How to zip and unzip files on a Chromebook

Zipping files on a Chromebook? Follow these four easy steps

Want to compress some files on your Chromebook or open a compressed file you recently downloaded? Not every Chromebook user realizes this, but support for zipping and unzipping is built into ChromeOS, meaning your Chromebook can already do it.

We’ll show you how, as well as recommend some free applications designed to add support for even more file types.

Step 1: Find your files

zip-files-chrome

To get started, 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.

Step 2: Zip them up

zipped-files-chrome-done

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.

If that’s all you needed to do, you’re done! Continue on to learn how to unzip and extract those files.

Step 3: Mount the archive to unzip it

chromeos-zipped-files-detail

If you want to unzip those files, or the files from a zip archive you’ve downloaded, that’s fairly easy to do as well.

Once you’ve double-clicked, you’ll notice 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. This is a bit different than how a zip archive is displayed in Windows or MacOS, but keeps things well organized.

Step 4: Extract the files

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.

This will extract those files out of the zip archive and make them accessible for whatever you want to do with them next.

Alternative methods

If you’re not a fan of the default method for unzipping files, there are some alternatives. Zip Extractor is a Chrome application that can extract the contents of zip files and store them within your Chromebook, or directly to your Google Drive. This will unzip your files and place them in their own folder instead of mounting them like a hard drive.

Just install the application, and when you do, you’ll be asked whether you’d like to use it next time you try to open a zip file. The application will unzip files using a web app — meaning it won’t work offline — but it will also extract files in one step instead of several.

If you really want to make sure that all your zipped files can be extracted, no matter the format, we suggest trying Archive Extractor, another Chrome extension that specializes in extracting compressed files of all kinds.

The extension supports password-protect archives, can unpack multipart archives, and works with literally dozens of file formats, including 7z, tar, dmg, crunch, nsa, and many, many more. If you work with a lot of the more esoteric zipped files, this is the best tool you can download.

Computing

Windows on a Chromebook is a dead dream, but something better could replace it

Recent code updates posted in Chromium Gerrit indicate that Google has canceled Project Campfire, ending its plans to let Chromebooks dual boot Windows and Chrome OS. Is hope all but lost on this popular feature?
Home Theater

How to wall mount a TV: Tips and tricks to cut down on frustration

This how-to guide includes a video on how to wall mount a TV, along with other tips and tricks about the process. Step by step, we'll take you through what you have to do to successfully get your TV on your wall.
Gaming

Save your hard-earned cash by learning how to gameshare with friends on PS4

Much like the now-ancient process of mixing CD collections, modern consoles allow you to share your game library with a friend and save some money in the process. Here's our step-by-step guide for how to gameshare on PS4.
Gaming

Want to share your Xbox One games with a friend? Here's how to do it

Sharing games on modern consoles is possible, but it takes a few steps. Here's how to start sharing games on your Xbox One console, so friends and family can easily access your library.
Computing

Is Threadripper dead? If so, AMD has made a huge mistake

Think Threadripper is dead? Think again. AMD's flagship CPU line might not be on this year's roadmap, but it's not dead and could well bring some amazing new enhancements when it returns.
Social Media

6 easy ways to archive all of your favorite Instagram videos

Saving Instagram videos should be just as easy as taking a screenshot. So, we've put together a list of the best apps and tools that save your favorite Instagram videos onto your phone or computer.
Product Review

Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 2 launched last year, but already feels old

Released in fall of 2018, the Surface Laptop 2 was competitive at the time but now must deal with new competitors that were announced at CES 2019. How does the popular Surface Laptop 2 hold up six months later?
Computing

Cybercrime gang that stole $100M busted in international effort

A major cybercrime gang that used powerful malware to steal an estimated $100 million from bank accounts has been dismantled following an international effort that spanned six countries.
Computing

G-Sync is a game-changer. These are the best monitors with Nvidia's display tech

Looking for a monitor that plays well with Nvidia GPUs? You need G-Sync and we have picked the best G-Sync monitors available. Take a look and find out which monitor works best for your PC upgrade.
Computing

Microsoft is discounting this Surface Laptop 2 by a sweet $300

Microsoft is offering a nearly 14-inch Surface Laptop 2 with 256GB of storage at a $300 discount until May 18, 2019. The laptop comes with a PixelSense display, and Intel Core i5 processor and a 720p HD camera.
Product Review

Looking for discrete graphics on the cheap? The Acer Swift 3 will do the trick

The Acer Swift 3 is a tweener laptop that’s not quite budget and not quite premium – and it feels and performs accordingly. It manages to hold its own, though, thanks to its discrete GPU.
Computing

The Razer Core X Chroma is the best external GPU you can buy

The third entry in Razer's lineup of external graphics card enclosures, the Core X Chroma, brings together the best of its previous options in a single package. With RGB lighting and extra USB ports, is this the best you can buy?
Computing

Google recalls Titan Security Key due to hijack risk

Google is offering a free replacement for the Bluetooth Low Energy version of the Titan Security Key. A misconfiguration was discovered in the device, though hackers looking to exploit the vulnerability will find it difficult to do so.
Computing

Whether you want to edit, sign, or append, PDFs, these are the best PDF editors

While there are plenty of PDF editor options online, finding a solution with the tools you need can be tough. Here are the best PDF editors for your editing needs, no matter your budget or operating system.