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How to zip and compress files on Android with ES File Explorer

File compression isn't just for desktops and laptops. Android devices can benefit from ZIP files too.

Zip files with ES File Explorer
Ed Rhee/CNET

Compressing multiple files into a single ZIP file can be very convenient. Depending on what you're compressing, it can significantly shrink the size of the files. You've probably used compressed files on a computer before, and they're useful on mobile devices too.

If you're storing files locally on your Android device, compressing them can save you precious storage space. If you need to send files over a mobile connection, compressing them beforehand may also keep your data usage down. One of the easiest ways to compress files on your Android device is using the app ES File Explorer. Here's how:

Step 1: Launch ES File Explorer and navigate to the files you want to compress.

Step 2: Long-press on a folder to compress the whole folder. To select specific files, long-press on one of the files to enable multiple selections, then select the other files.

Step 3: After you've selected all the files for your ZIP file, tap on "More," then select "Compress."

Select files to compress
Screenshot by Ed Rhee/CNET

Step 4: Type in a name for your ZIP file, select a compression level, set a password (optional), then press the "OK" button.

ZIP file options
Screenshot by Ed Rhee/CNET

That's it. When the compression completes, you'll see the ZIP file listed in the folder you were working in. To e-mail the file or upload it to the cloud, long-press on it, then select "Share."