How to Download Files Permanently on iPhone and iPad

In Short
  • With iOS 18 and iPadOS 18,  Apple improved the Files app to ensure your important files are always available offline.
  • The File app in the new iOS 18, macOS Seqouia, and iPadOS 18 has a new Keep Downloaded feature that lets you permanently save all your important files for offline access.
  • Open the Files app, long-press a file or folder you want to download permanently, and choose the Keep Downloaded option.

Apple announced a bunch of new features for iPhone users with iOS 18, and a few iPad-centric features with iPadOS 18. Like every year, the big and brand-new features grabbed all the limelight, for the right reasons. Interestingly, Apple also made some worthy improvements to several native apps. The Files app receives one subtle change that ensures your important files are always available offline. Yes, you can finally keep your files and folders permanently downloaded on your device. Let me show you how to download files permanently on an iPhone or iPad.

Until iOS 17, you can download a file from iCloud and save it locally on your iPhone. However, the problem is the Files app decides which apps will remain in the cache and offloads certain files you’ve not interacted with in a while, without even telling you. So, when you want to access a file, you’ll have to re-download it. This is particularly frustrating when there’s no internet connection. You might find that the file you need has been sent back to the cloud and is no longer available. It’s a pain for users who rely on iCloud to save their important files.

Thankfully, iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 have fixed this problem. There’s a new Keep Downloaded feature that lets you permanently save all your important files on your iPhone and iPad. This means you can quickly access your files locally at any time, even without a data connection. You can have peace of mind that you don’t have to re-download your files, as they are never returned to the cloud. 

How to Permanently Save Files on iPhone and iPad

With the Keep Downloaded option in iCloud Drive in iOS 18 and iPadOS 18, you can permanently save files on your iPhone and iPad. It’s super easy and gets done in a few taps. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Make sure you’ve installed iOS 18 or iPadOS 18 (currently in developer beta).
  • Open the Files app on your iPhone or iPad.
  • Now, locate the file or folder you wish to download permanently.
  • Long-press on the file or folder and hit the Keep Downloaded button.
How to download files permanently in iOS 18 and iPadOS 18

That’s how easy it is to download an entire folder or a file permanently on your iPhone and iPad. Going forward, you never have to worry about losing an important file or having to re-download it again & again.

It’s worth knowing that the Keep Downloaded option is also available in macOS Sequoia. So, you can save files permanently and access them offline whenever you want to.

It’s a much-needed addition to the Files app. What do you think? Don’t forget to share your opinions in the comments below.

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