Extracting files with Progress

2 minute read

With today’s topic we will see how to extract files with Python and show progress as well.

We will be using zipfile, os, and tqdm to extract the files today. In the fast movement of today we all like to see progress. It makes us all feel better to see something moving rather than a flashing cursor.

To being lets see the simple way to extract files with the zipfile module.

from zipfile import ZipFile

filetoextract = "zip_10MB.zip"
with ZipFile(filetoextract,"r") as zip_ref:

After specifying the zip file we can read the Zip file the same way we can with files using the with command. We call the extractall() method and specify the location to extract to, the current directory in our example. The files will also be placed in a folder using the same name as the Zip file.

Next we need to add the progress bar as this will just flash on the screen until it is complete. The progress bar is with the help from the tqdm module. This is a great module to use for any kind of progress bars when working with Python scripts.

In a simple example we can show how tqdm can be used. We will count to 10 and for the loop part of the loop, sleep 1 second. Otherwise it’ll complete so fast you wont see the progress. For almost any for loop we can plug in the tqdm module to add some progress.

import time
from tqdm import tqdm

for i in tqdm(range(10), desc="Sleeping"):

Back to our file extraction example we will update our with statement and loop over each file.

 with ZipFile(filetoextract,"r") as zip_ref:
     for file in tqdm(iterable=zip_ref.namelist(), total=len(zip_ref.namelist())):

We need to pass an iterable object in and the zip_ref.namelist() generates a list of the files in the zip file. Adding this tqdm has something to iterate over in the loop. The total variable sets the length of the progress bar. And the zip_ref.extract(member=file) is extracting the file in the X position of the for loop and extracts that one file and then moves to the next file.

Try extracting Zip files with different amount of files and file sizes and you can see the progress bar adjust accordingly. What is nice as well with tqdm is it’ll also show the estimated time and the bits per second.

In the full example I have added some additional checks if the path to the Zip file exists and if the Zip file is a valid file.

I have used the 10 MB sample Zip file from file-examples.com which is also in the GitHub repository for our Python code.

For further learning please check out the documentation for zipfile and tqdm.

Full code for this is on GitHub.