How to Open and View ZIP Files on iPhone and iPad

In the past years, Apple devices had a love-hate relationship with ZIP files. These compressed files were fully supported on iPhone, iPad, and iPod, but opening them was difficult. Today, however, that is not the case. Depending on where you find the ZIP file, you can use various methods to open and view ZIP files on iPhone and iPad. It is all thanks to the updates that iOS and iPadOS have received in the recent past. So, if you have any confusion about opening and viewing ZIP files on iPhone and iPad, you should keep reading. In this guide, we have included step-by-step tutorials on how to do the same from different environments.

Method 1. Open and View ZIP Files on iPhone and iPad through the Mail App

You can use this method if you receive a ZIP file through the Mail app. The best part? The method will work on the official Mail app as well as third-party webmail apps like Gmail. You can follow the same steps on an iPhone and iPad as well. For reference, we have used the screenshots from an iPhone 11 running iOS 12.5.

Step 1. Open the Mail app (or the Gmail app) on your iPhone or iPad. These devices must be running the latest version of iOS or iPadOS.

Step 2. Now, find the email thread where you have received a ZIP file as an attachment.

Received a ZIP file as an attachment in iPhone Mail App

Step 3. Tap on the attachment and wait for a few seconds.

Tap on the ZIP file Preview Content button in iPhone Mail App

Step 4. You can see a Preview Content button on the screen pretty soon. As soon as you see the button, you have to press it.

Step 5. After a few seconds, you can browse all the files present in that ZIP file.

View the ZIP file in iPhone Mail App

Step 6. Later, you can open the file via Share >> Save to Files and extract all the files to the desired place if you want.

Save ZIP file in iPhone Mail App

Step 7. In case you are wondering, there is an option to share individual files as well.

share individual ZIP files in iPhone Mail App

As you can see, the process does not take more than a few seconds. It happens because the email apps for both iOS and iPadOS now come with built-in ZIP file support. It does not matter whether you want to explore files inside or extract the entire file; there is an option.

Method 2. Open and View ZIP Files on iPhone and iPad through the Files App

Let’s say that you have downloaded a ZIP file from the internet. In this case, Safari or Chrome will download the ZIP file to your iPhone’s or iPad’s internal storage. In this case, you cannot use the Mail apps to open the file. Instead, we can rely on the built-in ZIP management feature of the Files app. You can use these steps if you want to open/view/manage a ZIP file from your iCloud Drive as well. Below, we have shown the steps to open and view ZIP files on iPad through the Files App. We have used an iPad 7th gen running iPadOS 12.5.

Step 1. Open the Files app on your iPad or iPhone

Step 2. Locate the ZIP file that you have downloaded/transferred. If you downloaded the file via Safari or a different browser, you could find it in the Downloads folder. On the other hand, if you want to explore a ZIP file from iCloud Drive, you can navigate accordingly.

Locate the ZIP file in iPhone

Step 3. Once you have found the ZIP file, you can simply tap on the same.

Tap on the ZIP file in iPhone

Step 4. The Files app will automatically open and extract the files to a new folder.

Step 5. You can hold the folder to change its name or simply use the current name.

Open the ZIP file in iPhone

Step 6. Once you open the folder, you can find all the files from the ZIP archive.

This method works flawlessly if you do not need any advanced features. Depending on the size of the ZIP file in question, the Files app may take a few seconds to unzip the file, but that’s it. You will have instant access to the contents of the ZIP file.

Method 3. Open and View ZIP Files on iPhone and iPad through the Third-party App

Let’s say you did not quite like the two methods we mentioned earlier. Sure, both of them do not offer any kind of control over the process. You tap on the file, and it opens. There is also the question of compatibility when you think about it. So, the third method is to open and view ZIP files on iPhone or iPad using a third-party ZIP file app. In this method, we use a third-party ZIP app for iOS called iZip. It is available for both iOS and iPadOS, if you were wondering.

Step 1. Download iZip from App Store. It is available for free with some in-app purchases.

Download iZIP in iPhone

Step 2. Open the iZip app and choose the location from where you want to access the ZIP file. As you see, it supports many sources like Files, Box, Google Drive, and OneDrive.

Step 3. You can locate the ZIP file and tap on it to extract the contents.

Extract ZIP file using iZIP in iPhone

Step 4. In seconds, iZip will extract everything from the ZIP file. It will also put everything in a folder.

Step 5. You can open the folder to explore all the files, one by one.

Step 6. Once you have found the file you are looking for, you can Save, Share, or ZIP the file.

View ZIP file using iZIP in iPhone

Step 7. You also have an option to sort, move, and delete files from the folder.

The next time you download a ZIP file, you can open the file using iZip and enjoy this extra control. The app has some heavy ads, but you can remove them by upgrading to the Pro version. We must also mention that you can use other ZIP apps like WinZIP and ZIP & RAR File Extractor.

FAQs About ZIP Files on iPhone and iPad

Here, we have answered some of the common questions you may have about dealing with ZIP files on iPhone or iPad.

How do you zip files on an iPad?

You can use the Files app to zip files on an iPad. You can open the folder containing the files and select the files you want to zip. Now, from the menu, you can see an option called Compress. Tapping on the button can give you a zipped file in seconds.

How do I extract a ZIP file on iPhone?

You can extract a ZIP file on iPhone using the Files app. You have to locate the file you want to extract and tap on the file. iOS will automatically extract the files and put them in a new folder. You can open this new folder to access all the files.

Conclusion

As you can see, ZIP file management on iPad and iPhone is simpler than you thought. Even if you think built-in options do not offer you much control, you can go ahead and get a third-party app. We believe it is a great place to start. Do you know any other ways to open and view ZIP files on iPhone and iPad? Do let us know through your comments.

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