How to Download Files and Documents to iPhone or iPad

Apple offers so many great features on their devices, but when you start using them regularly, you’ll realize that iPhones or iPads are a little complicated when it comes to specific things. Downloading a file or document on an iPhone or iPad is one of them, and it isn’t easy. As you know, iPhones and iPad don’t come with a proper file system, which is why this simple task of downloading files becomes difficult. Downloading files on Apple devices is not as simple as Android. With Android, it’s up to you which file you want to download and where you want to move it, but that is not the case with Apple devices.

On an iPhone or iPad, the file should be public to be downloaded. If Apple allows users to access the drive without restriction, it would be much easier to store files on your phone. But like any other problem, this problem also has a solution. All you need is to know the process. So go through this guide and find out how you can download files and documents on your iPhone or iPad. There are three safe and secure methods of downloading a file on your apple devices; read to choose which can be better for you.

How to Download files or documents using Safari on iPhone or iPad?

Safari is one of the best built-in apps from Apple. it’s a powerful browser with numerous helpful features and one of the best features is its Download Manager. You may not have used it till now, but if you are an iOS 13 user, this will be available on your system. You can simply follow these steps to download files or documents on Apple devices from the Safari application.

  • Launch the Safari app and open the URL or search for the file you want to download.
  • Tap on the file link.
  • A popup will come asking, “Do you want to download,” Tap on Download.

Download files or documents using Safari on iPhone or iPad

  • A Download manager button will appear on the top right of the screen. Tap on that to manage or see all your downloads.

Download manager button

  • After opening the Download Manager, you can see all the running downloads. You can click on X to cancel your download if you want to.
  • When your download completes, you can preview it only if the downloaded file is a media or doc file.
  • At the bottom, you can see a share button; tap on it to share your file to another application.
  • Safari will save your downloaded file in the iCloud app by default, but you can change the saving destination if you want (as mentioned below in the guide).

choose Delete and proceed

  • For deleting the file, you can locate it in the iCloud and Tap and hold on to the file. A menu will come up, choose Delete and proceed.

Change the default destination of downloads on Safari

Moving the files after downloading them can be time taken, and doing it, again and again, every single time, can be disturbing. Saving files to default locations can create this problem. On iPhones, all your downloads are saved under iCloud’s downloads folder. Keeping files under iCloud is an excellent option as you can access that data from any of your devices linked to your Apple account. But this is a good option only for those who have a paid subscription of iCloud. If you are one of the free account users, then you only have 5 GB to store, which is why you need to change the default location of your downloads. 

Follow the steps to change the location of your downloads:

  • Open your iPhone Settings and tap on Safari. (you can use spotlight search to locate)

iPhone Settings and tap on Safari

  • Under Safari settings, tap on Downloads.

tap on Downloads

  • Now under “Store my downloaded files on,” tap on my iPhone or iPad; you can also choose other available options per your need.
  • If you choose “On my iPhone”, the Safari app will select the downloads folder under your storage for the default location.

select the downloads folder

  • To change the folder location, tap on the “Other” option and choose your desired folder from phone storage. (you can also change drive folder location by this)

How to Download files or documents using Google Chrome on iPhone or iPad?

Google is the best alternative to Safari when it comes to browsers. Many people use Google chrome daily while working on a computer or phone and thus might not be comfortable with the Safari method. In such a scenario, you can download files on Apple devices through Google Chrome as well, by following these steps:

  • On your device, launch the Chrome application.
  • Open the URL or search for the file you want to download on Chrome.
  • Click on the download link and Tap on Open in.. (By this, your file will be saved under a temporary folder, and after closing the app, your downloaded file will also vanish from that folder)
  • You can select a destination for your file to download and save it under your cloud services.
  • If you want to cancel your download, then tap X.

Download or save the image on your chrome application

  • Open Chrome on your iPhone or iPad.
  • Open the link or search for the image you want to download
  • After opening the webpage, tap and hold on to the picture.
  • By holding the image, you will see popup options; here, you can choose to save the image on your phone or copy the picture.

Finding or managing downloaded files under Chrome app

  • To see or manage all of your downloads on Chrome, open your Chrome app.
  • Tap on the three dots on the top right corner to open the menu.
  • Tap on the downloads option to open Chrome’s Download Manager.
  • Here you will see all your downloads, tap any of them and hold to see the options to take action on the file.

How to Download files or documents using Google Drive on iPhone or iPad?

As you know, Apple doesn’t provide a suitable space for storage on the iCloud Drive, and 5GB is not enough even for an average user. If you want more space than 5GB, you need to buy a costly subscription from Apple. But you can choose other options to store your data under the iPhone.

Dropbox and Google Drive are the best alternatives to iCloud for cloud storage services. As per the trust value generated by all these years by Google, people are comfortable with the service of google drive, and it’s pretty popular. With google drive, you’ll get 15GB of free storage, which is more than enough for an average user. It also gives a paid subscription option, the same as iCloud, but We think 15GB free storage will be enough for you to download or store your files. 

You can also set Google Drive as your default saving location on your browser. Here is how you can download files from Google drive on your iPhone or iPad:

  • Open your Google drive.
  • Open the file link that you have or open it on your app.
  • You will see three dots on the side of your file name; tap on it to open the action menu.
  • Here select the option as per your need.
  • To download a file to your local storage, select Open in and Save to files, then choose the file’s destination and click Save.

Download files or documents using Google Drive on iPhone or iPad

Open in and Save to files

  • If you want to launch a file on another app, then after clicking Open it, select the desired app and done.

If you are saving a photo or video from your google drive to an iPhone or iPad’s local storage, open the Drive and look for the file. Click three dots and select Send a copy option from the menu, then click Save image/video to download.


With the help of this detailed guide, you can download files/documents on iPhone or iPad effortlessly and move them to your desired location. All the three methods mentioned in this guide are reliable, safe and 100% working. You can choose any of them as per your convenience. For further queries on this topic, connect with us in the comments. To read more such useful guides for apple devices, don’t forget to check our related blogs.

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