How to Quickly Zip and Unzip Files on iPhone and iPad

Decompression function displayed in the Files application for Zip files on iPhoneKhamosh Pathak

Historically, Apple has made it quite difficult to work with Zip files on iPhone and iPad. Now, starting with iOS 13 and iPadOS 13, Apple has integrated native support for Zip files directly from the Files application. This is how it works.

How to compress files on iPhone and iPad

The Files app got a huge upgrade with iOS 13 and iPadOS 13, finally support for external storage on the iPhone and iPad. But one of the little things was native support for Zip files. You will no longer need to download third-party applications and switch between applications simply to open a Zip file.

To compress files, you must first add them to the Files application. You can do this easily using Share.

RELATED: How to customize the share sheet on your iPhone or iPad

In this example, we’ll show you how to compress and decompress photos from the Photos app, but it will work with any other type of document.

Open the “Photos” application and access the album containing your photos. From there, press the “Select” button.

Press the Selection option in the upper toolbar

Here, select all the photos you want to move.

Choose the photos you want to send to the Files app

Press the “Share” button.

Tap the Share button in the Photos app

In the share sheet, select the “Save to files” option.

Choose Save to share sheet files

Here you can choose any available location and even create a folder. For now, you can choose the option “On my iPhone” or “On my iPad”. After selecting the location, press the “Save” button.

Choose folder to save files

Then go to the “Files” application and open the folder or location where you saved the photos. Press the “Select” button.

Tap Select in the Files app

Select all of the photos in the folder, and then press the three-dot Menu button located in the lower right corner.

Press the Menu button in the Files app

In the context menu, press the “Compress” button. Instantly, you will see a new “Archive.zip” file in the same folder.

Press the Compress option in the menu

To rename the Zip file, press and hold on it until you see the context menu. Here, tap on the “Rename” option.

Tap the Rename option from the zip file

In the text box, give a new name to the Zip file and press the “Done” button.

Rename the file, then tap Done

How to decompress files on iPhone and iPad

The process of decompressing an archive in the Files application is even easier than compressing a folder.

Again, you will need the Zip file to be in the Files application. You can follow the same process as we did in the previous section to add a Zip file to the Files application using the “Save to files” option in the share sheet. This will work in most applications, including the Mail application.

Now go to the location where you saved the Zip file.

Press and hold on the Zip file

Press and hold on the file. In the contextual options menu, select the “Unzip” option.

Tap Unzip

Instantly, you will see a new folder with the same name as the Zip file. Tap it to view the contents of the Zip file.

View the contents of the uncompressed zip file

iOS 13, iPadOS 13 and newer also have a native Safari downloader which integrates directly into the Files application. Follow our guide on how to use the feature and change the default download location in the Files app.

RELATED: How to download files using Safari on your iPhone or iPad

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