Viewing Your Mac’s Files with iCloud Drive New!
If you are a Mac user, you are probably already familiar with iCloud Drive. This special folder on your Mac enables you to store files in the cloud and access them on your other Macs. It is very useful if you have both a desktop and a laptop Mac.
You can also access your iCloud Drive files on your iPad in iOS 9. In iOS 8, you could access Pages, Numbers and Keynote files that were stored on your iCloud Drive in the appropriately named folders. You could only access these in the equivalent apps on your iPad.
With the new iCloud Drive app in iOS 9, you can see all your iCloud Drive files. In particular, it gives you access to text files, images, and PDFs, which can all be viewed inside the iCloud Drive app.
Accessing Your Files
Here is how to access your iCloud Drive files.
- Open the Settings app and go to iCloud, iCloud Drive. You see a switch to turn on iCloud Drive access. It should be on by default.
Turn on Show on Home Screen. This shows the iCloud Drive app on your Home Screen. It may not be on the first page.
Find the iCloud Drive icon on your Home Screen and tap it.
- The iCloud Drive app shows your iCloud Drive folders. This should match what you see on your Mac in iCloud Drive. You see some special default folders, like the one for Pages.
- You also see folders created by third-party Mac apps you may have that use iCloud Drive, such as the image editing app Pixelmator.
- Some app-specific folders may be inactive and inaccessible. For instance, this folder is for Automator scripts, which can only be used on Macs.
- If you have created any general use folders on your iCloud Drive, you see those, too. You can tap them to dig down to the folders and files inside.
You also see folders for Mac apps, such as Preview and TextEdit, that have no iPad equivalent. But you can still access the files inside with the iCloud Drive app. As an example, suppose you have a Preview document. You would tap this folder to view the file.
The next screen shows a list of files. In this case, there is only one: a PDF file. Tapping it opens the file, if it has a supported app for it.
- Although the iCloud Drive app does not allow you to edit or do much else with PDF files like this one, you can at least view it.
- You can also move the file to a new location inside your iCloud Drive. This change is reflected on other iOS devices and your Mac.
- You can also delete the file. This deletes it from iCloud Drive, so it also disappears from your Mac.
- The action button allows you to take the file outside the iCloud Drive app.
In this case, the only app installed that handles PDF files is iBooks. You can use this button to copy the file to your iBooks library. If you have other apps installed, such as Adobe’s PDF Reader app, you see it here and are able to copy the file to it.