How to Rename Files & Folders in iOS Files App

Feb 16, 2018 - 8 Comments

The Files app in iOS is where iCloud Drive data is stored

The iOS Files app and iCloud Drive offer a file system of sorts for the iPhone and iPad. One frequently used capability of file systems is the ability to rename files and folders as necessary, and as you might expect, the Files app for iOS offers this functionality too.


Apple is quite consistent with these functionalities across their operating systems, so if you’re already familiar with renaming a file or folder on the Mac or renaming an app folder on iOS then the technique should be immediately familiar to you.

How to Rename Folders & Files on iPhone & iPad with Files App

  1. Open the “Files” app on the iPhone or iPad
  2. The Files app

  3. Navigate to the file or folder you wish to rename in the iOS Files app
  4. Tap directly on the file or folder name
  5. How to rename files and folders in iOS

  6. Use the keyboard to edit, delete, or rename the file or folder as necessary, then tap on the “Done” button to set the name change
  7. How to rename files and folders in iOS Files app

Simple, and easy.

The renaming process is the exact same whether the target item is a file or a folder.

Renaming a folder in Files app for iOS

You can rename just about anything found within the Files app and iCloud Drive, whether it’s a folder you just created yourself, a webpage PDF you created, a file that was saved from another iOS app, something copied to iCloud Drive from a Mac, or elsewhere.

Because many items in Files app are stored in iCloud and not locally, there is sometimes a slight delay with the renaming of files or folders from taking effect on other devices using the same Apple ID. For example you may change a file name of a document from an iPad in the Files app, but because it syncs through iCloud and Apple servers, it may take a moment for that change to reflect in the Files app of another shared iPhone, or even the iCloud Drive app on the Mac, any slight lag depends on the speed of the internet connections in use.

Remember, the iOS “Files” app used to be called ‘iCloud Drive’, but with the new name it also earned the ability to have files stored directly on an iOS device through apps (but not directly from user input, as of now anyway). Regardless of how the Files app is named the data stored within will be the same, and it’s the same iCloud Drive data you can access from another iOS device or Mac using the same Apple ID too.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, iPhone, Tips & Tricks

8 Comments

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  1. Louie says:

    I guess that’s the new way to rename files in the files app. The old way still works, however, by tapping and holding on the file icon and then tapping on ‘rename’ in the black menu. Just as it worked in the former iCloud drive app.

  2. Ogles of Kansas says:

    You can also long press a name of file and a menu comes up. Then you can choose copy past move rename etc

    Thanks for great tips.

  3. iPhoned360 says:

    I think this is the new way to rename the application file. However, the old method still works.Thanks for the post.

  4. Armando says:

    The only problem I have is that I have a File folder in my iPhone 8 but not in the iPad Air 2 although they are both running the last iOS version

    • Louie says:

      Is that folder associated with an app (such as pages, numbers, etc) that’s installed on your iphone? If so, that may be why it doesn’t show up on your ipad. iCloud folders associated with specific apps will only show up on the devices where those apps are installed (and maybe on icloud.com). For example on my ipad, I have pages, numbers and keynotes, all of which have created folders in icloud drive. I can’t see those folders when I open icloud drive using the files app on my iphone, where I don’t have those apps installed. I can, however, see them when I go to icloud.com on my computer.

  5. Jennifer says:

    I’m new to iPads and this is driving me bananas. If I tap the file name, it opens the doc. If I long press on the filename the black menu does not have a rename option. It has Copy/Duplicate/Share/Tags/Info. I need to rename the files, the long list of random letters and numbers that the app is using on it’s own is completely nonsensical. It won’t let me choose a name when I am saving…oh wait “sharing” since for some reason there is no save or save-as option. I thought Apple products were supposed to be fun and user friendly.

  6. Timothy Horn says:

    The problem with trying to rename photos through this file system is that when you open FILES app, the list of locations does not include the photos and unless you have put these photos into another app like dropbox, you are not going to be able to mess with them.

  7. Tim says:

    You really should tell folks to “double-tap” when that is what is needed.

    I appreciate the help though it would have been less ‘time consuming’ had you told me that “tap” meant multiple taps (which happened out of frustration, and need).

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