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.
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.
Here, select all the photos you want to move.
Press the “Share” button.
In the share sheet, select the “Save to files” option.
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.
Then go to the “Files” application and open the folder or location where you saved the photos. Press the “Select” button.
Select all of the photos in the folder, and then press the three-dot Menu button located in the lower right corner.
In the context menu, press the “Compress” button. Instantly, you will see a new “Archive.zip” file in the same folder.
To rename the Zip file, press and hold on it until you see the context menu. Here, tap on the “Rename” option.
In the text box, give a new name to the Zip file and press the “Done” button.
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 file. In the contextual options menu, select the “Unzip” option.
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.
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.