • Compress files
  • Archive and extract
  • Manage
  • Explore
  • Repair damaged files

It should also be able to read most types of archive formats. There are many free Android apps that can do this.

How to Open ZIP, RAR Files on your Android Device

Install the App

Once you have chosen an app, download it on to your Android phone or tablet and install it.

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Using the App

  • Tap the app and open it
  • Navigate to the location where the ZIP/RAR file is saved
  • Before you open the files, it is recommended to ensure that the SD card and your phone’s built-in storage has enough space
  • Tap the zipped folder and open it
  • The app will display its contents
  • Usually it requires nothing more than tapping on the file to read/open it
  • So if the archived folder has images, you can tap on them to open them in My Gallery
  • The app will also provide you options for adding more files to the archive. This is usually represented by a plus sign.
  • You can not only read/open the folder, it can also allow you to extract all the files or selected files
  • You can also delete files from within the archived folder

One such an app is installed on your Android device, you will see several options when you long-press a file or folder in your device. Some of these options include the following:

  • Creating archive
  • Adding to existing archive
  • Create a new folder
  • Copy to clipboard

And much more depending on the app.

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Unpacking Files

Once you have tapped on a folder and chosen the unzip/unpack option, the app will start unpacking the selected files or all the files in the folder. The amount of time taken will depend on the file’s size. After the file(s) have been unpacked, the app will notify you along with the option to access the location of the unzipped files.

So whichever zipped file format you may have, you will need a file manager that can extract and pack files and folders. Make sure to choose an app that provides comprehensive range of functions. The more the features it has, the more things you will be able to do with it.

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