Using Firebase Cloud Functions to Unzip Files in Google Cloud Storage

November 17, 2019 | 1 min read

In a recent project, our client needed to upload a lot of small files (hundreds of thousands) to GCS for further processing. Using regular methods, this takes a long time as each file has to be uploaded individually. Our solution was to implement a simple Cloud Function that would automatically unzip every ZIP file that's uploaded.

To get right to the important part, here's the Cloud Function:

import * as functions from 'firebase-functions';
import * as unzipper from 'unzipper';

export const manageZipArchives = functions
  .runWith({ timeoutSeconds: 300 })
  .onFinalize(async (obj: => {
    const file = firebase

    // We only want to deal with ZIP archives
    if (!'.zip')) {

    await file
      .on('entry', entry => {
        const destination = firebase
          .file(`${'.', '_')}/${entry.path}`);

    await file.delete();

With this Cloud Function deployed on Firebase, as soon as a new ZIP file is detected in the default Storage Bucket, it will be unzipped into a subdirectory and then deleted. This works remarkably well for our use case and I hope that you find it useful as well.

If you haven't setup Cloud Functions for your project yet, just run this command in your console:

firebase init

It will ask you which components you need. Select Functions and Storage. You can then select an existing Firebase project that you want to deploy your Cloud Functions to, create a new one, or "Add Firebase to an existing Google Cloud Platform project". Select TypeScript as the preferred language for your functions.

Add the code above to the newly created functions/src/index.ts file and run the following command to deploy it:

firebase deploy --only functions

Et voilà, the Cloud Function is up and running 🚀