The Files App on Your iPhone: Everything You Need to Know

You can manage files on your iPhone and iPad using the Files app. Here is a user manual for beginners on how to use it.

Since it was first made available for iOS in 2017, the Files app has made it simple to organize and manage all of your saved files in one place on your iPhone or iPad. You can work together, tag files for organization, view documents in preview mode, sync with iCloud Drive, and more.


You’d be a fool to not make most of the recommended app’s many useful features. You can read about all the Files app’s key features in the sections below.


What Does the Files App Do?


For your iPhone or iPad, the Files app essentially functions as a file manager. It enables you to manage external files, such as documents, photos, and more, that are kept on your iPhone or iPad. To keep your files up to date, you can sync your device with a number of file services, including iCloud Drive, Google Drive, Dropbox, and others.

The Files app has a number of features to make managing files easier, including document previewing, tag usage, file collaboration, and more.


How to Install the Files App on Your iPhone or iPad


Since the release of iOS 11, the Files app has been pre-installed on every iPhone and iPad, so it should already be there. However, if you accidentally deleted it, you can redownload it for free from the App Store.


How to Set Up a Storage Service in the Files App


The Files app’s primary advantage is that it enables you to manage all of your files from a single location and access various storage facilities. This implies that you can access any files on your iPhone’s internal storage, access your iCloud Drive files, or decide to sync any other storage service.

These files also consist of any that you may have downloaded via Safari, received via AirDrop, etc. It’s simpler to sync and browse files from various sources when all of your storage services are accessible from a single platform.


Setting Up Storage Locations in the Files App


Before using the Files app to access your various file services, you must first set them up. Before you can add the file storage service to the Files app, you must have the respective file service’s app installed on your iPhone or iPad.

Their setup is simple:


  1. In the Files app, click the More button (the three dots).
  2. Choose Edit.
  3. This will list every file service that is accessible. Enable the services you want to configure and rearrange them as you see fit.
  4. Once all of your sources are configured, you ought to see them on the Files home page. To sign in and authenticate with a particular service, tap on it.

The Files app makes it simple to access all the files stored on your storage services once they are all set up. Any file you download directly to your iPhone or iPad from Safari or another source should appear under On my iPhone in the file source menu.

The same process can be used to connect the files app to your iCloud Drive, enabling you to quickly access all of your iCloud Drive files on your iPhone or iPad.


Using External Storage Devices and Network Servers


As long as you have the appropriate adaptor, you can also connect your iPhone or iPad to an SD card, hard drive, or any other external storage device. the storage device should become visible in the  Locations menu of the Files app.

From here, you can access your drive and all of its contents just like you would from a standard file explorer. As an alternative, you can include a network server in the Files app, enabling direct access from your device.


How to Save a File to the Files App


Use the Save to Files option in the Share menu from another app to save a file to the Files app. When saving a document from Mail or Safari that you want to have handy on your device, this is helpful.

When using multiple apps, the Files app can serve as your central repository for files. By doing so, you can prevent making multiple copies of the same file. The majority of iOS and iPadOS apps now support the Files app, allowing you to select documents from that app and save them back there after finishing your edits.


How to Search for a File in the Files App


The Files app’s search feature is arguably the quickest way to find something. You’ll find a large search bar when you swipe down to perform a search. Use this to conduct a search across all of your locations for any file or document.


Organizing Files Inside the Files App


Consider the Files app as the Finder or File Explorer of macOS or Windows for iOS. The app provides the fundamentals of a file explorer even though it isn’t as feature-rich. Below, we’ve covered some fundamental guidelines for managing documents in the Files app.


Create a New Folder


It’s simple to create a new folder. To create a new folder on an iPhone, select New Folder from the More menu. To make a new folder on an iPad, just tap the Add Folder icon in the top-right corner of the screen.


Move Items Between Locations


Utilizing the Move function is the simplest way to arrange and move files between folders and sources. Tap and hold the object you wish to move, choose Move from the menu, and then choose the location you wish to move it to.

If you’re trying to find something, using the Get Info menu of any file will also provide you with the precise file location and file path.


Sort And View Option


You can sort files on an iPhone by Name, Kind, Date, Size, or Tags by selecting the More button. Additionally, you have the choice of List or Icon views.

By tapping the Sort icon in the top-right of the Files app, you can access the same options on your iPad.


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