How to Securely Store Files on Your iPhone or iPad

This tutorial will show you how to save files of any kind, securely (password protected) on your iPhone or iPad.

This guide will take you step by step through the process of setting up and using the iPhone/iPad App File Manager Pro App so that you can store and access any kind of file you want on your iDevice, and keep those files private. File Manager Pro App lets you password protect the files of your choice, so that no one but you can view them.

Important note: The software used in this tutorial costs $4.99. I have tried a number of free and other paid File Manager Apps for the iPhone and iPad, none were as good as this one (by quite a long shot).

  1. To get started – download and install File Manager Pro App from the iTunes store. Once it’s installed, tap on its icon on your Home screen. Note: the screenshots used in this tutorial are from the iPhone ‘version’ of the App. The iPad version is nearly identical and you’ll have no trouble following along if you’re using an iPad.
  2. You’ll be presented with the main ‘home screen’ for File Manager Pro App. Tap the Local Files button.
  3. As you can see, there will be a folder already there, named Tutorial. Inside, it contains a PDF tutorial on how to use the App (which isn’t bad, but isn’t as detailed as this one).

    From the upper-left corner of the App, tap the Home button. You’ll be using that button frequently to jump back and forth between all the features.

  4. Now tap the Image Gallery button.
  5. A list of all the ‘photo albums’ on your iDevice will be displayed, including your Camera Roll. Tap one of them.
  6. This time you’ll be presented with a list of all the images/movies in that particular photo album. Note that while the list is alphabetical, it sorts file types differently. As illustrated in the image below, .JPG files are listed before .MOV files, even when the video file has a name that’s alphabetically ‘ahead’ of an images name.

    Now tap the Select button from the upper-right corner of the App. It’s the small button with a ‘down arrow’ as an icon.

  7. The list will change so that the files are now ‘selectable’ – tap a few of them to select them. The red check-mark next to the file indicates it has been selected. Tap the Download button that will appear on the bottom of the App once you select a file.
  8. This will “download” (copy) the files from your image gallery directly into the File Manager App itself.
  9. Return to the Home screen and once again tap the Local Files button.
  10. The files you selected in step #7 are now (also) stored inside of File Manager. If you delete them from your image gallery/Camera Roll, they will remain inside of the File Manager App.

    File Manager Pro also includes its own “file viewer” so that you can open files from directly within the App. Tap one of your pictures.

  11. The picture will now open in File Manager Pro’s built in viewer. This viewer is able to display the following kinds of files (among others): Microsoft Word, Powerpoint and Excel, PDFs, images, music and video files – even zip files.

    Tap the Share button in the upper-right corner when you have a file open in the viewer…

  12. … and you’ll be able to share or open it in another App (depending on the file type and which other Apps you have installed).
  13. There are number of other things you can do with your files – return to your Local Files folder and tap the Select button (#1 in image below). Now tap the file(s) you want to work with (#2 in image below). Once you’ve selected one or more files, a new options bar will appear at the bottom of the App (#3 in image below). It’s from here that you can “Favorite” the file so that you can quickly access it later, create a new folder for the file(s) selected, copy or move the files to a new folder etc.
  14. “Swipe” the options bar and additional options will be displayed – including Delete and Rename.
  15. Another feature of File Manager Pro App is that you can tie it to a number of “cloud services” such as Dropbox,, Google Drive, iCloud etc. Tap the Home button and then the Cloud Services button.
  16. This makes it very simple to copy any kind of file from your ‘cloud’ directly to your iPhone. Scroll down to step #22 if this is a feature you don’t think you’ll ever use. Otherwise, for the sake of this tutorial I’ll replicate the experience with Dropbox.
  17. After being prompted to Allow File Manager Pro App to access your Dropbox folder…
  18. … you’ll be presented with an alphabetically sorted list of all the files and folders on your Dropbox account.
  19. To download a file from Dropbox directly to your Local Files folder, tap the Select button.
  20. Tap the file(s) you wish to download, and then click the Download button.
  21. Once the download has completed, the file will open in File Manager Pro App’s ‘file viewer’ – if possible.
  22. Yet another feature of File Manager Pro App is the ability to download a file directly from the web. Return to the Home screen and tap the Web Browser button. Using it, you can enter in the web address (URL) of a file, and File Manager Pro App will download that file to its Local Files folder.
  23. Now that we’ve covered how to download and copy files to the File Manager Pro App itself, lets secure everything. Tap the General button from the Home screen.
  24. In the Settings section, tap the Password protection button.
  25. From here you can either opt to secure your files by using a 4 digit numerical PIN, or a password containing numbers, letters etc. I’ve opted to use the PIN feature to secure my files. Use the “slider” to switch from OFF to ON for whichever method you prefer.
  26. If you opt to enter a PIN, you’ll need to do so twice. The same is true with a password.
  27. Once the PIN or password has been set, you will need to enter it EVERY time you want to access your files. So do not forget that password!
  28. That’s it – you now have a way to not only store any kind of file on your iPhone/iPad, but you can do so knowing that it will be password protected.
{ 19 comments… add one }
  • Kevin June 23, 2013, 7:01 pm

    App crashes when “Box” selected

  • Ross McKillop June 23, 2013, 9:38 pm

    Really? I was able to connect mine to Box, though I’ve only used it once (I’m a dropbox person…). Does it crash as soon as you tap

  • Kevin June 23, 2013, 11:11 pm

    Yes it crashes (exits the program) when Box is either selected directly or from within “cloud services.”

  • Ross McKillop June 24, 2013, 12:25 am

    @disqus_yeX0nc7SFe:disqus – I just wiped the Apps data, uninstalled and re-installed the App. When I tap it does the same thing as before (opens your iOS browser and directs you to to authorize File Manager – then once you’ve authorized and signed in, you can access your Box files). No crashing at all.

    So – forgive me please if I’m suggesting things you’ve already tried and would consider “obvious” –

    1. Have you tried tapping any of the other cloud service buttons? Do any of them cause crashes?
    2. Are you using a browser other than the default iOS’s Safari?
    3. Is your device jailbroken?
    4. Have you tried powering your iPhone completely off and back on again? I know, I know, but I have to ask :) – it really does solve problems…
    5. Are you using iOS 5 or higher?

  • Kevin June 24, 2013, 12:48 am

    I followed your comprehensive instructions and deleted the app and just as an extra precaution closed down and restarted the iPad (not sleep mode). I reinstalled the app and sure enough it took me to to the mobile site for authorisation. After authorisation the “Box” logo appeared in the menu but on tapping it the application closed down. I have tried all the other cloud sites and they all work correctly so its back to you.

  • Kevin June 24, 2013, 12:49 am

    Sorry if forgot to say I have the very latest iOS 6 software.

  • Ross McKillop June 24, 2013, 12:58 am

    @disqus_yeX0nc7SFe:disqus: I just sent an email to the folks who develop this software and asked if one of their support staff could join in this discussion – they’re the experts (and if you’ve found some kind of bug I’m pretty sure they’d want to fix it) – I’m running out of ideas…

  • Kevin June 24, 2013, 1:06 am

    Thank you for being most helpful Ross

  • Kaveh October 25, 2013, 11:34 am

    Doe file manager pro support flac?

  • Cathy Gerber January 20, 2014, 12:27 pm

    I am unable to view my Pages documents in iCloud. I have iCloud services checked but I don’t see any docs there. My Dropbox docs show up but not the iCloud ones. What is the problem?

  • abbas jack June 24, 2014, 9:03 am

    Files-finder edition allows users to lock their important files so that user can manage files on their iPad with the help of this app.

  • Lay Fox July 18, 2014, 7:00 pm

    Hi, a question re File Manager Pro in particular and iPad in general; is there a way to browse and work with existing files, and not just the ones that you copy into the Local Files setup? I would like to share GarageBand music tracks in GarageBand format, not what the app exports, and I can’t find those native files to attach to an email or upload. I was disappointed that FMP will not expose the iPad filing system a la Windows Explorer. Any way to do this?

  • Ross McKillop July 18, 2014, 8:34 pm

    Sadly, no. Apple doesn’t allow users to view the “file system” the way you can on Windows or OS X. If you jailbreak your iPhone, that’s another story. Once you jailbreak, you can see/access/edit etc all the files on your iPhone.

  • Ramon Nocent November 24, 2014, 12:08 pm

    I am unable to view my documents in iCloud. I have iCloud services checked but I don’t see any docs there. My Google Drive docs show up but not the iCloud Drive ones. What is the problem?

  • Simon Wright January 27, 2015, 12:30 pm

    I am interested in downloading the app but there are a few features which i will need to make it worthwhile. My filing system will pretty much be comprised of pages and numbers documents as well as a handful of pictures. Currently I have the basic version of the software which is ok but does not allow me to directly open my spreadsheets or pages documents for editing and updating within their respective applications. It does however open a pdf version for viewing only. Does the pro version allow me to open and edit my files directly from pages and numbers?

  • mchan1 January 15, 2017, 11:50 pm

    Does prof paid version allow file transfers BACK to the PC?
    Nowhere does it state this!
    Forget using a browser!
    Does app function like Win Explorer when iPhone is connected to PC??

  • Konrad Kummli May 18, 2017, 10:34 pm

    Is there a way to pick multiple files or an entire folder with multiple files using the document picker? I want to copy multiple files from a folder in my iCloud into a particular folder within File Manager Pro. I don’t want the files in FMP to be linked to the iCloud after I do that. I’ve only been able to do this by picking documents one at a time. FMP dumps them into the Local File folder, so then I have to move them into the folder I want afterwords (that can be done on a bulk or multi-file basis). Also FMP deems to open each file for me after it copies them into the local folder (annoying). This is a lot of tablet touching to copy an entire folder of files and is really inefficient use of human time.

  • John Evans March 23, 2018, 8:03 am

    FMP promises to allow users to “open docs from other apps”
    How is this accomplished?
    I have many files/videos/pictures in other apps I want to access.
    Any help would be appreciated.

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