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How to Go to Files on iPhone: A Comprehensive Guide

In today's digital age, managing and organizing files on smartphones has become an essential task. As an iPhone user, knowing how to access and sort files on your device can greatly enhance your productivity. This guide will walk you through the step-by-step process of navigating and managing files on an iPhone. Whether you are new to the iOS ecosystem or an experienced user looking to optimize your file organization, this article has got you covered.

Oct 21, 2022


Before exploring how to access files on an iPhone, it is important to ensure that your device is updated to the most recent iOS version. Apple regularly releases updates that not only provide new features but also address any security vulnerabilities present in the operating system. To check for updates:

  1. Go to the Settings app on your iPhone.

  2. Scroll down and tap on General.

  3. Select Software Update.

If an update is available, follow the on-screen instructions to download and install it. Keeping your iPhone updated ensures that you have access to the latest software enhancements and security updates.

For more information, refer to this Apple Support article.

The Files App on iPhone

The Files app is a powerful, built-in tool developed by Apple that allows you to organize, browse, and manage your files on iOS devices. Introduced with iOS 11, the Files app provides a centralized location for accessing files from various sources, including iCloud Drive, apps that support file sharing, and even third-party cloud storage services. Here's how you can locate and navigate the Files app on your iPhone:

  1. Locate the Files app on your home screen. It is represented by a blue folder icon.

  2. Tap on the Files app to open it.

Once you have opened the Files app, you will be presented with a user-friendly interface to manage your files.

Making the Most out of Files App

Creating New Folders

To effectively manage your files, it is important to create separate folders for different types of documents and media. The Files app allows you to create new folders directly within the app. Here's how to create a new folder:

  1. Open the Files app.

  2. Navigate to the location where you want to create a new folder.

  3. Tap on the New Folder icon, represented by a square with a plus sign at the bottom.

  4. Enter a name for the folder and tap Done.

Organizing Files within Folders

Once you have created folders, you can easily organize files by moving them into the appropriate folders. To move files:

  1. Open the Files app.

  2. Navigate to the file you want to move.

  3. Long-press on the file until a menu appears.

  4. Tap on Move.

  5. Navigate to the desired destination folder.

  6. Tap on Move Here to move the file to the selected folder.

Searching for Files

If you have a large number of files on your iPhone, finding a specific document can be a challenging task. Fortunately, the Files app comes with a built-in search functionality. Here's how to search for files:

  1. Open the Files app.

  2. Tap on the Search icon, represented by a magnifying glass.

  3. Enter the name or keyword related to the file you're searching for.

  4. As you type, the Files app will display relevant search results.

Sorting and Viewing Options

To further enhance your file organization, the Files app provides various options for sorting and viewing your files. To change the sorting and viewing options:

  1. Open the Files app.

  2. Tap on the Sort icon, represented by three horizontal lines and three dots.

  3. Choose from various options such as Date, Name, Size, or Tags to sort your files.

  4. Tap on the View icon, represented by four squares.

  5. Select the desired view style, such as Grid, List, or Columns, to customize the display of your files.

By utilizing these sorting and viewing options, you can quickly find and access files on your iPhone.

Accessing Files from Third-Party Apps

In addition to managing files within the Files app, you can also access files from third-party apps installed on your iPhone. Many apps that handle documents, images, or other media provide the option to share or export files to other apps, including the Files app. Here's how to access files from third-party apps:

  1. Open the third-party app containing the file you wish to access.

  2. Locate the file and tap the Share or Export button within that app.

  3. In the share sheet that appears, scroll down and tap Save to Files.

  4. Choose the desired destination folder and tap Save.

The file will now be accessible within the Files app.

How to Use iCloud with Files App

iCloud is a cloud storage and synchronization service provided by Apple. By leveraging iCloud and the Files app, you can seamlessly access and manage your files across multiple devices. Here's how to backup files to iCloud and access them using the Files app:

  1. Open the Files app.

  2. Tap on Browse at the bottom of the screen.

  3. Under Locations, tap on iCloud Drive.

  4. To save a file to iCloud, navigate to its existing location and tap on it to select it.

  5. Tap on the Share icon, represented by a square with an upward arrow.

  6. In the share sheet, select Save to Files.

  7. Choose the desired location within iCloud Drive and tap Save.

To access files stored on iCloud using the Files app:

  1. Open the Files app.

  2. Tap on Browse at the bottom of the screen.

  3. Under Locations, tap on iCloud Drive.

  4. Navigate to the desired file or folder within iCloud Drive.

By utilizing iCloud and the Files app, you can seamlessly back up and access your files across all your Apple devices.

Dealing with Errors and Issues

While accessing files on your iPhone, you may encounter certain errors or issues. Some common problems and their troubleshooting steps include:

  1. File Not Found: If a file is not appearing in the Files app, ensure that it is saved in a location accessible to the app. Consult the specific app that created or holds the file to troubleshoot the issue.

  2. Unable to Open a File: If you are unable to open a file, make sure you have the appropriate software installed on your device that can handle the file format. Alternatively, try opening the file in a different app that supports the file type.

  3. File Syncing Issues: If you are experiencing difficulties syncing files between devices or with cloud storage services, ensure that you are connected to the internet and check if there are any service outages. If the issue persists, try signing out and signing back in to your iCloud account or the respective cloud storage service.

If you encounter any other specific errors or issues, refer to the relevant support resources or forums for assistance.

Additional Tips and Tricks

To further enhance your file organization and efficiency on iPhone, consider these additional tips and tricks:

  1. Quick-access shortcuts: Utilize the Shortcuts app to create custom shortcuts for frequently accessed files or folders.

  2. Context menu: Long-press on a file or folder in the Files app to reveal a context menu with useful options such as Rename, Duplicate, or Share.

  3. Tags for better organization: Assign tags to files and folders in the Files app to quickly categorize and locate them based on custom tags that you create.

By leveraging these tips and tricks, you can unlock the full potential of file organization on your iPhone.


Effectively managing and accessing files on your iPhone is pivotal for maximizing productivity and streamlining your digital workflow. With the native Files app and the tips provided in this comprehensive guide, you can easily navigate, create folders, search for files, and access files from third-party apps. Additionally, by utilizing iCloud integration and implementing additional tips and tricks, you can maintain a well-organized file system on your iPhone. Remember, a well-organized file system leads to efficient usage of your iPhone and ultimately improves your overall digital experience.

Imparting the importance of file organization, this guide equips iPhone users with the knowledge and tools necessary to master file management on their devices. By implementing the recommendations outlined in this article, users can harness the full potential of their iPhone's file system.

For more information and insights into digital security, privacy, and file management, refer to the following helpful resources:

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