Downloading on an iOS device? Read this first.

What to do if you're having issues downloading your purchase on an iOS device.
Excite Digital Properties
Excite Digital Properties

Created: 08/26/2020 3:07 PM - Updated: 08/26/2020 3:07 PM

Many of our customers have reported issues downloading our products onto their iOS devices (iPhone, iPad). This is because of the way Safari downloads and handles .ZIP archive files.

Important note: Any apple devices running iOS 11 or older will be unable to download the ZIP files. If you have an older iOS device, please download your order on your computer. Also, due to the large file sizes of some of our products, please make sure to have an active Wifi connection prior to downloading to avoid high data usage. (Some of our products are over 1GB in size.)

How to Save Zip Files to iPhone or iPad

Want to download and save a zip file to an iPhone or iPad? Here is how you can do that directly on your iOS device:

  1. Open Safari on the iPhone or iPad and navigate to the zip file you want to download and save
  2. Tap on the link to download the zip file as usual
  3. A screen will appear in Safari that shows a “zip” archive identifying the file as a zip file and then giving you options for what to do with the zip file, depending on what apps are installed on your iOS device:
    • Tap on “Open in ‘Files’” text button and then choose a save destination to download and save the zip file to that location in the Files app, as seen here on iPhone

Alternatively, tap on the “More…” text button and then select “Save to Files” from the options available there as seen here on iPad:

That’s all there is to it, now your downloaded zip file will be saved to the iPhone or iPad at the location in Files app of your choosing.

You can often preview zip files in the Files app of iOS, so if you’re interested in doing that then launch the Files app directly on the iPhone or iPad and you can check out the zip file you just saved and downloaded to the device, or to iCloud Drive.

While this allows you to download and save zip files to an iPhone or iPad, unfortunately the iOS Files app and does not include a native unzip or zip function, meaning you will still need to rely on a third party app like WinZip or Zip Viewer to be able to open and extract zip files on an iPhone or iPad. Perhaps one day iOS for the iPad and iPhone will gain native zip archive extraction technology, much like what is available in the highly productive Mac OS environment by default with zip and unzip capabilities on the Mac directly in Finder, but until (or if ever) that happens, third party tools will be required to perform these common zip archive management activities in the iOS side of things.

Remember, Files app has direct access to iCloud Drive, so if the iPhone or iPad is sharing an Apple ID and iCloud account with another device using iCloud Drive the files would be accessible from there too, like on a Mac or another iOS device.

Saving zip files onto an iPhone or iPad is somewhat similar to saving email attachments from the iOS Mail app, as well as saving files from other locations and other file types, unless the file type in question is a movie or a picture, in which case if you’re attempting to save an image file from Safari on iPhone or from the web to an iPhone or iPad, then the image file would default to being saved into the Photos app where it would remain inaccessible from Files app, or if it’s a .mov video file then that would be saved into the Photos app too but in a Video folder, which is also inaccessible from the Files app of iOS for whatever reason. That doesn’t mean you can’t save images and videos to iCloud Drive and in Files app however, and if you save a zip file full of images or movie files into Files app or iCloud Drive then those images will stay within Files app too, but it just means the Files app and iCloud Drive can not access the Photos app photos and video files, and vice versa. Perhaps a future release of iOS will link the two file storage locations in iOS, but for now that is not the case.

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