Recently, I’ve been exploring the newly launched “Shortcuts” app and loving every bit of it. Designed to enhance automation on iOS; this new add-on can be enormously effective in carrying out several important tasks. Case in point, you can zip and unzip files on your iPhone with ease using a custom shortcut.
Last year, with the introduction of the Files app, Apple made it a tad easier to manage zipped files. But you still needed a third-party app to take control of the archived files. However, you no longer need a third-party app to zip files or extract the archive.
How to Zip and Unzip Files on iPhone and iPad With a Shortcuts App
- How to Create Zip Files Shortcut on iPhone and iPad
- How to Make Zip Files Using a Shortcut
- Create Unzip Files Shortcut on iPhone and iPad
- How to Unzip Files With A Shortcut
But before getting started, you have to make a custom shortcut. Once you have perfectly fine-tuned or customized it based on your workflow, you will be able to breeze through the task with consummate ease.
Create Zip Files Shortcut on iPhone and iPad
Step #1. Launch Shortcuts app on your iOS device.
Step #2. Now, tap on Create Shortcut button.
Step #3. Next, enter Zip or Archive in the search field.
Now, you will see two options:
- Make Archive
- Extract Archive
You need to select Make Archive.
Step #4. Next up, enter Save File action in the search field and select it when it shows up.
Sticky Note: By default, your zipped file will be saved to iCloud Drive. However, you can choose to save it to other services like Dropbox. To do so, tap on Service (which is under Save File action) and select your preferred option.
Step #5. Up next, you have to tap on the tiny toggle icon at the top right corner.
Step #6. Now, enter a name for your shortcut. I’m going to use “Zip File” to keep it simple.
The app automatically adds a suitable icon for the shortcut.
However, you can choose a different one if you don’t find it up to your taste. Simply, tap on Icon. Then, you can change color, select a suitable glyph from a ton of options and even select a custom image. After you have chosen the icon, tap on Done to go back to the main editing screen.
Step #7. Turn on the switch next to Show in Share Sheet as it will let you use this custom shortcut from other apps.
Step #8. You have the option to restrict the kind of files this custom shortcut will accept. To do so, tap on Accepted Types. Then, deselect the file type you don’t want the shortcut to accept.
For instance, you can allow it to work with only media, PDFs, URLs. It all depends on your usage so get it done as per your need. Once you are done, tap on the back button at the top left to go back.
Pro tip: There is an option to add the shortcut to Home screen as well. If you want to quickly access it, go for it. To do so, tap on Add to Home screen. On the next screen, tap on Share button → Choose Add to Home Screen in share sheet → Enter a name and tap on Add to finish.
Not to forget the option to add Siri Phrase which could also be useful in getting the task done a tad faster. To do so, tap on Add to Siri → Speak/Type the phrase → tap on Done.
Once you have customized everything, be sure to tap on Done at the top right. Now, check out the shortcut, its format, name, location. Tap on Done again to confirm.
Now, you are ready to go! Once everything is perfectly set up, you can get on with zipping.
Create Zip Files Using A Quick Shortcut in iOS 12
Step #1. Open the file manager and head over to the docs you want to zip. Tap on Select button and choose the file you wish to archive.
Step #2. Now, tap on Share button.
Step #3. First, you need to add Shortcuts app to the list of actions in the share sheet if you haven’t already done it. To do so, tap on the More button and then turn on the switch next to the Shortcuts app. Make sure to tap on Done to confirm.
Now, the app will show in the actions menu. Tap on Shortcuts icon.
Step #4. Next, you need to choose the shortcut (the one you had just created and given it a preferred icon.) I had named it Zip File. So, I’m going to tap on it. The moment you hit it, the app will archive your files.
Step #5. Next up, you will have to choose the location where you want to save this item. Select the location and hit Add.
So, you have successfully archived files using a quick shortcut on your iOS device.
How about extracting archived files? It’s just as simple but only after you have created the shortcut. Read on…
Create Unzip Files Shortcut on iPhone and iPad
Again, you need to make a shortcut first.
Step #1. Open Shortcuts app → tap on the Create Shortcut button.
Step #2. Now, enter zip/archive in the search. Then, select Extract Archive.
Step #3. Next, enter Save File. Now, you can select the location where you wish to save the extracted file. By default, it will be saved to iCloud Drive.
Step #4. Next up, tap on the small setting icon at the top right → type in a name for your shortcut then tap on Done.
Now, tap on Icon. Here you can change color, select a suitable glyph and even select a custom image.
Step #5. Turn on Show in Share Sheet toggle.
You can choose to restrict what type of files the shortcut can access. To do so, tap on Accepted Types and then deselect the unwanted file type as per your need. Then, tap on the back button at the top left.
Step #6. Tap on Done at the top right. You need to tap on Done again to confirm.
Now that the shortcut is battle ready to cut the chase for you, any time you want to extract the archive, bring it into action.
Extract Zip Files Using a Shortcut in iOS 12
Step #1. Head over to the file you want to unzip. I’ve saved my zipped file in the Files app. So, I’m going there.
Step #2. Tap on Select at the top right. Then, choose the zip file.
Step #3. Tap on Share button → hit Shortcuts in the share sheet.
Step #4. Hit the Unzip shortcut. And then, save the extracted files at the desired location.
That’s pretty much it. Now, whenever you want to deal with such files, use this quick method to manage them with ease.
It’s always better to have a handy tool, especially when dealing with files. And with this useful tool in the offing, I guess managing files will become even easier on the iPhone.
Recently, we’ve made several posts related to Shortcuts. If you are yet to have a deep look at everything it has to offer, check out our following posts.
- Best iOS Apps with Siri Shortcuts Integration
- How to Share Shortcuts on iPhone and iPad
- Best Siri Shortcuts for iPhone and iPad
What’s your take on the Shortcuts app? Do you find it user-friendly? Share your thoughts about it.