Files (Apple)

Files is a file management app developed by Apple Inc. for devices that run iOS 11 and later releases of iOS and devices that run iPadOS. Discovered as a placeholder title in the App Store just prior to the company's 2017, Worldwide Developers Conference, the app was officially announced at the conference shortly thereafter. Files allows users to browse local files stored within apps, as well as files stored in cloud storage services, including iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive. It allows for the saving, opening and organization of files, including placement into structured folders and sub-folders. iPads are able to drag-and-drop files between Files and other apps, while iPhone users are limited to drag-and-drop inside Files itself. Further organization can be done through the use of color-coded or custom-named tags, and a persistent search bar allows for finding files inside folders, though not inside other apps. A list view enables different sorting options. The app offers the exclusive playback of high-quality FLAC audio files, and also offers support for viewing text files, images, "Music Memos", and Zip archives, as well as limited support for video.

Developer(s)Apple Inc.
Initial releaseSeptember 19, 2017 (2017-09-19)
Operating systemiOS 11 and later, iPadOS
Available in33 languages[1]
List of languages
English, Arabic, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Norwegian, Bokmål, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Traditional Chinese, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese
TypeFile management


Hours before Apple's June 5, 2017 Worldwide Developers Conference, developer Steve Troughton-Smith discovered a placeholder title in the App Store for a "Files" app, requiring iOS 11.[2][3] Apple officially announced the app at its conference shortly thereafter.[4][5]


Files allows users to browse local files stored within apps, as well as files stored on cloud storage services including iCloud, Box, Dropbox,[4] Google Drive, OneDrive, and more.[6] Users are able to save, open, and organize files,[6] including placing files into structured folders and sub-folders.[4] On the iPad, users can drag-and-drop files between the Files app and other apps, but on the iPhone the functionality is limited only to inside each respective app.[7] Users can add colored and custom-named tags to files, adding them to a dedicated "Tags" section.[8] A persistent search bar at the top enables finding files inside sub-folders, though it doesn't search within other apps.[9] A list view enables optional sorting according to size or date.[10]

Upon long-pressing a file, the app offers several options, including "Copy", "Rename", "Move", "Share", "Tags", "Info", and "Delete".[9] Files stored on third-party services can be copied to the device for offline access.[8] iCloud Sharing is brought out from Apple's dedicated iWork apps to become a standardized feature across the operating system, enabling the sharing of any file in Files; the dedicated "iCloud Drive" app is removed, replaced by Files, with iCloud available as one of the cloud storage providers users can connect the app to..[8]

A built-in player inside the Files app allows for the playback of high-quality FLAC audio files.[11][12] The app also supports the viewing and extraction of Zip archives.[13] If no compatible app is installed, Files allows for the viewing of text files, and experiments in watching videos in AVI or MOV formats have shown limited, but partially successful, results.[9] Images and "Music Memo" files can also be previewed and played.[9]

See also

  • Finder (software)
  • Files (Google)


  1. "Files". App Store. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  2. Russell, Jon (June 5, 2017). "Leaked App Store entry suggests Apple will launch a file-management app for iOS". TechCrunch. AOL. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
  3. Byford, Sam (June 5, 2017). "Apple's 'Files' app for iOS 11 appears on App Store ahead of WWDC". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
  4. Hardwick, Tim (June 5, 2017). "Apple Announces New 'Files' App Coming With iOS 11". MacRumors. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
  5. Welch, Chris (June 5, 2017). "Apple announces iOS 11 with new features and better iPad productivity". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
  6. Bohn, Dieter (June 26, 2017). "iOS 11 preview: Keep it simple, smarty". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
  7. Vincent, James (June 7, 2017). "The iPhone is also getting drag and drop with iOS 11". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
  8. Caldwell, Serenity (June 6, 2017). "iOS 11's Files app FAQ: Everything you need to know!". iMore. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
  9. Sorrel, Charlie (June 8, 2017). "Everything you need to know about the new Files app on iOS 11". Cult of Mac. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
  10. Cunningham, Andrew (June 5, 2017). "Apple's new iOS file manager coming this fall as part of iOS 11". Ars Technica. Condé Nast. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
  11. "iOS 11 lets you play FLAC audio files straight from your iPad and iPhone". The Next Web. June 6, 2017. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
  12. Gartenberg, Chaim (June 6, 2017). "Apple reportedly adds support for FLAC lossless audio in iOS 11". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
  13. "How to open ZIP files on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch".
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