iPadOS Safari

With iPadOS 13, Apple is finally bringing desktop capabilities to Safari on the iPad. This is possible in part because the iPad is finally separating itself from the iPhone, and iPadOS brings about a ton of new functionalities, especially with Safari. One of the biggest new features in Safari is the ability to download and manage files from webpages.

Apple occasionally offers updates to iOS, watchOS, tvOS, and macOS as closed developer previews or public betas for iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and Mac (sadly, no public beta for the Apple Watch). While the betas contain new features, they also contain pre-release bugs that can prevent the normal use of your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, or Mac, and are not intended for everyday use on a primary device. That's why we strongly recommend staying away from developer previews unless you need them for software development, and using the public betas with caution. If you depend on your devices, wait for the final release.

How to download a file in Safari

Since Safari now has a desktop-class browsing experience on the iPad, it's actually possible to download files directly on your iPad. Whether it's zip folders, documents, videos, music, software restore files, or whatever suits your fancy, you can do it right on your iPad in iPadOS 13.

  1. Launch Safari on your iPad.
  2. Navigate to any webpage that contains the file you want to download.
  3. Tap on the link to the file that you want to download. If the website has the Download option hidden under a menu, just tap on it until you find the download link.

    Click Download link for the file you want to download. It may be under a menu

  4. Confirm whether you want to download the file by tapping on Download.

    Click the Download button to confirm the download

  5. If you change your mind about the download, just tap on the "X". Your download will begin downloading immediately if you chose to download it.

How to manage your downloads

Like on the desktop, you can view and manage your current downloads right in Safari.

  1. Tap on the Downloads button in the toolbar (it's the arrow pointing down inside a circle). This reveals a popover menu with your current downloads.

    When you have downloads, the download manager becomes visible

  2. If a file is still downloading but you want to cancel it, just tap on the "X".
  3. If you want to resume the download, tap on the Resume button (looks like the refresh icon in Safari).
  4. To view your file, tap on the magnifying glass to open up your Downloads folder in iCloud Drive.
  5. If you want to clear out your downloads, just tap on Clear.

    • This gets rid of any unfinished downloads as well, so be careful.
    • Any completed downloads will still remain in your Downloads folder in iCloud Drive.

    Pause or Resume a download, stop the download and get rid of it, or Clear the entire list

How to view your downloaded files on iPad

After you download a file from Safari, you can quickly jump to it from the download manager by tapping on that magnifying glass icon. But if you want to view them manually after clearing out the list, you can do that too.

  1. Launch Files on your iPad.
  2. Tap on Browse.

    Launch FilesFiles, tap Browse

  3. Make sure to select iCloud Drive from the Locations side panel.
  4. Locate the Downloads folder and tap it.

    Select Downloads

  5. Tap on a file to view it.
  6. If you want to share the file, tap on the Share button in the top right corner to bring up the Share Sheet.

    Select fileiPadOS Files Share Sheet

Get more from your iPad

Apple Smart Keyboard ($179 at Amazon)

The Apple Smart Keyboard is portable and lightweight. It provides protection for your iPad while also giving you a real keyboard typing experience. It's made of rubber and comfortable to type with.

SPARIN Tempered Glass Screen Protector ($10 at Amazon)

Keep your iPad screen protected with this quality screen protector. It's made from tempered glass so it's tough and durable, and it's super easy to install.


If you have any questions regarding downloading files in Safari on iPad, let us know in the comments.

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