You just received a zip file on your iPad but you don't know how to open it? The default iOS applications don't allow you to view the content? Don't worry: this is completely normal. The default iOS applications, such as Fillet (the file manager of iPhone and iPad) e Mail (Apple's e-mail client) allow you to open compressed archives, but only in certain cases, that is, only if the files contained in them are supported by the preview function of the operating system.
In other words, if you have received a ZIP file or any other type of compressed archive and it does not contain "classic" files in formats such as PDF, DOC, JPG or PNG (these are just examples, the iOS preview function also supports other types of files), to open them do you necessarily have to contact third-party solutions? Which? I'll give you some examples right away.
If you give me five minutes of your time, I can explain how to unzip a file with iPad thanks to some of the best apps that you can download for free from the App Store. I assure you that there are several that you can count on and that you will not have the slightest problem using them, as they are all extremely intuitive. Happy reading and have fun!
IOS Files and Mail
As widely mentioned at the beginning of the post, the default iOS applications allow you to open archives in ZIP format only when they contain certain types of files. Before getting into the tutorial and see how to unzip a file with iPad, it therefore seems only right to explain to you quickly how to extract the archives supported in the default iOS applications.
The procedure to follow is the same both in File (the file manager of iPhone and iPad) and in Mail (Apple's e-mail client). After selecting the ZIP file to be extracted, if this is supported by the iOS preview function, you will see a white screen appear with, in the center, the writing Content preview.
By tapping on the item Content preview you can view the contents of the ZIP file, while pressing the icon of sharing (the square with the arrow located at the top right of the next screen) and selecting the option Save to file from the menu that opens you can extract the files to a folder on your iPad (and / or cloud storage services supported by the File application, such as iCloud Drive and Dropbox).
Readdle documents is a free file manager that allows you to download files from the Internet, manage and view documents of various types: a bit like you do in the Mac Finder or in the Windows File Explorer. It integrates seamlessly into the iOS share menu and supports both ZIP files and RAR files (including password protected ones). Let's see immediately how to extract the archives on iPad using it.
The first step you need to take is to download Readdle Documents on your iPad. Open, therefore, theApp Store (the "A" icon on a blue background located on the home screen), select the card Search placed at the bottom right, presses on search bar present in the screen that opens and search for the term "documents".
When the search results appear, press the button GET / INSTALL located next to the icon Readdle documents, confirm your identity using the touch ID or by typing your Apple ID password and waiting for the application to be downloaded first and then installed on the tablet.
At this point, believe it or not, you are ready to unzip a file. How? I'll explain it to you right away. If you want to extract the files contained in an archive that was delivered to you by e-mail, launch Mail, select the message that contains the ZIP / RAR files from the client sidebar and hold your finger on the icon of the archive to open with Documents for a couple of seconds.
The iOS sharing menu will appear: scroll the list of applications until you get to the Documents icon and press the button Copy to Documents to export the selected archive to the app.
Once in Documents by Readdle (the application will open automatically when the archive is imported) you will find your ZIP file in the section Documents. To consult its contents, press on its icon and go to the folder with the same name as the archive that is automatically created. In the case of RAR files, the first step is skipped, so in Documents you will find directly the folder containing the documents extracted from the archive.
If you want, you can also open the compressed archives already saved on the iPad memory or present in the cloud storage services supported by the application, such as iCloud Drive, dropbox e Google Drive. To access the files on the iPad memory or iCloud Drive, all you have to do is select the item iCloud from the left sidebar. To use other cloud services, however, you need to set the relevant accounts by selecting the item + Add account, again from the left sidebar.
Once the archive to be extracted has been selected, choose the folder in which to extrapolate its contents and press the button Extract located at the top right. A folder with the same name as the archive will be created within the selected path.
By choosing the voice instead Wi-Fi Transfer from the side menu of the app and following the on-screen instructions (i.e. by connecting to the docstransfer.com site from your computer and scanning the QR code displayed in it with the iPad) you can use your home Wi-Fi network to transfer files (ZIP, RAR or any other type) from the PC to the tablet and open them on the latter (just press the button Upload file located at the top right).
The same result can be achieved by physically connecting the iPad to the computer, opening iTunesby selecting theiPad from the top left corner of the screen and choosing the item File sharing from the sidebar. A screen will open through which, by selecting the icon Documents, you can drag files from your computer into the app. For more information on this procedure, read my tutorial on how to transfer files to iPad.
Would you like to download ZIP / RAR archives from the Internet to store them on the iPad memory and consult their contents if necessary? No problem: use the web browser included in Documents, which you can easily open by pressing the icon Browser present in the left sidebar.
At this point, surf the Internet normally, press the link to download an archive and the application will ask you in which folder you want to save it (by default the one called Downloads).
After choosing the path and pressing the button Done the file will be downloaded to your iPad memory. To consult its contents, select the item Documents from the Documents sidebar, go to the folder where you have decided to save the archive (eg. Downloads) and presses the icon of the latter. Easier than that?
If Documents has not fully met your expectations or you are looking for a solution dedicated exclusively to the management of compressed archives, I recommend you Zip Tool, a free application that allows you to extract archives in ZIP and RAR format by acting directly from its main interface or from the iOS sharing menu (therefore operating from other apps, such as Mail). It can be downloaded and used for free, but it includes advertising banners. It also supports password protected archives.
To use Zip Tool, you must first download the app from the App Store as also explained in the previous chapter dedicated to Readdle Documents. When the operation is completed, you can use the application in two different ways: to import an archive received via email or, in any case, coming from another app, select it within the latter, press the icon of sharing (the square with the arrow inside) and select the option Copy your Zip Tool Present on the menu if you press.
Zip Tool will open automatically, where you will have to press the button OK to confirm archive extraction. Once the archive has been extracted, to view the files that were present in it, press the button Done located at the top right and select the folder with the same name as the archive created within the application.
To export a file extracted from the archive in another application, press the button Edit located at the top right, then press the icon of sharing located in front of the item to open and select the item Open in give the menu to compare.
The other way to access ZIP and RAR files with Zip Tool is to act directly from the app. By selecting the tab Cloud you can access your cloud accounts (eg. dropbox, OneDrive o Google Drive) and withdraw archives from the latter, while selecting the tab Transfer you can transfer files from your computer via Bluetooth o Wi-Fi (provided that iPad and PC are connected to the same Wi-Fi network).
Alternatively, you can also import photos or videos from the iOS Camera Roll by selecting the appropriate options under the heading Import. However, this feature has little to do with extracting ZIP or RAR files.
Other Solutions to Unzip Files with IPad
Were none of the solutions listed above able to meet your needs? It seems strange to me… in any case don't worry, below you can find other applications to unzip files with iPad. Try them all and find out if there is one that suits you.
- iZip - historical app for the decompression of ZIP and RAR files available on iOS. It can be downloaded and used for free, but some functions, primarily the import of files from cloud storage services, require the purchase of its Pro version, which costs 5,49 euros.
- WinZip - application that does not need too many presentations: it is, in fact, the mobile transposition of the very famous solution for managing compressed archives available on a computer. It is available in two versions: a free one that only allows opening ZIP files (including those protected by passwords), and a paid one (€ 5,49) which, on the other hand, also allows you to create new archives and import files from services cloud.