About File Sharing on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

You can copy files between your computer and apps on your iOS device that work with 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 Mac OS X.

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

What you need

  • The latest version of iTunes
  • Mac OS X v10.5.8 or later or an up-to-date version of Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7
  • An iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with the latest version of iOS
  • An iOS app that works with File Sharing

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

  1. Plug in your iOS device to your computer with a Thunderbolt or USB cable.
  2. Launch iTunes on your computer.
  3. Select your device in iTunes. Get help if you can't find it. 
  4. Click Apps in the list on the left and scroll down to the bottom of the page.
    If you don't see the file-sharing section, your device has no file-sharing apps.
  5. In this section, you'll see a list of file-sharing apps on your device. Select an app to see the files for that app on your device.

Copy files from your computer to your iOS app

  1. Select the app in the list in the file-sharing section in iTunes.
  2. Drag and drop files onto the Documents list to copy them to the app on your device.
  3. Or click Add, locate the file or files you want to copy from your computer, and click Choose. iTunes will copy the files to the app on your device. Select only files that will work with the app. Read the app’s user guide to learn which file formats the app works with.

Copy files from an iOS app to your computer

  1. Select the app in the list in the file-sharing section in iTunes.
  2. Drag and drop files from the Documents list to a folder or window on your computer to copy them to your computer.
  3. Or, select the file or files you want to copy to your computer from the Documents list and click "Save to". 
    • Select only files that will work with the app. Read the app’s user guide to learn which file formats the app works with. 
    • Find the folder on your computer to which you want to copy the files and click Choose.

Open shared files

With your file-sharing app on your device, you can open the files you've copied from your computer.

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 in iTunes when your device is plugged in 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'll also delete those shared files from your device. To avoid losing shared files, back up and copy these files to your computer frequently, especially before you delete a file-sharing 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. Plug in your device to your computer.
  2. Select your device in iTunes. Get help if you can't find it.
  3. Click Apps in the list on the left, then scroll down to the file-sharing section on the right.
  4. Select the app with the file you want to delete.
  5. Select the file you want to delete in the Documents list and press the Delete key on your keyboard.
  6. Click Delete when iTunes asks you to confirm.

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

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