Use the Files app on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

View and manage your files from any iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. The Files app makes it simple to find what you're looking for, no matter where you saved it or what device you're currently using.

 

Files app icon

The Files app brings all of your files together. Easily browse, search, and organize all your files in one place. Not just the ones on the device you're using, but also those in apps, in iCloud Drive, and across other cloud services.

Before you begin

If you don't want to access your iCloud Drive files in the Files app, you can choose to download and add only third-party cloud services instead.

Find your files

To access your files, just open the Files app and choose the location of the file you're looking for. 

Save a copy of your file locally

You can find locally stored files in On My [device], under Locations. On your iPad, simply drag files into the On My iPad folder to store them directly on your device. If you want to save a file locally on your iPhone or iPod touch, follow these steps.

  1. Go to the file that you want to store on your device.
  2. Tap Select > the file name > Organize .
  3. Under On My [Device], choose a folder or tap New Folder  to create a new one.
  4. Tap Copy.

You can also long press on a file, choose Move, and select which folder you want to copy it to. 

On iOS 12 or earlier, tap the file and choose Move. Then, under On My [device], choose Numbers, Keynote, or Pages, and tap Copy.

Move iCloud Drive files

  1. Go to the file that you want to move.
  2. Tap Select, then choose the file.
  3. Tap Organize .
  4. Under On My [Device], choose a folder or tap New Folder  to create a new one.
  5. Tap Move.

You can also long press on a file, choose Move, and select which folder you want to copy it to. 

Look for files on other devices

Follow the steps for your device.

  • On your Mac, go to Finder > iCloud Drive.
  • On iCloud.com, go to the iCloud Drive app.
  • On your PC with iCloud for Windows, go to File Explorer > iCloud Drive.

Organize your files

It’s easy to organize all of the files stored in iCloud Drive — including Pages, Numbers, and Keynote documents. When you make changes on one device, your edits are automatically updated on every device using iCloud Drive.

You can make your own folders. Or rename the files and folders you already have when you press firmly on them.

Create new folders

  1. Go to Locations.
  2. Tap iCloud Drive, On My [device], or the name of a third-party cloud service where you want to keep your new folder.
  3. Swipe down on the screen.
  4. Tap More .
  5. Select New Folder.
  6. Enter the name of your new folder. Then tap Done.

On iOS 12 or earlier, tap New Folder . If you don't see New Folder  or it's gray, then the third-party cloud service doesn't support new folders.

View your files by name, date, size, or the tags that you add. With colorful and custom labels, you can assign tags to your files any way that you like. That means you'll quickly find just the project or document you need. 

Add a tag

  1. Tap Select.
  2. Tap the file that you want to tag.
  3. Tap Share  > Add Tags 
  4. Choose the tag that you want to add.

Rename a tag

  1. Go to Locations.
  2. Tap More  > Edit.
  3. Tap the name of an existing tag.
  4. Enter the name of your new tag.
  5. Tap Done.

Delete files

Select the files that you don't want anymore and tap Delete . If you delete files from the iCloud Drive folder on one device, they delete on your other devices too. iCloud Drive removes the files from every device that you're signed in to with the same Apple ID.

When you delete a file from iCloud Drive or On My [device], it goes into your Recently Deleted folder. If you change your mind or accidentally delete a file, you have 30 days to get it back. Go to Locations > Recently Deleted. Select the file that you want to keep and tap Recover. After 30 days, your files are removed from Recently Deleted.

You can also sign into iCloud.com from your Mac or PC, then go to iCloud Drive and check Recently Deleted.

Share and work on files with your friends

Want to share a document with a friend or colleague? Send them a link to any file stored in iCloud Drive directly from the Files app. Select the file, tap Share  , and select Add People. You can also share a copy of your file through AirDrop, Messages, Mail, a shared note, and more.

Or maybe you want to collaborate on a project in real time. The Files app lets you do that too with your Pages, Numbers, and Keynote documents. Select the file and tap Share or  > Add People . You can invite them to collaborate through Messages, Mail, or copy and paste a link. Your participants are color-coded. And you can see when they're online, actively working on your shared document.

Use third-party apps in Files

The Files app lets you add your third-party cloud services — like Box, Dropbox, OneDrive, Adobe Creative Cloud, Google Drive, and more — so that you can access all of your files on all of your devices. The files you keep in iCloud Drive automatically appear in the Files app, but you need to set up your other cloud services to access them in the Files app too.

Add third-party apps

  1. Download and set up the third-party cloud app.
  2. Open the Files app.
  3. Tap the Browse tab.
  4. Tap More  > Edit.
  5. Turn on the third-party apps that you want to use in the Files app. 
  6. Tap Done.

On iOS 12 or earlier, open the Files app then tap Locations > Edit to add third-party apps.

If you don't see one of your third-party cloud services in the Files app, check with your cloud provider.

Move third-party cloud files

  1. Open the file that you want to move.
  2. Tap Share  > Copy.
  3. Open the folder where you want to move your file.
  4. Firmly press the screen.
  5. Tap Paste.

Do more with Files on iPadOS

If you're on iPadOS, you can access files on a USB drive, SD card, or hard drive through the Files app on iPadOS. Just connect the drive, and then you can select it under Locations. You can also connect to a file server in Apple File System (APFS), Mac OS Extended, MS-DOS (FAT), and ExFAT formats. You also have the option to view your files in Column View, which is helpful if you have files nested in multiple folders. Column View lets you see previews of files and offers access to tools like markup and rotate without even opening a file. 

Connect to a file server

  1. Open the Browse tab.
  2. Tap More .
  3. Select Connect to Server.
  4. Enter the SMB address.
  5. Tap Connect.
  6. The server name appears under Shared in the Browse menu. 

Switch to Column View

  1. In landscape mode, open the Browse tab.
  2. Select a folder.
  3. Swipe down on the right side of the screen.
  4. Select Column View  in the upper right.
  5. Tap a folder to expand its contents.
  6. Tap a file to see a preview. 

To leave Column View, tap Grid View  or List View  , or use your iPad in portrait mode.

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