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Apple adds encrypted drive support to Files with iOS 14 and iPadOS 14

Apple Ipados14 Widgets
Apple Ipados14 Widgets (Image credit: Apple Inc.)

What you need to know

  • Apple has added a small update to files in iOS 14.
  • Users will be able to recognize encrypted drives on both iPad and iPhone.
  • The feature only works for drives in APFS format.

Apple appears to have made a quiet change to its Files app on both iPad and iPhone with iOS and iPadOS 14.

As reported by 9to5Mac:

Apple didn't say much about what's new in the Files app with iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 during the WWDC 2020 keynote — maybe because not much has changed. But there's an important new feature that brings iPhone and iPad one step closer to the Mac when we talk about file management, and that's APFS encrypted drive support.With the next major update to the iPhone and iPad operating system, users will be able to access encrypted drives through the Files app. This feature is already present in the first beta version of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 available to developers, as we have already successfully tested on an iPad.

According to the report, accessing and using the feature is really easy, simply plug an encrypted drive into your device through the Lightning or USB-C port, then open the Files app.

Encrypted drives show up in the sidebar, and tapping on it will prompt you to enter the password required for the drive. The only wrinkle is that it only recognizes drives encrypted in APFS, which can be adjusted in Disk Utility on macOS.

9to5Mac notes that accordingly, macOS Big Sur has also been updated so that Time Machine backups can now be put on an APFS disk, where previously it only worked with HFS+ disks.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple.