Zip File on iPhone: The Guide to Opening a Zip File on iPhone

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The iPhone is undoubtedly a powerful device. It has, more so, proven itself exceptional at managing, compressing and sharing files. But what if you want to open that zip file on your phone? Well, up until recently, this was a problem for many iPhone users. Its iOS 7, for instance, could only support extraction with mail or messages. However, this is a thing of the past. Its later operating systems (from iOS 11 onward) now fully support zip files using its built-in Files app, which means you don't need any third-party apps to open zip files and extract files.

This guide will help you manage all the nuances of opening a zip file on an iPhone. We'll cover how to extract the compressed folder in the Documents app, where to find it in iCloud Drive or Dropbox, and also how to use third-party apps like WinZip Mobile Lite if your phone doesn't support the updated OS.

What is a zip file?

A zip file is a compressed folder that contains one or more files. They are often used as downloadable archives on the internet to save space and for better download performance. For instance, if you have a file that is too large to send as an attachment via email, you can simply compress it into a ZIP file and send it in a smaller format. The recipient would then download and extract it from their end. Zip files are what you need if you want to store a lot of large files in one device without taking up too much room.

Now, there are many free programs that can create, extract, and even modify zip files - some examples of these programs are WinZip, 7-Zip, PeaZip, etc.

One thing to note about all of these programs is they will have different interface designs, but once you know how to use one program, it should be easy enough to figure out any other program with similar functionality.

The programs work two ways; they allow you to create or open compressed files.

Advantages of zip files

  • Compressing large files can save up to 80% of your storage.
  • Has an integrity check with CRC for each file so that transmission errors are detected.
  • Reduces transmission time, especially for emails, because of the smaller size.
  • Zipping allows you to encrypt private data, especially when sending the data online.

Disadvantage of zip files

  • Sometimes, the compressed files do not extract correctly, and this affects the whole file.
  • If the data in the zip file needs to be modified, the modification will overwrite the original zipped version and create an entirely new one.
  • How to open a zip file on iPhone

    Using WinZip, you can open different formats of compressed files, such as Zip files (.zip or .zipx), RAR files, or 7z files. The files could be received from an email, or you can download one from the internet. In this case, WinZip comes handy because it can view or play other formats of files (which might not be the case for in-built apps). They include:

    • Word documents (.docx, .doc)
    • Photos and images (.png, .jpeg, .jpg, .bmp, .tif)
    • Excel spreadsheets (.xlsx, .xls)
    • Numbers spreadsheets (.numbers)
    • PowerPoint presentations (.ppt, .pptx)
    • Keynote presentations (.key)
    • PDF files (.pdf)
    • Text files (.sql, .ini,.txt, .js, .xml, .log, .css, .java)
    • Web documents (.php, .asp, .jsp, .html, .htm)
    • Rich Text format documents (.rtf)

    To open a zip file, you only need to follow a few steps:

    • Step one: Launch WinZip from your app drawer or app shortcut. Open compressed file by clicking File > Open. If your iPhone has the compressed file extension associated with the WinZip program, just click on the file.
    • Step two: Select all the files and folders inside the compressed file. Or multi-select only the files or folders you want to open by checking the 'select all' checkbox and then proceed to de-select the files you don't need.
    • Step three: Click 1-click Unzip and choose Unzip to iPhone or Cloud in the WinZip toolbar under the Unzip/Share tab.
    • Step four: Choose the destination folder where the extracted files will go and click the "Unzip" button.
    • Step five: Find your extracted files in the destination folder.


    WinZip has been used by people for more than 20 years to compress files on their computers. It is a great way to take your large files and shrink them down, making them easier to transport or send using email.

     Compressing files can also help conserve storage space on your computer, which can come in handy if you are running low on phone storage. In this post, we have given instructions on how you can use the WinZip app right from your iPhone.

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