3 Ways To Successfully Manage Files On Your iPad

One of the things I often hear people ask about in regards to their iPad is how they can manage files better on it.  More specifically, they want to know how they can view files, edit files, and manage them using their iPad, instead of having to use their laptop.  So here are 3 ways you can manage all your files using only your iPad, an app or two, and the Internet!

Since the iPad has only a mobile operating system it is not completely equipped to be a file manager.  Luckily, there are options. You can use your iPad to manage your files for the following reasons:

  • Editing a document on the fly
  • Showing a presentation at a meeting
  • Recall documents or presentations as a reference

iPad File Management

In general, you cannot actually store files on the iPad the same way you would as if you were on a Laptop or Desktop.  Here are a few ways, however, to store your files so you can access them on your iPad:

  • Cloud storage (Dropbox, iDisk, etc.)
  • Within an app (not very common, but possible for offline viewing)
  • Remote Desktop

Cloud storage is the most popular way to access and manage all your files.  Check out our cloud storage article and learn about some of the best (and free) ways to store your files.  The great thing about cloud storage is that it is backed up, usually always available, and a lot of the minimal storage plans are free.  When you use this method, you will need an app (see below) to access your files.

Once you have a  good iPad file management app then you can begin working with all your file types.  Some of the apps do store the files locally but they do so for better performance and for offline access.

Remote Desktop is also a great way to use the iPad for file management.  Using this method, you actually manage all of your files and edit them right on your desktop computer at work or home. Here is a great article on the best remote desktop apps for the iPad

5 Of The Best iPad File Management Apps

iStorage HD

iStorage HD

Here is a great iPad file management app. Using this app you can access, view and edit all your documents.  This is one of the apps that does save files locally so you will be able to read them offline as well as online.

This is a good iPad file management app.  Generally it is best to be able to view your files and do some source code editing.  It is great for emailing files to others as well.


Documents To Go (Premium)

Documents to go

A favorite app for many people using their iPad as a file manager.  This is a top-rated iPad file management app this chock full of features.  There are two versions of this app.  The basic and the premium.  We are showing the premium because it lets you do far more in terms of file management.  With this app, you can manage and edit your files in multiple ways. You can even create files.

This is the app of all apps for iPad file management. It is definitely a little more costly but what you get is the ability to not just view files but edit them as well.  For the power user, this is one to check out.




A little more basic for the user that wants file management with a few great features but wants to spend a little less money.  iFiles is a file manager, document viewer, text editor, voice recorder, WiFi drive, and more for the iPad.  You can transfer files via WiFi from your computer and then send them to others via the iFiles app.  Another really great feature of iFiles is the ability to share files with others via Bluetooth.  Imagine being at work or school and needing to transfer a file real quick.

So there are 3 great ways to use the iPad to manage your files.  Ideally, any of these three apps would work.  The only one that actually edits files is Documents To Go (Premium).  All of them however, provide great file management features and iFiles is good for security along with that great Bluetooth file transfer feature.


So what do you use for your iPad File Management?

Originally posted 2010-08-26 11:56:03.


  1. Robert L. says:

    When I looked early on I went with Documents to Go. There were several reasons but powerful editing and dropbox features won me over. I forgot it synchs with Google docs. I need to go play with that as I do use that service.

  2. Shane says:

    Robert. It also allows for editing of docs as well which I have done on a fairly limited basis. Have you used this feature?

  3. Got the Docs to Go Premium – Love it. Thanks for the tip on this one. Kirkeberg from 3t.

    1. Shane says:

      Mike. You are more than welcome!! Anything I can do to help a fellow tt and I’m pleased! Yeah, I use docs 2 go daily and so far it’s the best I’ve found!

  4. Jeff says:

    Hi Shane, I know you wrote this back in August, and just curious if you still feel docs 2 go is still the best app for file mgt? What I am curious figure out is a way to take a file that is emailed to me, and from my iPad sync it with dropbox? Seeing there is no drive to upload from, is this possible, or do you have to wait until you are in front if your desktop? Is there any file mgt app out there similar to drop box that allows you to do this? Very much appreciate your input.

    1. Shane says:

      Hey there Jeff –

      I am going to do a new post for Monday on this topic but I’ll kind of give you my thoughts ahead of time :-)

      I feel docs to go is great for editing documents and mostly for those out there that need to read and edit Microsoft documents.

      For storage, however, I feel there are two top solutions: Dropbox and SugarSync. Sugarsync is a new service that is actually way ahead of Dropbox and they happen to have a lot more flexibility. You can literally have folders and files that sync up automatically without you having to tell it to sync or manage that synced folder.

      The app goes right on your iPad, Mac, PC, and phone. I am not 100% sure about the email scenario but from my research that would very well be a possibility…I’ll know more soon as I look into it tonight….here is their site:


      best of all you can try it out for free….

  5. Elliot Bailey says:

    Thanks a lot for your review- currently looking at rollint out iPads for our sales team and am reviewing what’s on offer

    Cheers from Aus!

TCGeeks located at 4th Floors New York , New York, NY . Reviewed by 18232 customers rated: 4.8 / 5