How to compress files on Android

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Have you ever performed an unwanted hard drive cleanup, and after a few hours of carefully selecting the files you want to delete, your poor hard drive is still running out of space? Or maybe it takes too long to transfer this Blu-ray movie from your smartphone to your computer because the file is too big. Let’s talk about how to compress your data on an Android.

Understand data compression

Data compression is a method by which you compact your data by encrypting parts of it, thus reducing its overall size. It usually works by reducing repeating data by arranging it differently or by encoding it in shorter bits. Different types of files have different methods of compressing files.

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Types of compression

There are two types of compression. There is lossless compression, which organizes and encodes the data and reduces the overall size without removing any amount of data, while maintaining the same data quality. This is crucial for software files because if you lose some data, the software won’t work at all.

Then there is lossy compression, which reduces the amount of data and quality while retaining key information. In this way, the data can always be identified and used. It places a strong emphasis on reducing the size (bytes). It is useful for compressing images, audio and video because we can still recognize its key characteristics even if it is missing pixels.

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What is a ZIP?

A ZIP file is a lossless compressed data format. It is developed by PKWARE.Inc, released on February 14, 1989. ZIP allows you to keep files in a ZIP archive for better storage or transfer them to another system. However, you cannot use or run a particular file while it is archived or compressed. It is a versatile file format for use on various platforms, which is why it is still used now, 31 years later.

To explain how ZIP works, all the information on your computer is actually just 8 strings of 1’s and 0’s, or as the technicians called it, a “byte.” The ZIP system determines which is the most common byte in your file, ordering it from most common to least common. The most common byte is replaced with a variable that is a bit (such as the number 1 or 0). Then the second most common byte is replaced with 2 bits (two numbers, such as 10,11 or 00).

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Then the third most common byte is replaced by 3 bits and so on until the bytes reach redundancy. This way, the size of the sum file is much smaller than that of the uncompressed version.

How can I compress a file?

We will do this with two of the most popular data compression applications, WinZip and Zarchiver.

WinZip

First, we will use the WinZip application.

1. Download the application from Google Play. It is one of the most popular data compression apps on the Play Store.

How to compress files on Android

2. Open the application. You will be greeted by the interface.

How to compress files on AndroidHow to compress files on Android

3. Browse and select the files you want to compress and press the ZIP button on the bottom tab.

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How to compress files on AndroidHow to compress files on Android

4. Select the directory of the compressed file, then press “zip here” on the bottom tab. And that’s it! your files are now compressed and ready for further action.

How to compress files on Android

Zarchiver

Now we are going to do the same compression process with Zarchiver.

1. Download the application from Google Play.

How to compress files on AndroidHow to compress files on Android

2. Open the application.

How to compress files on AndroidHow to compress files on Android

Step 3. Select and locate the files you want to compress. Hold down and press the push button.

How to compress files on AndroidHow to compress files on Android

4. Select the zip file format. You can also adjust the compression level to determine how much you want the files to be compressed. You can also assign a different name to the file, determine the directory of the archived file, give the file a password, and divide the file into multiple parts.

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How to compress files on AndroidHow to compress files on Android

5. When all settings are complete, press OK.

And that’s it! Your files should now be securely compressed.

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