About File Sharing on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

You can copy files between your computer and apps on your iOS device using File Sharing. For example, you can create a document in Pages on your iPad, then copy it to your Mac so that you can open it in Pages for macOS.

Before you begin

Instead of File Sharing, consider using iCloud Drive, Handoff, or AirDrop to keep your documents up to date across all your devices.

iCloud Drive lets you securely access all of your documents from your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or PC. No matter which device you’re using, you'll always have the most up to date documents when you need them.

With Handoff, you can start a document, email, or message on one device and pick up where you left off from another device. Handoff works with Apple apps such as Mail, Safari, Maps, Messages, Reminders, Calendar, Contacts, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. Some third-party apps are also compatible. 

AirDrop lets you share photos, videos, websites, locations, and more with other nearby Apple devices.

What you need for File Sharing

See which of your iOS apps can share files with your computer

  1. Open iTunes on your Mac or PC.
  2. Connect your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to your computer using the USB cable that came with your device.
  3. Click your device in iTunes. Get help if you can't find it. 
  4. In the left sidebar, click Apps. Then, scroll to the File Sharing section at the bottom of the page.
  5. Select an app to see which files are available for sharing in that app on your device. If you don't see a File Sharing section, your device has no file-sharing apps.

Copy files from your computer to your iOS app

  1. In iTunes, select the app from the list in the File Sharing section.
  2. Drag and drop files from a folder or window onto the Documents list to copy them to your device.
    You can also click Add in the Documents list in iTunes, find the file or files you want to copy from your computer, and then click Add. iTunes copies these files to the app on your device. Choose only files that will work with the app. Check the app's user guide to learn which kinds of files will work.

Copy files from an iOS app to your computer

  1. In iTunes, select the app from the list in the File Sharing section.
  2. Drag and drop files from the Documents list to a folder or window on your computer to copy them to your computer.
    You can also select the file or files that you want to copy to your computer from the Documents list and click "Save to," then find the folder on your computer to which you want to copy the files and click Save To.

Open shared files

On your iOS device, you can open the files from your computer with the app that you chose for File Sharing.

You can't access these files from other apps or locations on your device. You can see the list of files in the File Sharing section of iTunes when your device is connected to your computer.

Back up shared files

When iCloud (or iTunes) backs up your device, it backs up your shared files as well. 

If you delete an app with shared files from your iOS device, you also delete those shared files from your device and your iCloud or iTunes backup. To avoid losing shared files, copy the files to your computer before deleting the app from your iOS device.

Delete a shared file from your iOS device

To delete a file you copied to an iOS app using File Sharing, follow these steps:

  1. Open iTunes on your Mac or PC.
  2. Connect your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to your computer using the USB cable that came with your device.
  3. Select your device in iTunes. Get help if you can't find it.
  4. In the left sidebar, click Apps. Then, scroll to the File Sharing section.
  5. Select the app with the file that you want to delete.
  6. Select the file that you want to delete in the Documents list, then press the Delete key on your keyboard.
  7. When iTunes asks you to confirm, click Delete.

There might be other ways to delete files from an app. Read your app's user guide to find out more.

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