Current Status:

Quality of Life Changes in iOS 13: iCloud Drive Downloads

Whilst digging around in the iPadOS beta, I noticed a small little feature in iCloud Drive that I’ve been hoping for for a long time …

I’ve long replaced the likes of Dropbox and Google Drive with iCloud Drive, but a big annoyance with doing this for me was that if you store a file there that you want to download, use, then remove from your device, such as a video or audio file, there was no way to actually remove it! The only option you had was, weirdly, to remove it from iCloud Drive / Files completely. Not only this, but the reverse could happen. You could download a file, but if iOS needed the space in the future it would simply remove it, without your knowledge. All in all, it was a frustrating experience.

This looks to have finally been fixed in iOS 13, however. A long press on a file or folder presents the following interesting menu:

As you can see from the highlighted line, you can now simply remove the download when you’ve finished with it, leaving the original on iCloud Drive. While this is, obviously, an extremely basic feature, it’s also an important one and one that’s been missing since iCloud Drive and Files. This, along with some of the other options enabled here, such as Quick View, make moving all of your cloud storage to iCloud Drive more viable than ever. I’m certainly pleased I bided my time on this and didn’t move back to Dropbox.

I’ll continue to dig around in the iOS beta and share any new little gems I come across.