How to Download & Open ZIP/RAR Files on Your iPhone

Apps on AppStore, Tutorials
July 11, 2017

You want to open a ZIP file on your iPhone?

Then you should know by now that iOS does not have any features that allow users to open or edit ZIP/RAR files. You can’t even download and save these files on your iPhone without using third-party apps. I know it can be very annoying if you are a former Android user and quite often work with compressed files.


So, I’m here to help you out. The good news is you can install a third-party application from App Store, import your zip files to the app and easily get these tasks done. In this article, I will introduce you to an app like that. I believe it’s currently the best app in terms of opening and creating ZIP & RAR files on iPhone (or iPad). Curious? Let’s dive in!

The app I want to show you today is Documents 5 by Readdle. It’s one of the best apps on the App Store when it comes to file management in iOS. The app allows you to do lots of things as below.


Documents 5’s features

It also has its own web browser so that you can save any files from the internet. In fact, Documents 5 is used for my previous guide on how to download Youtube videos on iPhone and iPad. Check it out if you missed it!

Downloading and opening ZIP/RAR files

The first thing you have to do is install the Documents 5 app using the link given above. Once the app has been installed, you’re able to save ZIP and RAR files to your iPhone.

To download a zip/rar file, you can attach the file to an email, save it to your Dropbox, or use the direct link pointing to the file.

For example, if you use Safari and enter a direct link to a file, you’ll see a web page as below. Just tap “More” and then select “Import with Documents”. The ZIP file will then be stored into the Documents 5 app.

Downloading ZIP/RAR files on iPhone/iPad

If you’ve attached your file to an email, all you have to do is open the email, select the attached file and import it into Documents 5.

Now you will be taken to the app. You should see your imported files here, in the Documents tab. To extract the ZIP/RAR files, tap on their file icons. The app will then extract all the sub files included within the ZIP files into a new folder.

Extract zip files

Once it is extracted, you can open the new folder and view your files. As I mentioned above, Documents 5 allows you to view Office documents, read and annotate PDF files, and edit text files. So there is no need to install other apps to handle these types of files.

Another point that I really love about this app is that it also lets users add their cloud storage services such as DropBox, Google Drive, Box,… making it easier to sync and work with files on all your devices.

Creating ZIP files on your iPhone

Creating ZIP files on your iPhone using Documents 5 is very easy. Let me show you how to do that.

  1. Tap on Edit
  2. Select files you want to compress
  3. Tap More > Zip
  4. Now you should see a new ZIP file named Archive, which is the resulting file. You can select it, upload or mail to others if you want.

Create zip files

While waiting for a native solution in iOS, I think this is the best way to deal with compressed contents on iPhone and iPad. Hopefully, you enjoyed the post. If you have any questions or suggestions about this topic, feel free to leave your feedback in the comment section below.

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  • Reply Judy Thiessen November 30, 2016 at 9:55 pm

    How can I get this to read aloud???

    • Reply Daniel November 30, 2016 at 10:11 pm

      Sorry, read what?

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