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How I use my iPad: Yoink – a powerful drag and drop companion app [Video]

I constantly get questions about how I use my iPad, and posts like our recent iOS 11 iPad multitasking walkthrough have only increased interest among those looking to get more out of their tablets. With this in mind, I plan on sharing my iPad workflows with you on a more regular basis, including some of the key apps that help keep me productive when I’m away from my Mac.

Yoink, the brainchild of indie developer Matthias Gansrigler, is one such app that can boost productivity. Gansrigler’s company, Eternal Storms Software, launched Yoink on macOS years ago, and to this day it remains one of the staple apps in my Mac workflow.

The Yoink Mac app is a handy utility that acts as a temporary storage location for moving files more efficiently around macOS. The iOS version of Yoink is similar in that it can work as a temporary storage location for files, but there is a lot more to it than initially meets the eye. Watch our hands-on video for a look at how I use Yoink, and why you should consider adding it to your essential list of iPad apps.

When you launch Yoink, you’ll notice a ‘+’ button in the upper left-hand corner. This button can be used to add items from the clipboard, browse the Files app, add items from the Photos app, or download from a provided URL location. Adding from clipboard and adding from Photos are both self-explanatory, but the Browse Files and Download URL options are particularly interesting.

Files app integration

Not only can you access the Files app directly from Yoink by selecting the Browse Files option, but Yoink works as a document provider within the Files app. This means that you can easily access anything stored in Yoink directly from any app that can interface with the Files app. It also means quickly moving items to and from Yoink directly from the Files app.

Video walkthrough

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Downloading Files

There have long been ways to download files from specified URLs in iOS, but Yoink makes doing so a breeze. You can download files directly from the app itself by tapping the + button in the upper left-hand corner and selecting Download file, or you can use share extensions on a URL location and let Yoink automatically detect a potential download. Yoink will prompt you to see if you wish to download the file and will even notify you once the download is completed.

Easy drag and drop

The most obvious use case scenario for Yoink on iPad is when combined with drag and drop. Running Yoink as a Slide Over window or even a Split View window makes it easy to drag eligible content to Yoink from any application.

Once an item is stored in Yoink, it can easily be copied to any other eligible application — either right off the bat or at a later time. In other words, you can use Yoink as either a permanent or temporary holding area for files depending on your specific needs.

Keep in mind that you can also drag and drop multiples files into or out of Yoink. Multiple files that are dragged into Yoink simultaneously are added as a stack — a group of multiple file items.

Share extension

Drag and drop isn’t the only way to get items or files into Yoink. You can add items to Yoink from virtually any app that supports iOS share extensions. For example, if you’d like to save a location from the Maps app, simply tap the share button and select Add to Yoink. Conversely, you can also add items from Yoink to apps that support share extensions.

Adding items from the Clipboard

When Yoink detects items stored in the iOS clipboard, it will automatically prompt you to add those items. You can also manually add items from the clipboard by tapping the + button in the upper left-hand corner and selecting Add from Clipboard.

Copying vs moving

Once a file is added to Yoink, you have the choice of either copying or moving the files to the desired destination. Copied files will remain inside Yoink, while moved files are placed into the trash. To switch between copy and move mode, tap the Lock icon in the bottom left-hand corner of the app.

Grouping files using stacks

Individual files inside of Yoink can be grouped into stacks, which work similarly to folders. Stacks can contain a mix of file types and can be renamed using edit options.

To create a stack simply drag and drop one file on top of another file. You can, of course, use iPad’s ability to select multiple items at the same time to easily drag more than one file into a stack. A image preview of each item will be showed to represent the contents of the stack.

Ungrouping items from a stack is accomplished by tapping the ellipsis on the stack and selecting Split up, or by tapping the Edit button in the upper right-hand corner, and selecting the ungroup option in the upper-left hand corner of the stack.

If you drag multiple items into Yoink, this will automatically create a stack, though you can change this option via Yoink’s settings. It’s also possible to merge stacks simply by placing a stack on top of another stack.

Deleting items from Yoink

Tap the Edit button and tap the ‘-‘ sign in the upper right-hand corner of an item to delete both individual files and stacks of files. Deleted items are moved to the trash where they can be later recovered if desired. You can also delete items in Yoink via the ellipsis button in the bottom right-hand corner of a single file or stack.

If you’d like to delete all items in Yoink, simply tap the Trash button in the bottom right-hand corner and select Delete All. You can also use the same button to show deleted items currently in the trash.

Items in the trash can be recovered via the Restore button in the upper left-hand corner of each item. Stacks that have been moved to the trash will be recovered as a stack.

You can also delete items by dragging and dropping the individual files or stacks to the Trash button in the bottom right-hand corner. You can even select multiple files and drag them to the trash for more efficient deletion without having to resort to using Delete All.

Filtering files

Yoink lets you easily filter files to better help you find a specific item. Tap the Showing All button at the bottom of the app to open the list of filter options. Filter options are dynamically displayed based on the content stored within Yoink. For example, if you have an Affinity Photo document stored inside, you will have the option Show ‘Affinity Photo Document’ inside the list of available filters. Filtering is a great way to quickly find items that you’re looking for.

Managing Types

Items that you add to Yoink may feature different types e.g. RTF and plain text for text snippets. Yoink allows you to choose which file type you want to preview and copy by tapping on an item with multiple types.


You can quickly access settings directly from the app by tapping the Yoink button at the top of the app. Settings include configuring clipboard support to automatically store clipboard items to Yoink, disabling stack support when multiple items are dragged into Yoink simultaneously, and setting up auto deletion for items.


Yoink also includes a third-party keyboard that can be enabled directly from its settings. The keyboard is useful when working in text editing applications because it allows you to interface with items stored in Yoink directly from the keyboard interface. While the keyboard can be used on iPad, I see it being used more by iPhone users, since that platform lacks support for the iPad’s advanced multitasking features.

Spotlight support

All files stored within Yoink are indexed by Spotlight, meaning that renaming files can be beneficial as far as searching via Spotlight is concerned. Unfortunately, items found in Spotlight cannot be dragged into other apps directly, but you can get quickly to them within Yoink with just a tap on the search result.


We’ve teamed up with Eternal Storms to give away five copies of Yoink. Three copies can be redeemed using the codes below, and two additional copies can be found in the description of the YouTube video embedded above. If you redeem the codes, please take the time to leave a comment to let me know.

Yoink codes:


But even if you weren’t quick enough to grab a free copy via the redemption codes, the app is less than a latte at your favorite coffee shop. Yoink can be downloaded from the App Store and costs just $2.99. There are no in-app purchases or subscription fees associated with the app.

In my opinion, Yoink is a must-have app for any iPad user who frequently needs to move files from one location to another. What are your thoughts on Yoink? Share your opinion down below in the comments.

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Avatar for Jeff Benjamin Jeff Benjamin

Jeff produces videos, walkthroughs, how-tos, written tutorials and reviews. He takes pride in being able to explain things in a simple, clear and concise manner.