July 26, 2021

Chromebooks will soon be able to open more archive file formats


Chromebooks will soon be able to mount and open a lot more archive file formats. As spotted by 9to5Google, Google is working on adding support for many more relevant formats other than the already available .zip and .rar files. This should make life much easier for people who regularly have to deal with a few less common but still ubiquitous archives like .7z and .tgz. The feature could go live in Chrome OS 93, which is slated to come to Chromebooks in September.

While .zip and .rar might be the most common archive formats on the web, there are still a lot of other file types around that Chrome OS hasn’t natively supported so far. There are Linux apps and (more or less trustworthy) online tools that can fill the gap, but having a native solution is far more convenient.

A recent commit to the Chromium Gerrit gives us the full overview of which file formats will be supported:

  • 7z
  • bz2
  • crx
  • gz
  • iso
  • rar
  • tar
  • tbz
  • tbz2
  • tgz

The commit also shows that Google wants to ship the new extraction options in Chrome OS 93, which is currently available in the dev channel. The update is slated to go live for everyone in early September, but to make use of the new extraction options, you’ll initially have to enable a flag (chrome:flags#files-archivemount). Once Chrome OS 94 rolls out in late September/early October, the newly supported archive types will be supported for everyone by default.

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