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Zip it up! How to compress files in iOS

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Apple’s mobile platforms – iOS and iPadOS – can handle documents and files better than ever before. It’s even possible to zip (and unzip) folders using nothing more than the built-in Files app. In this article, we’ll show you how.

The Files app is built into iOS and iPadOS. For those who don’t know, it provides access to a filesystem for files and folders which can either be stored locally, or accessed from a cloud-based system (like iCloud, Dropbox, or Google Drive). Better still, in the years since Files was released, countless apps have added support, turning our iPhones (and especially iPads) into true mobile computers.

Like computers, the Files app also allows users to compress (zip) folders. And you can decompress (unzip) folders, too! There are a number of benefits for zipping up multiple files – it reduces the overall size of a folder, and also lets you send a single zipped file (as opposed to either multiple files, or a folder containing multiple files). This is handy for file-sharing using online platforms like Amazon Web Services.

To zip a file using the Files app, hold your finger on the folder to open the app’s pop-up menu. Then, select Compress. You’ll find that a zipped folder will appear, ready to be shared!

When you receive a compressed, zipped file, unzipping it is even easier. All you need to do is view the file in the Files app, and tap it. The zipped file will be uncompressed and available to interact with – either using quick-look in the Files app, or by opening the files in another app.

Apple’s Files app really is a hidden gem. Not only does it offer an accessible file system on iOS and iPadOS, but as you can see, it also makes zipping (and unzipping) files as simple as ABC!