iOS 18 adds a brand new feature to keep your most important iCloud files close at hand — 'Keep downloaded' appears in beta

Apple Files app
(Image credit: Future)
WWDC 2024

WWDC 2024

(Image credit: Apple)

1. iOS 18what's next for iPhone?
iPadOS 18 — will Apple finally unleash the power of iPad?
macOS 15 — what's new for Mac?
4. Apple Intelligence — what will it be able to do?

Amongst a plethora of major upgrades coming to iPhone with iOS 18 later this year, Apple has added a very subtle tweak to its Files app that will ensure your most important files are always available offline. 

If you’ve downloaded the iOS 18 beta, the Files app in iOS 18 now features a new “Keep Downloaded” option that you can apply to your most important iCloud files, ensuring that they’re always available on your iPhone. 

In the Files app on iOS 17, you can download any file from iCloud and store it locally on your iPhone. However, the Files app has been known to offload downloaded files you’ve not interacted with in a while, removing some local files and forcing users to re-download them. This is particularly frustrating if you rely on iCloud to store important documents in apps like Pages, or photo edits in an app like Pixelmator, as it increases load times and adds friction to the user experience.

iOS 18 Keep Downloaded 

Now, the Keep Downloaded feature in iOS 18 will ensure that your important files will remain stored on your iPhone through thick and thin. That means you’ll be able to access them locally at any time, even without a data connection, and will ensure that load times and caching issues for certain apps are vastly reduced. With Keep Downloaded, you can rest assured that your files will never be returned to the cloud and won’t need to be redownloaded as a result. Right now the feature is in beta, so it's liable to change, and there’s always a chance it doesn’t make the public release in the fall, but given how useful it is we’d say chances are slim.

iMore can confirm the new Keep Downloaded feature has also been added to iPad with iPadOS 18, and Macs with macOS Sequoia. If you want to try out the feature for yourself, you can download the iOS 18 beta now, but be warned, betas are often buggy and unstable, and shouldn’t be installed on your important, primary devices. 

WWDC 2024 LIVE as it happened. Or check out our roundups for all the latest on the newly announced iOS 18iPadOS 18macOS 15watchOS 11visionOS 2, and Apple Intelligence.

More from iMore

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9