B1 Free Archiver: create and extract archives on Android

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 16, 2013
Apps, Google Android

The Android operating system does not support that many archive formats by default. It lacks support for file formats such as rar or zip for example, and if you want to open those archives directly on your phone or tablet, you are out of luck unless you install third party apps to help you with that.

B1 Free Archiver for Android is one of the highest rated applications of its kind. It can not only extract more than 30 different archives, but also create them for you if you are ever in the need to pack files on your device.

The program integrates nicely with your device. It maps supported archives format to the application so that you can open archives that you download or transfer with just a tap. This works from the notification area or any other file manager that you may use.

B1 Free Archiver review

Once you have installed the application on your device, Android 2.1 or up is required for that, you can use it directly by tapping on one of the downloads displayed in the notification area of your phone or tablet, or on a file in the system's file manager.

As far as support goes, zip, rar, 7z are supported as well as the native b1 format. The context menu displays a list of actions, like viewing or extracting the archive, that you can run right from here.

b1 free archiver

If you select View archive, it displays a list of files and folders that it contains. Here you get other options, including the extraction of individual files or to open them right after extraction.

The three extract options are self explanatory, basically providing you with the means to extract the contents of the archive to the current folder, a subfolder that is named like it, or to another folder you specify.

The open with action finally allows you to pick another application that you want to use instead.

Instead of having to open archives from the notifications area or default file manager, you can also open it directly from within the app. It provides a listing of folders and files just like the Android file manager does.

The archive creation icon is displayed in the top right corner of the screen. Just tap on it and select one or multiple files that you want to pack. The app can create zip or b1 archives, and supports password protection on top of that.

android create archive

B1 Free Archiver for Android supports password protected archives, and can extract them just like any other on the system, provided that you enter the correct password.

The app offers several other features of interest. If you long-press an archive in the app, you get a large list of actions, ranging from extracting, moving or copying it to sending, renaming or deleting it. Plus, you can add important archives to the bookmarks feature so that you can access them quicker from that point in time on.


B1 Free Archiver leaves little to be desired. It can extract all important archive formats, and also supports the creation of archives. While that is rather limit in terms of formats that you can create, it should be sufficient for mobile use.

If there is one thing to criticize, it is the lack of options that you get here. There is no option to select the compression strength for example.


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  1. Keith G. said on July 15, 2014 at 1:20 am

    I tried this tool, and found it frustrating. The installation takes a long time compared to similar tools, and when running it the first time the application went into “not responding” mode several times. Then I discovered the deal breaker: When invoking the program via the Explorer context menu there is no option to create a 7-zip format file, only B1 and Zip. I also compared the output of B1 Archiver and 7-Zip when compressing a moderately sized directory of source code and runtime files, finding that the size difference between the two formats small enough to not bother with B1 anymore. I uninstalled it and went with Easy 7-Zip.

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