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How to Download and Open Zip Files on the iPhone

This guide will show you how to open zip files on the iPhone, allowing you to download compressed files from a website to your iPhone and unzip it so that you can use the file inside.

By default, the iPhone has issues with opening zip files, especially if the file includes something more than just a PDF. You can open a zip file on your iPhone and use the files with a free app.

You can download and open zip files on the iPhone so that you can get work done without grabbing your computer. There are still some limitations, so this isn’t a cure-all for every issue you may run into while opening zip files on iPhone or iPad, but we can help you open most zip files in a few seconds.

Users need an internet connection to download the zip file to the iPhone and then a free or paid app to open the zip file and see the files stored inside it. There are a variety of apps that can open zip files on the iPhone, but Zip Viewer is one of the easiest to use — and it is free.

You can also use Dropbox to download a zip file to, Zip Viewer will show you more file types inside the Zip file. With this app you can also share the zip file or a file inside after you unzip it. This works with files you download from the internet or files that you get by email that you cannot open in your Mail app.

Follow the steps below to view zipped files on the iPhone using iOS 8 or iOS 9.

How to Download Zip Files

The first thing you need to do is download Zip Viewer for iPhone. This is a free app, but it does include ads. If you don’t want to see ads there are other paid options available in the app store.

On your iPhone or iPad open up Safari or your email to find the zip file you want to open. Keep in mind that depending on what is in the file you may need another app to open it.

Tap on the Zip file to download it. When prompted tap on Open In, in the upper left corner of the screen.

How to open zip files on iPhone or iPad.

Scroll over and choose Open in Zip Viewer. This will open up the app and show you the zip file that you downloaded. It is not yet unzipped.

Now tap on the zip file in Zip Viewer to unzip it and see the files located inside the app. From here you can tap on the files to view them if they are a common format. You can also share them or use them in another app to edit or upload.

Unzip files on the iPhone.

That’s the easiest way to open zip files on the iPhone with a standard app that does not require an account. You can use the Open In option to open zip files from Dropbox or from your email using Zip Viewer. Many files sent over email are in a zipped format to help cut down on the attachment size.

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Josh Smith

Josh Smith is Editor of GottaBeMobile and Notebooks.com. He's covered technology for the last decade including video games, cars and personal finance technology at AOL, WalletPop and has had his work appear on CNN Money. He has also appeared as a source for The Wall Street Journal and on various radio programs in the U.S. Josh Smith on Google+ Email: Josh@Notebooks.com

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  • I got to your article on opening zip files on an iPhone from Jerry's Guitar Bar. I downloaded Zip Viewer onto my iPad. My purchase from Jerry's appears but nothing happens when I tap it. No "Open In", no files appearing in the right hand field. Nothing. Any suggestions? Thanks, Kim

  • Fantastic Jerry! I was able to download the Carulli lessons on the Ipad and use Zip Viewer to open and play. My only question is how do I do that with older song videos/PDFs that I purchased from JGB? I have those on my laptop but have no way of accessing those files to download directly to the Ipad. How do I do that? It would save the hassle of having to download files twice. Thanks.

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