Compress PDF on iPhone

Have trouble sending a PDF file from iPhone to someone through email because it is too large? Can’t upload a PDF file from iPhone to a website due to the maximum size limit? There are mainly two ways you can solve the problem, zip the PDF or compress it. The stock file manager for iOS, Files app, does not come with the facility to zip or compress files on iPhone. You will need third-party file zip or compressor. File Master you can use to zip files on iPhone for free. This method however will change the file format from .pdf to .zip or .rar. You can reduce the PDF file size greatly after zipping and then send the zip files with smaller file size through email. But in order to open the zipped file, the recipient must also have the app with unzip feature installed on his/her phone.

Update May 2020: The Files app now can help users archive or zip files on iPhone iPad without any third-party zip or archive apps. It doesn’t come with fancy features, such as limit file size, choose file compression level, but a fast solution to compress files. If you only need a basic file compressor, the Files app is what you need.

Mobile phone users can find many PDF compressor apps on Apple App Store and Google Play Store. iLovePDF is an online service to work with PDF files completely free and easy to use. Find the free app on the App Store and download it to your iPhone. Add your PDF file from iPhone to this compressor app, adjust the compression setting, upload the PDF to the online compression server, you will get a compressed PDF file in a few minutes. Unlike other online PDF converters that ask you to pay or sign up after you spend the time to upload, iLovePDF is free and no signup required. Note that your PDF documents will be uploaded to the compression server online. If you worry about the privacy, you can load the PDF off your phone and use the desktop PDF converter to compress them on your local machine. Scroll up to the second paragraph above, and refer to the linked page for more details.

Run the PDF app on iPhone, you should see all the tools in its home screen. If not, tap the menu icon at the top left corner to open the side menu on the left hand side, then choose Tools to access its tools center.

ilovepdf PDF tools for iphone

It provides us various useful tools to merge PDF, split PDF, compress PDF, office to PDF, PDF to JPG and more. Choose Compress PDF, then follow onscreen tips to add your PDF files saved on iPhone to this PDF app. You can set the compression level to suit your needs.

ilovepdf PDF compress options on iphone

Extreme compression means less quality and high compression. It is suitable for online presentation or use in web design. In most cases, leave it to the default compression option which can maintain good quality and compression. If you need high quality PDF, choose the Low Compression. Hit the COMPRESS button at the bottom, your PDF file will be uploaded to the online compression server. Since the compression takes place on remote server, the process won’t drain the battery of your iPhone. When the compression completed, the compress PDF file will be downloaded from server to your iPhone automatically.

Have in mind that the file size affects the uploading and downloading time, and compression speed. Also, the compression speed depends on how busy are the servers.

Compressed PDF files will can be found in the Library of this PDF app. You can open its side menu and access the Library and all your converted, edited PDF files from there.

Update May 2020: this article was originally published in Nov 2018 and has since been updated. In this update, the new method to compress files and documents using the stock Files app on iPhone was added.

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