How to get the most out of the Documents app on iPhone and iPad

Nitin Agarwal How-To's

Readdle’s Documents is my favorite app for managing files on my iPhone and iPad. The app’s name is Documents, but it accepts more than just that. The main features of the app include opening, managing, and sorting documents. But it also can act as a file viewer, a media player, or a downloader tool.

If you’re a starter and only using Documents for reading PDFs or Docs, then you’ve been missing many great features that this app offers. Keep reading, I’ll show you the complete list of things you can do with Documents, in order to help you get the most out of this app on your iPad and iPhone.

  1. Wi-Fi Drive

Wi-Fi Drive can be found in Settings of the Documents app. This feature allows you to transfer files quickly between the computer and your iOS device using WebDAV protocol of the Wi-Fi network.

Popular operating systems like Windows or Mac have the ability to mount WebDAV resource as a network drive. But for simple use, you can use any web browser to gain access to Documents’ files.

After you turn on “Enable Drive” toggle, just open a web browser on your computer and go to the IP address given at the bottom of the page. You’ll be able to download any files saved in Documents’ local storage, as well as upload files from your computer via this web interface.

  1. The document viewer and the media player

The Documents app has a built-in file viewer that lets you open a wide variety of files such as PDFs, EPUBs, images, common audio & video formats, Microsoft Office documents and HTML web pages. With PDF files, you can also add annotations, or search the content. However, if you want to edit these document files, you’ll need to copy them to another app that handles these file types, like PDF Expert for PDF files and Words for Microsoft doc files.

  1. Integration with cloud storage services

The Documents app also ties into all the major cloud storage, including Google Drive, Dropbox, iCloud Drive,… allowing you to access all your files stored in the cloud from one place. When you access a cloud service and tap on a file, the app automatically downloads it to the local Documents folder and make it available for offline access.

Moreover, instead of manually downloading files, you can sync an entire folder and keep files in that folder synchronized with the folder in the cloud. Just find the folder you wish in the cloud service and select the Sync button.

  1. Download Files

Safari or Google Chrome doesn’t let you download files from the Web, but the built-in web browser of Documents does. And this is a major advantage that makes me love this app.  You can use Documents’ built-in web browser to download Youtube videos, mp3, books, documents and literally anything from the Web.

To download a file, just access the direct link pointing to it in the built-in web browser. You’ll be prompted to name the file and save it. By default, downloaded files are stored in the Downloads folder, but you can change it to any folder you like. If you’re using Safari to access the direct link, simply change the URL from http:// to rhttp://. This will launch Documents and open the file in the built-in app browser, letting you save it easily.

  1. ZIP and UN-ZIP files

Documents also have the ability to handle compressed files in Zip or RAR format. If you have downloaded a Zip file from the Internet or received via email, just import it to Documents using the “Open In” feature. The Zip file now can be extracted easily just by a tap.

To create a new zip file, select all the files you want to compress, then tap “More” > “Zip”.

Last modified: December 26, 2017

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