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iOS 11: How to use the new Files app

Apple has introduced its new Files app with iOS 11 and along with it come improvements for managing, editing, and sharing your data. Follow along for a look at this new iOS app.

If haven’t tried out iOS 11 you can check out our walkthrough here for installing the public beta. As we noted earlier, running the beta on a secondary device is recommended. Even though the latest beta versions are more stable that the first developer beta, you might experience things like warmer-than-usual devices, poor battery life, crashing apps, etc.

Files replaces the iCloud Drive app in iOS 11 and brings a number of enhancements to working with your files on your iPhone and iPad. There is a Browse and Recents tab at the bottom of the Files app. In the Browse tab you can easily navigate between files stored on iCloud or on your device, a Recently Deleted location along with Favoritesand Tags. Let’s dive into some of the details.

When browsing your files and folders, you can tap Select in the top right corner to get some editing options, or alternately do a long press for even more choices.

As you’ll notice above, Search is prominently featured at the top (as it is across much of iOS 11) followed by LocationsFavorites, and Tags. In Recently Deleted, you can search, delete and recover (also Recover All or Delete All).

The Recents tab is a useful new feature and makes it seamless to continue on with your current work. Just like in the Browse tab, you can do a long press on documents in Recents for a quick way to edit, share, tag, and more.

When you open files like PDFs or images, you’ll find easy access to marking up and sharing. You’ll also see the option to Create Watch Face with compatible images and support for third-party share sheet buttons too.

When you open files like Pages, Numbers, or Keynote documents, iOS will automatically open the doc in the corresponding app. Just make sure you have the iWork apps loaded onto your iPhone or iPad (without having the apps on your phone they’ll open as read only in the Files app).

One other curious detail, iWork documents only seem to editable when they live in the Pages, Numbers, or Keynote folders in iCloud Drive/Files app. Hopefully this will be sorted out soon enough. You can also open Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint files (if they are in the Pages, Numbers, or Keynote folder) and iOS will offer to Open or Open a Copy (preserving the original) of the file.

Check out our how to guide for more help getting the most out of your Apple devices. You might also like:

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