How to add Google Drive, OneDrive and DropBox to the Files app on iPhone

By default, the Files app on iOS displays two storage locations – iCloud Drive and On My iPhone. If you use third-party storage apps like Google Drive on your iPhone, you can view any file you’ve saved to the storage service of your choice directly from the Files app.

In this post, we will explain how you can link other cloud storage services to the Files app on your iPhone, which apps support this feature, and what you can do by adding a storage app to the iOS Files app.

What third-party cloud apps are supported by the iOS Files app?

The native Files app on iOS not only shows the files stored on your iPhone, but you can also use it to access files you’ve stored in third-party storage apps you’ve installed on iOS. The Files app currently supports multiple cloud storages and you will need to download the app whose storage you want to add as a location inside the Files app.

You can use the following third-party cloud storage apps and link them to the Files app:

How to add Google Drive, OneDrive, or DropBox to the Files app

While linking the cloud storage app to Files is a simple process, you’ll need to make sure the cloud storage you want to add is installed as an app on your iPhone. If you haven’t, you can download these apps from the App Store using the links above.

Once you have downloaded and installed the app of your choice, you must first open said app at least once and set it up so that the Files app can display the cloud storage app on your screen. This will require you to sign in to your account for the storage app you plan to use on your iPhone.

With the cloud storage app installed and set up, open the Files app on your iPhone.

Inside the files, select the Browse tab in the bottom right corner.

On this screen, you should see two default storage locations – iCloud Drive and On My iPhone. To add the cloud storage app to the list of options, tap the three dots icon in the top right corner.

In the additional menu that appears, select ” Edit “.

When the view screen enters edit mode, you will be able to see all the apps that were previously hidden on this screen.

You can enable any of these apps to show up in the Files app by simply toggling the switch next to each of the services. In this case, we’ll add Google Drive to the Files app by turning on the Drive radio button in the Locations section.

You can repeat this for other cloud storage apps you want to add to the Files app so that it appears on the Browse screen.

When you add multiple storage locations to the Files app, you can rearrange the list of options under Locations so that the ones you prefer to access frequently are at the top, followed by other storage locations. To rearrange your storage locations, press and hold the three-line icon to the right of the selected storage, and then drag it up or down to suit your preference.

If you have a storage service/app that you no longer want to see in the Files app, you can hide it in the Locations section by turning off the toggle next to the selected app.

Once you’ve added your account from Google Drive, OneDrive, DropBox, or another app to the Files app, you can confirm the changes by clicking ” Done ” in the top right corner.

Newly added storage options will now be visible in the Locations section of the Overview screen.

When you add apps like Google Drive, OneDrive, or Dropbox as additional storage locations in the Files app, you can access the files you’ve previously saved in each of those apps just as you would when opening files saved on your iPhone. You can also perform several other actions with them, such as renaming, compressing, creating a new folder, adding tags, sharing, deleting, and more.

How to move files within a storage location in Files

The Files app lets you move files to an exact storage location, but you will only be able to copy files and folders to a few storage locations at any time. If you use the Move action to move files from, say, Dropbox to your iPhone, iOS will use the Copy action instead and a copy of the selected file or folder will be created at the destination.

To access the files you’ve saved to your storage location, open the Files app , select the Browse tab , and tap the storage app whose files you want to open. In this case, we will open Dropbox .

Inside the selected storage location, you will see all the folders and files that you have uploaded to the selected cloud storage so far.

If there is a file or folder that you want to move to your chosen storage location, you can do so by long-pressing on the file and choosing Move from the menu that appears.

If there are multiple files you want to move in the same storage app, tap the three dots icon in the top right corner.

In the additional menu that appears, click ” Select “.

Now select the files/folders you want to move in bulk. When you select the items you want to move, they will be marked with a blue checkmark icon. After selecting the files you want to move, tap the folder icon on the bottom toolbar.

The Files app will now open a new popup where you can choose the destination for the file/folder you are moving. If you see a “Copy” option in the top right, that means you’re in a different storage location than where you’re moving the file or folder. If you only want to move the selected file, click Browse (or Back , if you’re inside a folder) in the top left corner to go to the Browse screen.

On the next screen, select a storage location (the same one that the file is from). In this case, we’ll choose Dropbox since that’s where we selected the files we wanted to move.

When the selected vault opens, navigate to the location where you want to place the file/folder. Once you are at the location where you want to move the files/folders, click Move in the top right corner.

The selected files/folders will be moved to the destination folder and removed from the source folder.

How to copy files to one or more storage locations

If you have multiple storage locations, you can copy some files from one storage to another to free up space in one of them. The Files app allows you to copy files to multiple storage locations or to a different folder within the same storage, creating a duplicate and keeping the original file in its existing location. You can do this using the Copy function, but the Move function can also be used when copying files to multiple locations.

Before using any of these actions, you need to access the folder you want to copy files from and select them from that location. For example, we will try to copy content from Google Drive to Dropbox, but the process will remain the same even if you want to copy content from one folder to another in the same storage application.

To do this, open the Files app, select Browse > Drive , and find the files/folders you want to copy.

Method 1: Using the Copy Action

To copy a single file or folder, tap and hold an item from the storage location.

In the additional menu that appears, select ” Copy “.

If there are multiple files and folders that you want to copy to another location, you will need to select them first. To do this, navigate to the folder from which you want to select a bunch of files and folders to move. Inside this folder, click on the icon with three dots in the upper right corner.

Choose”.

Once you’ve selected the files you want to copy, tap the three-dot icon in the bottom right corner for more options.

From the additional menu that appears, select ” Copy Items “.

the selected files will now be copied and you will now need to navigate to the folder where you want to paste them. To do this, click on the Browse tab in the lower right corner.

Because we’re copying files from Google Drive to Dropbox, we’ll select Dropbox under Locations, but you can choose any other location from the apps you’ve added to the Files app.

Inside the selected storage, open the folder where you want to copy the selected files. When you get to the destination folder, press and hold an empty space on the screen.

When you do this, you will see an additional menu. Select Paste from this menu .

All files and folders you copied from the original location (Google Drive) will now be copied to the new location (Dropbox). You can use the copy action to duplicate items from one storage location to another, or save it to a different location in the same storage application.

Method 2: Using the Move Action

You can also use the “Move” option to copy content between different stores, but this won’t work if you want to copy files in the same store.

If you plan to copy a single file or folder to multiple storage apps, you can do so by long-pressing on the specified item in the storage location and selecting Move .

If there are multiple files and folders that you want to copy to another location, you will need to select them first. To do this, navigate to the folder from which you want to select a bunch of files and folders to move. Inside this folder, click on the icon with three dots in the upper right corner.

Choose

folder icon

The Files app will now open a new popup where you can select the destination for the file/folder you are moving. To select a storage location to copy, tap Browse (or Back , if you’re inside a folder) in the top left corner to navigate to the Browse screen.

dropbox

When the selected storage (Dropbox) opens, navigate to the location where you want to place the file/folder. When you are at the location where you want to copy the files/folders, click ” Copy ” in the top right corner.

All files and folders you copied from the original location (Google Drive) will now be copied to the new location (Dropbox).

What happens when you add a cloud storage app to Files?

When you link a cloud storage app to the Files app, you’ll see it listed next to the default storage locations on the Browse screen. You can view or hide different storage locations at any time based on your usage and preferences, and rearrange them in your own way.

All files you have created or saved in the cloud app will appear the same as the files originally saved on your iPhone. Similarly, any changes you make to your storage location from the Files app will also be reflected in your cloud storage account on other devices and on the web.

What you CAN do by linking your cloud storage app to files

You can open any file in the vault with Quick Look, and if the selected file is supported, it will open in the Files app. When a file from Google Drive or any other third-party app is opened in the File app, you get the same tools for sharing, searching markup, or adding captions in the bottom toolbar as you would when interacting with a file in your iPhone’s storage.
You can perform any folder actions you would normally do in the Files app, such as sorting, grouping, and creating a new folder. The Files app also lets you scan documents from your iPhone and save them directly to any of the cloud storages you add to the app. If you’re inside a folder with a bunch of files, you can easily find the files inside them using the search bar at the top.

When it comes to quick long-press actions, you can perform all the functions you would normally do with files saved on your iPhone, including rename, compress, duplicate, tag, copy, move, share, and delete. The same steps apply when working with folders. The Files app lets you do everything in external cloud storage, just like local storage or iCloud Drive.

Plus, you can download files from the internet directly to your Google Drive account before saving them to your iPhone. You can also free up space in one storage location by moving your files to another cloud storage, as explained earlier in this post.

What you CANNOT do by associating a cloud storage app with files

While you can do a lot by linking your Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, Box, or Creative Cloud accounts to the Files app on iOS, there are still a few things you won’t be able to do from the Files app.

If your use of your preferred cloud storage service is limited due to these restrictions, we recommend using the cloud storage app for iOS to access all of its original features.

That’s all you need to know about adding Google Drive, OneDrive, or DropBox to the Files app on iPhone.

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