How to Compress and Extract ZIP Files on iPhone and iPad

With the release of iOS 13 and iPadOS 13, Apple has added functionality to extract ZIP files on your device. Besides extracting the ZIP file, you can also create ZIP files right from the Files app. In this tutorial, we are going to show you how to compress and extract ZIP files on iPhone and iPad.

The Files app on iOS 13 allows you to extract or compress files natively. But it supports ZIP and RAR formats only. So, we have also explained other method that allows you to work with other archive formats as well. Plus you can use it on iOS 12 also.

SEE ALSO: How to Disable Auto-Brightness in iOS 13?

Compress and Extract Archive Files on iPhone and iPad

Files app supports only two file formats (ZIP and RAR) and there are some limitations for compressing files too. So, if you are willing to extract other archive formats like TAR or 7z without any restriction, you have to use the Shortcuts app method as explained below.

If you are using iOS 12, you can use the Shortcuts app method to zip and unzip files seamlessly. Let’s get through this for iOS 13 & iPadOS 13 first.

1) Compress and Extract Files on iOS 13 and iPadOS 13

With iOS 13 Apple has provided native support for extracting both ZIP and RAR files. However, while compressing, you can only compress a folder to the ZIP file format, not RAR. While it’s adequate for most purposes and works pretty great. If you want more options, you can move to the next section. Let’s see how to extract and compress ZIP files on iOS 13 and iPadOS 13.

A) Un-compress or Extract Zip Files

To extract (uncompress) a ZIP or RAR file on iOS 13 and iPadOS 13, open the Files app on your iPhone or iPad and go to the file you want to unzip. Now, tap and hold the compressed file to see the options. At the bottom of the list, tap on Uncompress. The selected archive will be extracted to a new folder right there in the same folder.

select uncompress to extract selected zip file
Select Uncompress to extract the selected ZIP file

B) Compress Files in iPhone

Similarly, to compress a folder on your iPhone or iPad, tap and hold the folder icon that you want to compress and select the Compress option at the bottom. A ZIP file will be created in the same folder.

select folder to compress zip files
Tap on the folder and select Compress

SEE ALSO: How to Create Portable version of Applications for Windows?

2) Compress or Extract Zip Files in iOS 12 and other Archive Formats

If you are using iOS 12, you can use the Shortcuts app on your iPhone to compress or extract zip files. Besides that, if you want to use other archive formats like TAR, GZ, etc., you should follow these steps.

Step 1: Create a New Shortcut

First, open the Shortcuts app and tap on the [+] icon in the top-right corner. Now, search for “zip” and tap on Make Archive for compressing files. You can also add Extract Archive for uncompressing or extracting files as another shortcut.

create shortcut make archive extract archive
Tap Create Shortcut and select Make Archive or Extract Archive

Step 2: Name the Shortcut

Now, tap on the edit icon on the top-right corner and enable the toggle for ‘Show in Share Sheet’. You can also change the name of this shortcut here.

Change settings for shortcut to show in share sheet
Change settings for the shortcut to show in the share sheet

Step 3: Change Shortcut Format

Next, change the format to “Ask When Run“. Now, you can choose your preferred archive format while creating the archive. Finally, tap on the Done button in the top-right corner to save the Shortcut.

make archive set to ask format when run - compress and extract zip files
Set shortcut to ask format when run

Step 4: Test the Shortcut

Our shortcut is ready. It’s time to test it. First, select the file, choose Share with the Shortcuts app, and select the Shortcut that we have just created.

select shortcuts and then select zip files
Select shortcuts and then select Zip Files

Step 5: Create an Archive using the Shortcut

You will be prompted with the Make Archive dialog box. Here, you can change the file format. To change the file format, tap on the format selected, you will see the list of supported formats. Select the desired format and then tap on Done to start compressing the file. You can find the compressed file in the Files app.

make archive select zip format to zip or unzip files
Select zip format to make an archive

SEE ALSO: How to Create a Zip Bomb on Windows?

Zip and Unzip Files on your iPhone and iPad

The above tutorial explained how you can compress and un-compress (extract) ZIP, RAR, and other formats on your iPhone and iPad. While on iOS 13 and iPadOS 13, you will see a native option for compressing and uncompressing the archives but it supports only ZIP and RAR formats. If you are willing to compress and un-compress archives in other formats, you can use the Shortcuts app method instead.

Hope you liked the tutorial. Feel free to write your suggestions and queries in the comment section below.

Editorial Staff

Hi there, we are the editorial staff at WINDOSPC (former HELLPC). We are a team of funny and technical people. Feel free to get in touch with us via Contact-Us page.

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