How to Zip/Unzip Files on iPhone or iPad using Shortcuts App [A Complete Guide]

I don't think many of you know that there is a way quick way to zip and unzip files in iOS 12 on iPhone and iPad with the Shortcuts App. Yeah, you don't need a third-party app to take control of the zipped files anymore!

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 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.

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How to Zip and Unzip Files in iOS 12 on iPhone and iPad With a Shortcuts App

Quick access:

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.

Launch Shortcuts app on iPhone

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Step #2. Now, tap on Create Shortcut button.

Tap on Create Shortcut button in iOS 12 Shortcut App

Step #3. Next, enter Zip or Archive in the search field.

Now, you will see two options:

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  • Make Archive
  • Extract Archive

You need to select Make Archive.

Enter Zip and Select Make Archive in iOS 12 Shortcut App

Step #4. Next up, enter Save File action in the search field and select it when it shows up.

Enter Save File and Select it in iOS 12 Shortcut App

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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.

Your zipped file will be saved to iCloud Drive on iPhone

Step #5. Up next, you have to tap on the tiny toggle icon at the top right corner.

Tap on tiny settings icon in iOS 12 Shortcut App

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Step #6. Now, enter a name for your shortcut. I’m going to use “Zip File” to keep it simple.

Enter Name to Create Zip Files Shortcut in iOS 12The 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.

Choose Icon for Zip Files Shortcut in iOS 12

Step #7. Turn on the switch next to Show in Share Sheet as it will let you use this custom shortcut from other apps.

Turn On Switch Next to Show in Share Sheet in iOS 12 Shortcut App

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.

Tap on Accepted Types and Deselect file type you don't want shortcut to accept

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.

Add Zip Files Shortcut to iPhone Home Screen

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 SiriSpeak/Type the phrase → tap on Done.

Add Siri Phrase to Shortcut App in iOS 12

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.

Tap on Done to confirm Zip Shortcut on iPhone

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.

Select the Files you wish to Zip Using Shortcut in iOS 12

Step #2. Now, tap on Share button.

Tap on Share in iOS 12 Files App

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.

Turn ON Shortcuts in Share sheet on iPhone

Now, the app will show in the actions menu. Tap on Shortcuts icon.

Tap on Shortcuts in Share sheet on iPhone

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.

Zip Files Using Shortcut App in iOS 12

Step #5. Next up, you will have to choose the location where you want to save this item. Select the location and hit Add.

Choose Location to Save Zip Files on iPhone

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.

Tap on Create Shortcut button in iOS 12 Shortcut App

Step #2. Now, enter zip/archive in the search. Then, select Extract Archive.

Enter Zip and Select Extract Archive in iOS 12 Shortcut App

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.

Enter Save and Select Save File in iOS 12 Shortcut App

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.

Make Unzip Files Shortcut in iOS 12

Now, tap on Icon. Here you can change color, select a suitable glyph and even select a custom image.

Change the UnZip File Shortcut Icon in iOS 12

Step #5. Turn on Show in Share Sheet toggle.

Turn ON Show in Share Sheet in Unzip File Shortcut Settings

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.

Tap on Accepted Types and Deselect file type you don't want Unzip File shortcut to accept

Step #6. Tap on Done at the top right. You need to tap on Done again to confirm.

Tap on Done to Confirm in iOS 12 Shortcut App

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.

Select Zip File in Files App on iPhone

Step #3. Tap on Share button → hit Shortcuts in the share sheet.

Tap on Share and Select Shortcut in Share Sheet on iPhone

Step #4. Hit the Unzip shortcut. And then, save the extracted files at the desired location.

Extract Files With a Shortcut in iOS 12

That’s pretty much it. Now, whenever you want to deal with such files, use this quick method to manage them with ease.

Signing off…

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.

What’s your take on Shortcuts app? Do you find it user-friendly? Share your thoughts about it. Give a try to our iOS app and stay tuned with us via Facebook and Twitter so that you never miss our latest stories.

Dhvanesh Adhiyahttps://www.igeeksblog.com
Dhvanesh Adhiya is the founder and editor-in-chief who takes care of audio, visual, and textual contents uploaded on iGeeksBlog.com. He is passionate about wonderful apps that change the way your iPhone interacts in your life.

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