Files on iOS 15.6.1

I was visiting a friend yesterday and he asked me about removing files from “Files” on his iPhone.
I showed him the long press then select delete and everything was ok.
He started deleting his old expired covid certificates and everything worked.
However, there were two files in the that showed a blank icon with PDF on it and a longish filename of mostly numbers.
These two files would not delete. Each gave a message that ‘the file xyzyx could not be deleted because it could not be found’
It’s worrying him (He’s worried enough already with media reports of Apple having a ‘mega’ security problem) so any pointers would be helpful for the next time I see him.

Did you check to see if the files are locked? If not, select “Get Info,” and if they are locked, unlock them and throw them in the Trash. Then empty it.

Try changing the names of the files, then moving them into a new file that also has a new and different name, and then dump them.

If either of these don’t work, Disk Utility might be able to help. It’s built into every Mac:

Does your friend have an Administrator account? It might be worth setting it up and using it to dump the files.

A caveat…double check to make sure the files aren’t needed to be used by any applications.

Hi, Thanks for that, but it’s an iPhone not a Mac

I suggest have the person call Apple Support and see what they say. Or visit a Genius Bar, whichever.

It’s hard to diagnose without knowing where the file was (iCloud? On my phone? A connected syncing service like Dropbox? Which folder in one of those locations?).

Hi Doug,
He doesn’t use iCloud or dropbox. all he does is mail and flight booking! (which he does on his iPad)
All the files (boarding passes, train tickets, covid certificates and the 2 pdfs are in a folder called ‘Downloads’ inside the Files Folder (or is it really an app?)
I’m actually curious how he put them there in the the first place.
I think I may have shown him some time ago.
I can’t get him to use wallet for all these things - it’s apparently ‘too risky’!
Anyway he’s in the far-east for the next few weeks…I’ll try to get him to the local Apple Store when he gets back.