How to unzip ZIP file received on WhatsApp

WhatsApp supports many file formats that can be sent and received. Image, video, audio, PDF and more can be opened directly inside it. However, if you have received a ZIP file via WhatsApp on your Android Phone or iPhone, then here are simple ways to unzip it and use the data that is inside it.

Before you read: Please understand that all Android phones are different. So the steps shown here may slightly vary on your phone. But don’t worry. Use your understanding.

How to unzip ZIP file received on WhatsApp on Android phone

  1. Open WhatsApp and tap the tiny arrow button to download the ZIP file if it has not already been downloaded. If you don’t see this arrow, that means the file is already downloaded. Move to step 2.

Downloading ZIP file inside WhatsApp on Android phone

  1. After this, open the Google Files app that is pre-installed on most Android phones and make sure you’re in its Browse section.
  2. You should see a WhatsApp Documents section at the top. Tap it, and you will see the ZIP file you just downloaded from WhatsApp chat in step 1. In case you don’t see “WhatsApp Documents,” tap the Documents & other option inside the Files app, and you will find the ZIP file there.

Open Files app and tap WhatsApp Documents

  1. Tap the ZIP file and then tap Extract.

Extract ZIP in Google Files app on Android phone

  1. The Files app will extract all the contents of that ZIP file and save them as individual items. Tap Done.
  2. Depending on what was inside that ZIP file, those items will be listed under appropriate sections of the Files app, like Documents & others, Images, Videos, Audio, etc.

ZIP extracted successfully and seeing its contents in Google Files app

Super useful tip: To see all the contents of the ZIP file in a folder, open the Files app and tap Internal storage > Android > media > com.whatsapp > WhatsApp > Media > WhatsApp Documents.
Tap Internal Storage and then WhatsApp Documents in Files app on Android phone
Here, you will see the original ZIP file and also a folder of the same name. Tap this folder, and you will find all the contents of this ZIP file inside it. They will not be scattered.
Seeing unzipped ZIP file folder and its contents in Google Files app
Important: The files in WhatsApp Documents folder are inside the WhatsApp system folder. So, touch and hold this folder, tap the three dots menu icon from the top right, and Copy or Move this folder to another location on your phone.

Use a third-party file manager app

Files app is by Google and is already installed on Pixel, Motorola, and many other Android phones. But if that is not available in your country, you can try this second app by Xiaomi.

  1. Download the free MI File Manager app from the Google Play Store. This app works on all Android phones, even if they are not from MI or Xiaomi.
  2. Open Mi File Manager and give it the necessary permissions it asks.
  3. Now, open WhatsApp chat and tap the arrow button to download the ZIP file.
  4. After it downloads, tap the ZIP file. Now tap File Manager Extract files to > Just once. Next, select a folder if you want, and tap Extract.

Extract ZIP file received on WhatsApp using MI File Manager

  1. MI File Manager will extract all files of this ZIP and place them in a folder. Once the process is complete, open the Mi File Manager app and tap the folder icon from the top.
  2. Here, you will find a folder that has the same name as the ZIP file. Go inside it to see all your files.

Seeing contents of WhatsApp ZIP file inside MI File Manager app on Android phone

Remember: You will also see these files and folders inside any other file manager app you might have on your phone, as these files are on your local phone storage and not exclusively in the MI File Manager app.

This is how you can properly unzip files that you receive on WhatsApp. Now, if you have other ZIP files that you have in your SD card or phone storage, you can unzip them by opening File Manager and tapping on them.

Do you see a _MACOSX file?

After unzipping the ZIP file on Android phone or Windows PC, if you see a folder named _MACOSX, you can delete that. This is a system folder by Apple that has no use for you on Android and Windows. Secondly, if you see files whose name starts with a dot (.) like .DS, you may delete them too.

How to unzip ZIP file received on WhatsApp on iPhone

  1. Open the WhatsApp chat and tap the ZIP file.
  2. Tap the share button from the top right.

Tap ZIP file in WhatsApp on iPhone and tap share button

  1. Choose Save to Files.
  2. Tap the back button on the top left of the screen until you reach the Browse screen. The name of the back button here may be <Browse or <iCloud Drive or something else.

Tap Save to Files and hit back button

  1. From here, tap iCloud Drive or On My iPhone. Now, you can stay on this screen and tap Save or go inside a desired sub-folder and then tap Save.

Select On My iPhone and tap Save to add WhatsApp ZIP file to iOS Files app

  1. Open the Files app and tap Browse from the bottom right corner until you see the main Browse locations screen.

Open Files app and go to Browse Locations screen

  1. From here, go to iCloud Drive or On My iPhone, where you saved the ZIP file contents in steps 4 and 5 above.
  2. Tap the ZIP file you see here, and it will automatically unzip into a folder of the same name.

Go to folder that has WhatsApp ZIP file on iPhone and tap it to unzip it

  1. Tap this folder to see all the contents of the ZIP file.

Tap folder that has the same ZIP file name to see its contents

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