The Files app on your Chromebook continues to be developed in new and surprising ways. What started as simply a way to access your local and Drive files has become quite well-rounded as of late. A while back, a new zip file manager was able to be activated using several developer flags on the Canary channel of the operating system, but utilizing them only gave the message that it was not yet ready for use (see: Files Zip Mount, Files Zip Pack, and Files Zip Unpack). Now, a new change to the original Chromium Repository commit which was discovered by 9to5Google shows a list of archive types that will be compatible with the new zip service when it officially launches.
Archivemount in Files App
Enable mounting various archive formats in File Manager#files-archivemount
While the Files App for Chromebooks has always only managed standard RAR archives, it’s being expanded to include many new ones that are popular and which will prove useful for a wider range of users. The best part is that unlike Windows, which requires one to install a third-party application in order to manage these file types, Chrome OS will offer it natively.
The big hitters here are .iso files, which are image files (think operating system installs or anything you’d burn to a disc or a thumb drive to run), and .crx, which is actually the archived format that Chrome Extensions come in! 7zip is a popular open-source format for archives, and that’s included here as well, luckily. You’ll also notice that .tar and other Linux archive types are on the list, so increased compatibility with Crostini is clearly the goal!
When Chrome OS 94 rolls around, we should see a full rollout of the new zip file manager, as per the comments on the commit, though it could be later if development doesn’t go according to the developer’s timeline. Do keep in mind that there is also a new system web app version of the Files App on the horizon too, so this is all very exciting. Are there any formats missing from the list that you wish were included? What about the future – would you like to see more added? Let us know in the comments!