How to Download Files Using Safari on Your iPhone or iPad

Safari app in iOS 13 showing a download window on iPhoneKhamosh Pathak

In your professional or personal life, you may need to download a file to your iPhone or iPad. Using the new feature introduced in iOS 13 and iPadOS 13, you can now do it directly in Safari. No third party application required!

How to download files with Safari

The Safari download manager is a new hidden feature in the iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 updates. If you spend your day browsing the web, you probably will not be aware of the feature. Instead, it appears when you tap a download link.

Go to a web page and find the link for a file you want to download. When you select it, you will see a pop-up window with the name of the file asking you if you want to download it. Press the "Download" button.

Tap the Download button to start a download

The download will start and you will see a new "Downloads" button appear next to the address bar at the top of the browser. Press the button to reveal all downloads in progress. From there, you can monitor the progress of multiple downloads.

If you want to stop a download at any time, simply press the "X" button.

Press the X button to stop a download

When the download is complete, tap the file to preview it. If you have downloaded a multimedia file, an image or a PDF, you will be able to see it in the preview window.

You can then share the file with any application. Press the "Share" button in the lower left corner.

Tap the Share button to share the downloaded file with any application

Tap the "Search" icon next to the file name in the Downloads section to open the file.

Press the search button to open the downloaded file in the Files application

Once you have opened the file in the Files application, you can press and hold the file to display the menu.

Press and hold the file from the Files application for options

From there, press "Delete" to delete the file.

Tap Delete on the menu to delete the downloaded file

How to change the default download location

By default, downloaded files are saved in the Downloads folder in iCloud Drive in the Files application. This is a great option if you have a paid iCloud storage plan because it allows your downloaded files to sync instantly to all your devices.

But if you are on the free level of 5 GB, you may not have space to store large files.

Fortunately, you can change the default location to local storage. Open the "Settings" application and go to Safari> Downloads. If you can not find the browser on your phone, try using Apple Spotlight Search to locate it.

Tap Downloads option in Safari settings

Here, switch the selection to "On my iPhone" or "On my iPad" depending on your device.

Tap on my iPhone to change the download destination

By default, Safari will choose the "Downloads" folder. You can change this by pressing the "Other" option to select any local storage folder (or cloud storage option).

Alternative for iOS 12 users: Documents 5 by Readdle

The new download manager in Safari is exclusive to iOS 13, iPadOS 13 and higher. If you do not have updated to the latest OS (which you should), or if you are in a situation where you can not update, here is a workaround for you.

Try to use for free Documents 5 app by Readdle. It is an all-in-one browser and a file management application.

Open the Documents 5 application and press the "Browser" button in the lower right corner to enter browser mode.

Press the browser button to access it

Now go to the page with the download link and press it. In the next screen, select the folder in which you want to download the file and press "Done".

Tap Done to start the download

The download will now start. You can tap the "Downloads" tab to view all downloads.

Use the Downloads section to monitor downloads

Tap the "Files" button in the lower left corner to switch to the file manager. From there, tap the "Downloads" folder to see your downloaded file. You can tap the download to preview it in the app. Press the "Menu" button to view the options to open the file in another application.

Press the menu button to see the options of the downloaded file

The Safari download manager is just one of many new features in iOS 13. Check out our list of best iOS 13 features to learn more.

RELATED: The best new features of iOS 13, available now

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