AbstractDue to their low symmetry in crystal structure, low elastic modulus (∼45 GPa) and low yielding stress, magnesium (Mg) alloys exhibit strong inelastic behaviors during unloading. As more and more Mg alloys are developed, their unloading behaviors were less investigated, especially for rare-earth (RE) Mg alloys. In the current work, the unloading behaviors of the RE Mg alloy ZE10 sheet is carefully studied by both mechanical tests and crystal plasticity modeling. In terms of the stress–strain curves, the inelastic strain, the chord modulus, and the active deformation mechanisms, the substantial anisotropy and the loading path dependency of the unloading behaviors of ZE10 sheets are characterized. The inelastic strains are generally larger under compressive Loading–UnLoading (L–UL) than under tensile L–UL, along the transverse direction (TD) than along the rolling direction (RD) under tensile L–UL, and along RD than along TD under compressive L–UL. The basal slip, twinning and de-twinning are found to be responsible for the unloading behaviors of ZE10 sheets.