How to open (unzip) Zip Rar files on the iPhone, iPad & iPod touch

How to open Zip files on the iPhone

The iPhone’s just swell when it comes to communicating. It’s also superb at taking photos and videos, making it a widely used tool of photojournalists and bloggers around the world. There are the neat games as well that you can play on the iPhone and iPad.

Know what it won’t do? It can’t open .zip and .rar files that are compressed and need to be extracted. It’s limited what you can do with these files on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. That is, Apple mobile devices can’t open these files on their own. You need to rely on third-party software.

That’s right. Third-party software makes it possible to open .zip and .rar files.

How to open Zip / Rar files on the iPhone:

How to use zip extractor apps

Here is how to use a zip extractor to open a .zip or .rar file on your mobile Apple device.

  • Step 1: Find the zip file on your iPhone or iPad. It may be in the mail or your Dropbox/iCloud drive folder.
  • Step 2: Tap on the zip file and tap on the share icon.
  • Step 3: Tap on “Open in … “ from the available options and select which app you want to choose to extract and view the contents of the zip file.

Many of the apps feature free and paid options with more options packed into the paid ones.


WinZip is promoted as being the number one tool to use to zip and unzip and manage cloud files. You can use it to view photos, images, page files, excel files, documents, pdf files, powerpoint files and much more. You can also open encrypted zip files. When you open zip and rar files, you can use another app to edit them as well.

Follow the above steps and choose “Open in WinZip” after you download and install the app. There are both free and paid versions.

Zip and RAR File Extractor

Another suggested app is the Zip and RAR File Extractor. The app imports zip files then you must tap on the file within the app to open the contents.

ZIP Browser

Get a quick zip extractor with Zip Browser. This app extracts zip files fast and has a built-in document viewer.


The ZIP/RAR Tool is similar to the Zip and RAR File Extractor. You import a file to the app then extract its contents manually.


FastZip gives you just that, a fast way to open zip and rar files attached to emails. It’s promoted as being designed to manage files “with less taps and in less time.” It extracts zip files directly like WinZip and is easy to use. You can also share your files to other media and apps.

Hopefully these apps let you easily unzip the zip and rar files that you download to your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. They give you one more thing that you can do with your Apple device … with a little help.

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Written by

Kirtiraj Gohil is a Co-founder, Social Media Strategist & Technology Enthusiast @ The Crazy Thinkers, The Crazy Design & Sparx BPO, specializing in Content Marketing, Social Media, Business and Entrepreneurship.

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