Managing Files


This guide steps you through how to manage files and directories in ownCloud’s iOS app; You will learn all about uploading, moving, dragging and dropping, and viewing files, file and folder actions, and navigating folders.


  • File list filter

  • File sort options

  • Thumbnails for supported images

  • File quota (only displayed in the root folder)

  • File actions

  • Folder actions

  • Select all/none

Overview of the ownCloud iOS App’s files view.

Click on a file to view it and click on a folder to view its contents. To view further actions available for a file or folder, click the More icon on the far right-hand side.

File Actions

The actions available for files are:

  • Open in

  • Move

  • Rename

  • Duplicate

  • Copy

  • Delete

  • Make Available Offline

However, file actions are handled slightly differently, depending on whether one or multiple files have been selected. You can see the differences in the two images below.

Individual File Actions Multiple-Selected File Actions

File popup for actions for individual files

Move icon row for multiple-selected files

File actions dialog for individual files in ownCloud’s iOS App.
File actions dialog for multiple-selected files in ownCloud’s iOS App.
The file size values differ depending on the client you are using. Some operating systems like iOS and macOS use the decimal system (power of 10) where 1kB or one kilobyte consists of 1000 bytes, while Linux, Android and Windows use the binary system (power of 2) where 1KB consists of 1024 bytes and is called a kibibyte. So no reason to worry if you see different file sizes in the desktop client and on your mobile device.

There are two ways to navigate folders (outside of the root folder). To go back to the parent folder, tap Back in the top left-hand corner. To navigate directly to any parent folder, tap on the current folder’s name. When you do, you will see the names of all the parent folders, right up to the root folder, as in the image below.

Navigating folders in ownCloud’s iOS app

When navigating files, as you would expect, you can scroll up and down the files and folders list. In addition, you can also use the index bar, highlighted in the screenshot below, to speed up traversing through files and folders. As you slide your finger over each letter, you’ll jump to the first file (or folder) that begins with that letter.

The index bar is only visible, if the sort order is Name.
Navigating files in ownCloud’s iOS app

Sort Files and Folders

By default, files and folders are sorted by name in ascending order, with folders sorted before files. However, files can be sorted in ascending and descending order by name, type, size, date, and shared. If you press the Sort by menu, you can change sort method and order. The first time you change the sort category, files and folders are sorted using that category in ascending order. If you choose that category a second time, the sort order is inverted.

Sorting files and folders in portrait mode Sorting files and folders in landscape mode
Sorting files and folders in portrait mode
Sorting files and folders in landscape mode

View Files

To view a file, tap on its name in the file list. Any file type supported by iOS Safari can be displayed in the app. Depending on the file type, the image will be able to viewed, or an icon for it, along with some file details, will be displayed.

If the file is not available locally on the device, you will see A file is not downloaded locally on the ownCloud iOS app next to the file.

When you click on it, you will see A file is downloading on the ownCloud iOS app next to it while it downloads.

Table 1. Viewing different file types

An image file

A video file

A PDF file

Viewing an image file in the ownCloud iOS App
Viewing a video file in the ownCloud iOS App
Viewing a PDF file in the ownCloud iOS App

A text file

An ODT file.

Viewing a text file in the ownCloud iOS App
Viewing an ODT file in the ownCloud iOS App

PDF Files

When viewing PDF files four UI options are available which make working with them easier; these are:

  • A page selector

  • Page thumbnails

  • A Table of Contents

  • File Search

You can see an example of each in the images below.

Table 2. PDF file functionality

A page selector

A table of contents

Page thumbnails

File search

Page selector in PDF files in the ownCloud iOS App
Table of contents in PDF files in the ownCloud iOS App
Page thumbnails in PDF files in the ownCloud iOS App
File search in PDF files in the ownCloud iOS App

Video Files

Video files have the standard iOS video controls available, which include play, pause, AirPlay, volume, skip forward, skip back, close, and full screen.

Folder Actions

When working with folders, click the plus icon near the top right-hand corner, and three actions become available; these are:

Folder actions in ownCloud’s iOS App.

Create Folder

To create a new folder, click Create folder, enter the name of the new folder, as in the image below, and click return.

How to create a new folder in ownCloud’s iOS App.

Upload Files

To upload files or any time from your device to your ownCloud server, click Upload file. You will then be able to select or browse through files from any app that exposes data to the iOS files app.

Make Available Offline

Please see the Offline Storage section.

Upload File From Your Photo Library

To upload photos from your photo library, you first need to allow the iOS app access to your photos. After that, you can browse through your photos, as you normally would. You can then select one or more photos by pressing them, or click Select All in the bottom left-hand corner to select all photos in the current folder. When you’re happy with your photo selection, click Upload and the photo(s) will be uploaded.

Upload one or more photos from your Photo Library with the ownCloud iOS App.

Move Files and Folders

Whether you are using the iPhone or iPad version of the ownCloud app, you can select and drag and drop one or more files and folders from one folder to another. To do so, you first press Select in the top right-hand corner and select one or more files and/or folders. Then, you press and hold on any of the selected files and folders and:

  • Drag and drop them over a folder in the current directory

  • Drag and drop them over the "Move to" icon (or tap the icon), near the bottom left-hand side of the screen. You then navigate to the folder that you want to move them to and click Move here at the bottom of the screen.

Move multiple files (and folders) to another location in the ownCloud iOS App.

If a file or folder with the same name as one or more of those being moved, already exists in the destination directory, you will see a warning that the file or folder could not be moved.

ownCloud iOS App

Drag & Drop Files Between Apps (iPad-only)

The iOS app supports the multitasking features on iPad. If you open it as a second app with Slide Over, you can use two apps at the same time with Split View and drag and drop one or more files between the two apps. Refer to Apple’s Multitasking On Your iPad guide for more information.

Drag and Drop Files Between Apps (iPad-only) in ownCloud’s iOS App.
Figure 1. Drag and drop multiple files from ownCloud iOS App to macOS Notes