I bought ’em…now what?

So you’ve just purchased an awesome set of digital goodies and are ready to get started using them on your iPad.

But wait! It appears that the file was sent as a .zip file and now you either need to download it on a laptop or desktop and transfer it over to your iPad (which, of course, is a perfectly fine thing to do), or you can follow along with me on how to use your iPad to unzip those files. Let’s go!


What is a .zip file?

A .zip file is a compressed archive file that allows a lot of data to be sent without taking up much space, making it easier for the user to transfer, download or upload the files without the hassle of working with large files.  Many of those digital planner, journal and sticker files are pretty bulky, so compressing them into a .zip file is a handy way of being able to get all that goodness to you without needing to send each file individually.


How do I do this exculsively on the iPad?

At the time of this writing, the iPad does not have a built in unzip feature included with its hardware.  It requires a third party app to be installed to be able to view and unzip the files before saving them to your desired location. Lucky for us, there’s a free to inexpensive option that is easy to use.

Download the iZip App

The first thing you need is an app that works with .zip files. I use the iZip app and there’s a free version in the App Store, if you don’t mind closing some pop-up ads along the way.  There’s also a paid version that eliminates the ads, so if you are going to be working with .zip files much, it might be worth the few bucks.

Open the .zip File

Once the iZip app is downloaded, open it and select your .zip file from where you saved it on your iPad (there are a variety of cloud storage devices supported, as well as the file storage system found with the iPad). It will then ask you if you would like to open the file…that would be a yes.

Open the files in the .zip folder

Once the files are unzipped, iZip will ask if you would like to unzip the individual files. Click OK to continue. 

You’re almost there….

Get a Peek at Your Files

Now your .zip files have been opened back up into their original file format. For image files, you will see a thumbnail version of the image which can be previewed in the app if you click on it.

Along the bottom of the screen are the options you’ll need to export the files so you can use them.

Exporting your Unzipped Files

Under the Share option, you will be able to export the unzipped files to wherever you would like to save them – Cloud Storage, Photos, or open them in another application.  

If you choose the Save option from the bottom meun, the files will be saved to your Camera Roll, which may be easier for you if you are importing digital stickers or embellishments that will only be used in one place, such as GoodNotes or Notability.

The iZip app has the ability to compress files back into the .zip format as well.  If you have the free version, you can zip up to 10 MB of data, but if you have larger files that need transferring, the paid option is the route to go.


I hope gives you an easy and affordable path to getting those zipped digital files into a workable form on your iPad!

Are you using GoodNotes and ready to use those stickers? Here’s a great resource on how to import those digital stickers, tabs, flags and other goodies:

How to Import and Use Stickers in GoodNotes

Check out some other digital file resources I have available here