How to Download Files Using Safari on Your iPhone or iPad

Desktop-class features, now on iOS and iPadOS.

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How to Download Files Using Safari on Your iPhone or iPad

iOS 13 has added a download manager to Safari

Highlights
  • Safari has a download manager in iOS 13 and iPadOS 13
  • You can now download files from the Internet
  • These can be stored on your iOS device or on the cloud

Over the years, iOS has slowly but steadily been moving towards becoming a desktop-class operating system. Several features added with recent versions of iOS have been pointing towards this and with iOS 13 — as well as iPadOS 13 — they only cement the view that one day iOS devices will be able to do almost everything laptops can. With iOS 13 and iPadOS 13, seen the addition of support for Bluetooth mice, PS4 and Xbox One controllers, and some nifty tweaks to Safari. One of these Safari tweaks is the addition of a proper download manager with iOS 13 and iPadOS 13, which is a big feature that's flown under the radar a bit.

Yes, Safari has a proper download manager and you can download pretty much any file off the Internet on this browser now. Let's first cover the basics.

Where is Safari download manager?

Just open Safari on iOS 13 or iPadOS 13 and tap any download link on the Internet. Now you'll see a downloads icon on the top right in Safari. Tap that downloads link and a list of recently downloaded items will appear.

How to download files using Safari on iPhone or iPad

Follow these steps for an overview of how this process works.

  1. Open Safari.
  2. Now go to your favourite website where you find things to download. Tap the download link. You will see a confirmation pop-up asking if you want to download the file. Tap Download.
  3. Now you can tap the Downloads icon on the top-right to see the progress of the download. Once the download is complete, you can tap Clear to empty the list of downloaded items (this does not delete the files, just clears the list in Safari).
  4. By default downloads are saved on iCloud Drive. To change download location go to Settings > Safari > Downloads.
  5. Now you can select whether you want to store downloaded files on your iOS device locally or on the cloud.
  6. There's another option in the Downloads page. It's called Remove Download List Items. You can tap that and choose whether you want to clear the list of downloaded items in Safari automatically or manually.

That's pretty much the gist of how to download files in Safari on your iPhone or iPad.

 

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iPhone 11 or iPhone XR: Which is the best iPhone for India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

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Further reading: iOS, iOS 13, Apple, Safari, iPadOS, iPadOS 13
Pranay Parab Pranay is in charge of podcasts and videos at Gadgets 360. Over the years, he has helped build the tutorials section of this site from the ground up, got the Guide section off the ground, started two podcasts, written several in-depth features, reviewed fitness gadgets, handled social media and most recently, taken charge of videos as well. He loves travelling, particularly to places not frequented by tourists. He keeps running half-marathons across the country and hopes to complete a full ...More
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