Uncompress feature showed in Files app for Zip files on iPhone
Khamosh Pathak

Historically, Apple 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 right from the Files app. Here’s how it works.

How to Zip Files on iPhone and iPad

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

To compress files, you’ll first need to add them to the Files app. You can do this easily using the Share sheet.

RELATED: How to Customize the Share Sheet on Your iPhone or iPad

In this example, we’ll walk you through the process of compressing and uncompressing photos from the Photos app, but it will work using any other type of document.

Open the “Photos” app and navigate to the album containing your photos. From there, tap on the “Select” button.

Tap on the Selection option from the top toolbar

Here, select all of the photos that you want to relocate.

Choose the photos you want to send to Files app

Tap on the “Share” button.

Tap on the Share button in the Photos app

From the Share sheet, select the “Save To Files” option.

Choose Save to Files from Share sheet

Here, you can choose any available location and even create a folder. For now, you can choose the “On My iPhone” or the “On My iPad” option. After you’ve selected the location, tap on the “Save” button.

Choose the folder to save files

Next, go to the “Files” app and open the folder or location where you saved the photos. Tap on the “Select” button.

Tap on Select in Files app

Select all the photos in the folder and then tap on the three-dot Menu button found in the bottom-right corner.

Tap on the Menu button in the Files app

From the pop-up menu, tap on the “Compress” button. Instantly, you’ll see a new “Archive.zip” file in the same folder.

Tap on the Compress option from the menu

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

Tap on Rename option from zip file

From the text box, give the Zip file a new name and tap on the “Done” button.

Rename the file and then tap on Done

How to Unzip Files on iPhone and iPad

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

Again, you’ll need the Zip file to be in the Files app. You can follow the same process we did in the previous section to add a Zip file to the Files app using the “Save To Files” option in the Share sheet. It will work in most apps, including the Mail app.

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

Tap and hold on the Zip file

Tap and hold on the file. From the pop-up options menu, select the “Uncompress” option.

Tap on Uncompress

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

See the contents of the uncompressed zip file


iOS 13, iPadOS 13, and newer also feature a native Safari downloader that integrates directly in the Files app. Follow our guide to learn 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

Khamosh Pathak Khamosh Pathak
Khamosh Pathak is a freelance technology writer who specializes in tutorials. His work has also been published on iPhoneHacks, Zapier's blog, MakeUseOf, and Guiding Tech. Khamosh has seven years of experience writing how-tos, features and technology guides on the internet.
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