Way to keep a synced iCloud file in Files on the iPad?

The other day I downloaded a synced file in FIles on my iPad because apparently it was just in iCloud. That was fine.

But today I notice the same file was in iCloud again and needed to download it again. I was checking things out after upgrading to iOS 17.

Normally this would be ok, but what if I’m not connected to the Internet? Is there a way of ensuring that certain files at least remain on the device?

The iPad Pro itself has plenty of extra space. It has 512 GB of storage and of that 417 GB are free.


I have a lot of learning and recipe videos and user manuals in pdf format I want to have on my iPhone or iPad when I am out of reach of the internet. To get them totally out of Apple’s fatherly grip, I store the videos in “On My iPhone” in the VLC app and PDFs in the Acrobat app.

This works great. The only thing is that I have to keep my Mac and iPhone/iPad in sync manually.

Both VLC and Acrobat are free.

I guess it must be possible to copy individual files to on my device.


I have done that on iOS 16. In Files I can copy a file or folder and then paste in the On my iPhone folder. I would assume that means that file will always be there regardless of what happens with iCloud or the network. And I suppose this should work the same on iPadOS.

I’m very much a Mac person and cannot imagine getting real work done on iPhone. But I have to say, IMHO the Files app has become a lot better and I find I can use it to do what I usually want to do in a quite intuitive way. I wish the Mail app had made similar progress lately.

This would be for a presentation from an easy to carry device rather than creating sinking.


Yes just let it sync down from iCloud and then you can copy it to “On my iPhone”. You can do that with any kind of file.

An aside: If you have your iPhone set to dark mode and reply to these emails on your phone, the background is forced to white. And because it’s dark mode the fonts are almost white. So what you’re typing is almost impossible to read.