Exactly what the title says. I've got a 1.5 gb zip file on my sdcard that I would like to extract via adb (not pulling to pc and pushing back). Is there a simple command to unzip a file?


2 Answers 2


Yes and no. As far as I'm aware, a typical Android install will not contain unzip. You can, however, install busybox for Android, which provides the unzip utility. Then a simple:

adb shell unzip /sdcard/archive.zip

Would do the trick. If you're rooted you can use a busybox installer from the Market like Stericson's. If you're not rooted then you should be able to manually push a busybox binary (one here on Github, for example; click "raw" to download it) to somewhere like /data/local and then invoke it. It should be something like:

adb push /path/to/busybox-android /data/local/busybox
adb shell chmod 0755 /data/local/busybox #Make it executable
adb shell /data/local/busybox unzip /sdcard/archive.zip

Alternatively, many file managers will unzip files for you. I personally use File Expert but there are a lot of others. Usually you just need to long press on the archive and it will present an "extract" option or similar.

  • Awesome answer. busybox is a powerful tool.
    – Rotemmiz
    Jan 25, 2012 at 10:42
  • 1
    I had to change directory first: adb shell; cd /sdcard; /data/local/busybox unzip archive.zip
    – TomTasche
    Apr 21, 2013 at 8:14
  • The shell user doesn't have permissions for /data/local on my phone — a Galaxy S4 running Android 5. I had to push busybox to /data/local/tmp. Not sure yet if that directory's contents persist across reboots.
    – intuited
    Mar 1, 2016 at 6:46

I was able to use /data/local/tmp as well and able to chmod also. I was not able to do was unzip the zip file I created in windows.

To overcome this, i created the tar file using 7zip and used busybox tar -xvf myzip.tar destination to successfully unzip the file.

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