The iPhone and iPad can create and open ZIP files without requiring users to download a third-party app. Apple introduced this feature with iOS 13, but many users might not be aware of it. Compressing one or more files into a single ZIP file makes sharing and uploading much easier. When files are compressed, the overall file size is reduced without any resulting loss in data.

Compressed file extensions such as ZIP and RAR have been around for decades. They’re often used when users need to share larger files over email or upload multiple files on a website. While it’s fairly easy to create a compressed ZIP file on a Windows or Mac PC, doing this on a smartphone often requires a third-party app to do the job. On an iPhone, users can easily create ZIP files and even uncompress them.

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The iPhone and iPad gained the ability to compress ZIP files in 2019 with the Files app. To create a ZIP file on the Files app, open the app and locate the file(s) in iCloud Drive or On My iPhone. Tap the three-dot More button on the top-right corner and hit Select. Tap on the files that need to be compressed. Once done, tap on the More button in the bottom-right corner, and then select Compress. A ZIP file will now be created in the same folder.

Opening ZIP Files On An iPhone

iPhone compress files

If a user selects only one file to be compressed, the ZIP file will use the same filename and save it in the folder. However, if multiple files are selected, the newly-created file will be named ‘’ by default. In either case, users can rename the ZIP file just like any other file or folder by tapping and holding the file and then selecting Rename. The ZIP file can now be shared with others, or saved on the iPhone as an archive.

A ZIP file on an iPhone can be uncompressed by just tapping on it. A new folder with the name of the ZIP file will appear. The Files app lets users uncompress various file formats, including .ar, .bz2, .cpio, .rar, .tar, and .tgz. Users can also create a ZIP file for photos stored on the iPhone. To do this, open the Photos app and tap on Select in the top right corner. Choose the photos that need to be compressed, and tap on the Share (square with an arrow) button in the bottom-left corner. Scroll down and tap on the Save to Files option. The photos will now be accessible in the Files app on the iPhone, where they can be compressed using the steps outlined above.