Want to compress some files on your Chromebook, or maybe open a compressed file you recently downloaded? Not every Chromebook user realizes this, but support for zipping and unzipping both .ZIP and .RAR files is built into ChromeOS, meaning your Chromebook can already do it — assuming you know how. There’s also a free application designed to add support for even more filetypes, whether you need to handle .7Z files or tarballs. Let’s dive right in, and show you how to manage archived files on your Chromebook.
How to zip a file in ChromeOS
To get stared, open the file manager on your Chromebook and head to the files you’d like to put inside a zip archive. Select all the files you’d like to include by holding down the Shift key and clicking them one at a time. Once you’ve selected your files, right-click your selection to bring up the context menu. Then, select “Zip selection” from the resulting drop-down menu.
Your Chromebook will now create a .ZIP file containing all of your selected files, which you can then upload to a file-sharing service or attach to an email.
How to unzip files in ChromeOS
Extracting files from a .ZIP archive works a little differently in ChromeOS than other operating systems, and can take some getting used to. Basically, .ZIP files are mounted, like an external drive. Confused? Here’s what that looks like.
Open your Chromebook’s file manager, then browse to the location of your .ZIP file.
Once found, double-click the file to open it. If you pay attention, you’ll see that the .ZIP file has been mounted, and is located in the sidebar of the file manager alongside your Downloads folder, Google Drive account, and any other services you’ve mounted.
If all you need to do is look at a few files, this is probably enough. But if you want to extract files from your archive, open a new file manager window, browse to or create a folder for the files, then drag everything from one window to the other.