A common question that we currently hear frequently is: can I see the server files on my iPhone? The short answer is yes…but there is more to the story.

The long answer: it all depends on how your server is set up and what version of iOS you’re using (for starters). Let’s look at a few steps that can help you get access to your files right from your phone.

Connecting External Servers With the help of the Files App

One of the simplest ways to access your files is by using the Files app on your iPhone (https://support.apple.com/guide/iphone/connect-external-devices-or-servers-iph8d8f0f1a0/ios). This will often be available to you (as a pre-downloaded feature); however, if it looks like you don’t have it, the first step is to download Files from the app store. This app can help you access stored files on external devices or servers, which can include USB drives and SD cards, file servers, and additional cloud storage.

USB or SD Card

Another way to connect external servers is through a USB drive or an SD Card.

Follow these steps if this is the route you want to go:

  1. Insert a Lightning cord to a USB Camera Adapter, Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter, or Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader into the charging port on your iPhone (all of these can be picked up at a local best buy or apple store).
  2. Next, proceed to do one of the following:
  3. Connect a USB drive: Use the USB cable that came with the USB drive to connect the drive to the camera adapter.
  4. Insert an SD memory card into the card reader (don’t try to force the card into the slot on the reader; it fits one way).
  5. To view the contents of the device, tap Browse at the bottom of the screen, then tap the name of the device below Locations. If you don’t see Locations, tap Browse again at the bottom of the screen.

To disconnect, remove it from the connector on your iPhone.

Add a cloud storage service

Additional options for accessing your files include accessing your account through other popular storage services that can offer a little more variety.

Adobe Creative Cloud

Documents by Readdle

Citrix Files



After downloading, you should be able to access files stored on these accounts through the Files app. (The files app supports many services as well including Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, ect.).

Here is how you can add a cloud storage account to the files app.

Step 1. Download the desired app that you want to use with Files (like any of the ones listed above)

Step 2. Open the downloaded app and sign into your account. 

Step 3. Launch the Files app and tap on the ‘Browse’ tab at the bottom bar.

Step 4. Proceed to tap on the ‘…’ button from  the top right corner of the screen and then press ‘Edit’ (within the menu).

Step 5. Under the Locations heading make turn on the toggle (if it isn’t on already) for the cloud service you want to enable in Files app.

Step 6. Tap and drag on the grabber located next to the toggles to move ‘Locations’ up and down.

Step 7. After this, simply tap on the ‘Done’ button to exit the edit mode.

Remember you need to keep the cloud storage app you choose on your iPhone or iPad in order to continue using it.

We hope this helps you stay connected and productive from wherever you are. If you have any more questions, feel free to drop us a line!

Luke Kumanchik

Entrepreneur, programmer, backyard farmer & Dungeon Master Extraordinaire.