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Do you know that you can easily open .ZIP files or any other compressed files on your iPhone or iPad? Well you might not have found out, but your iPhone already has basic support for .ZIP files. This is a built-in features for iOS device.

On the other hand, in case you want to do more advanced operations such as compressing files, using password-protected archives, or uploading .ZIP files to cloud storage services, then you'll need a third-party app.

It is also good to know how to use .ZIP files, particularly if they have common office documents you would like to use with other applications. You can also open .RAR, .TAR and .7Z archives on iOS.

.ZIP files or archived files are used to store more data when your hard drive space is low, then using compression to make the files and folders to take up less space. You might come across .ZIP files on iPhone in an email, either via the Messages app, or even when sending files from a Mac through AirDrop. 

Archives or Compressed files are also a great means of transferring multiple files in one go, be it images, PDF files, or documents you are working on. Fortunately,  iOS have support for these files basically, but only provides read-only access. That is you won't be able to edit the file. For instance if you tap on a .ZIP archive in the Mail or Messages app, it will automatically launch Quick Look app whereby you'll be able to view certain like images, PDF documents, and even Excel spreadsheets.

So there are numerous ways you can open your archive in another app :

In case you would like to open the archive on your Mail or Messages app, just tap on the archive file to open it, and then tap on the “Share” button at the top-right of the screen.

In case you are using AirDrop, you’ll be prompted what you want to do with the archived file once it is successfully moved to your iPhone. So if you tap on the Cancel button, then it will be removed.

Generally some third party apps, like Dropbox or Google Drive will display the contents of an archive file and some will even decompress it for you.

If by chance you come across an archive file while browsing the internet with Safari, then you’ll use the “Open in…” choice, because the Quick Look feature won’t work here.

Zip Rar Tool

And of course you can always use a third party app if you want to use advanced features with archived files. There are numerous apps on Apple Store you can use with .ZIP files. However I stumble upon zip rar tool which is completely a free app that offers a complete set of features. Zip Rar Tool has the support for Dropbox and Box cloud services, Wi-Fi files transfer over a local network, and even support other archives like .RAR and .7Z files.

The app also functions as a file manager which you can use to compress files you have imported into .ZIP files.

But the app doesn't have support for password-protected archives. Nevertheless, zip rar tool is a useful software you can use to handle your compressed files.

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