Files App Not Working on Your iPhone? 11 Best Fixes (2024)

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If Files app is not working on your iPhone. This troubleshooting guide will help you fix the problem for good!

The Files app on your iPhone lets you view and access files stored on online services, such as iCloud Drive, Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive, all in one place. You can also view your files directly on your iPhone or iPad and run a variety of commands on them. If the Files app is crashing, Files app not showing files, Files app missing, or if Files app is not working on your iPhone after iOS 17 update, follow the troubleshooting steps below to get the app back up and running again.

11 Ways to Fix Files App Not Working on iPhone

1. Close Files App On Your iPhone

When Files app is not working on your iPhone, there’s a good chance that the app itself is malfunctioning. Sometimes, closing out of the app and reopening it can fix those minor app glitches.

If your iPhone has a Home button, double-click the Home button to reveal the app switcher, which shows all of the apps currently open on your iPhone. If your iPhone doesn’t have a Home button, swipe up from the very bottom of the screen to the center of the screen. Hold your finger in the center of the screen until the app switcher opens.

Once the app switcher opens, swipe Files up and off the screen. You’ll know it’s closed when it no longer appears in the app switcher.

2. Restart Your iPhone

Believe it or not, a good ol’ reboot seems to fix most software issues and app crashes on iPhone. It’s one of the first troubleshooting methods you should try if your iPhone Files app is not working. Just restart your phone and see if Files app works.

To restart an iPhone with Home button: Press and hold the power button until “slide to power off” shows up on the display. Now drag the red and white power icon from left to right across the display. This will shut your iPhone down.

Wait about 20 seconds to give your iPhone a chance to shut down fully. Then, press and hold the power button again. Release the power button when you see the Apple logo on the center of the display.

To restart an iPhone without Home button: hold down the side button and either volume button together until you see “slide to power off” on the display. Swipe the red and white power icon from left to right to shut down your iPhone. Wait about 20 seconds to allow your iPhone to fully shut down, then press and hold the side button again until you see the Apple logo on the display.

3. Check For An iOS Update

It’s possible an iOS bug is causing issues with Files app. Though running slightly older version of iOS often brings no issues, sometimes Apple also change things server-side, deeming some functions useless. You want to ensure you’re running the latest version of iOS, so head to Settings and check for iOS updates.

Start the Settings app on your iPhone and tap General > Software Update. Tap Download and Install or Install Now if a new iOS update is available.

4. Troubleshoot Your Wi-Fi Connection

Are your files waiting to download? If that’s the case, the problem may not be the app itself, but rather the Wi-Fi network you’re connected to. Follow the troubleshooting steps below to figure out if a Wi-Fi problem is the reason files won’t upload on your iPhone.

Turn Wi-Fi Off And Back On

Turning Wi-Fi off and back on is like turning your iPhone off and back on — it gives your iPhone a fresh start, which can sometimes fix minor software issues.

To turn Wi-Fi off and back on, start the Settings app on your iPhone and tap Wi-Fi. Next, tap the switch next to Wi-Fi to turn it off. You’ll know Wi-Fi is off when the switch turns gray.

Wait about 10 seconds, then tap the switch again to turn it back on. You’ll know Wi-Fi is on again when the switch turns green.

Restart Your Router

Restarting (or rebooting) your router will fix most issues of slow iCloud files downloads and the like. Here is the procedure:

  1. Unplug the router from the power source. If your modem is separate from your router, unplug that as well. Wait 60 seconds.
  2. Plug the modem back to power (if it is separate). Wait another 60 seconds.
  3. Plug the router back to power. Wait 120 seconds.

Now open the Files app on your iPhone to see if the problem is solved.

Try Connecting To A Different Wi-Fi Network

If the iPhone Files app won’t work on your Wi-Fi network, try connecting to a different one. If Files works on one Wi-Fi network, but not the other, then the issue is probably being caused by your Wi-Fi network, not your iPhone.

5. Make Sure The Files App Can Use Cellular Data

iPhone lets you manage apps’ access to cellular data (and check the data usage on iPhone). This means you can allow specific apps to use your cellular data and prevent unnecessary data consumption. Make sure the Files app is allowed to use cellular/ mobile data on your iPhone.

Start the Settings app on your iPhone and tap Mobile/ Cellular. Now, scroll down and ensure that the toggle next to Files is turned on.

6. Check Apple’s System Status

The next troubleshooting step to take when your iPhone Files app is not working is to check that Apple’s systems are all online. Go to Apple’s System Status website and make sure every iCloud-related service has a green circle next to it.

Different shapes in yellow or red mean Apple is experiencing problems with that service. If iCloud is currently unavailable, there’s nothing you can do but wait for Apple to fix the issue.

7. Check For Any New Terms And Conditions

If iCloud is up and running, there may be new terms and conditions for you to agree to before you can use the Files app. Start the Settings app on your iPhone and tap your name at the top of the screen. A popup will prompt you to agree to new terms and conditions if there are any.

8. Make Sure You Are Using The Same Apple ID account

When it’s working, Files syncs everything without any effort from you. That means you can, for example, save a photo to Files app on your iPhone and it will seamlessly sync to your other Apple devices using iCloud drive.

Unfortunately, Files app doesn’t always work seamlessly. If Files don’t sync across devices, go to Settings > [Your Name] on each device and make sure you’re using the exact same Apple ID account. If not, sign in again with the correct details.

Next, go to Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud Show all and turn on each of the services you want to sync.

Now, open the Files app on your iPhone. Can’t see the blue Files app icon on your Home Screen? Just swipe down, then search for the Files app. Next, make a change in the Files app to test whether it syncs to your other devices. Allow 10 minutes or so for iCloud to sync your data.

9. Turn Off/ On iCloud Drive

Many a time, you can troubleshoot issues with Files app on your iPhone by turning iCloud Drive off/ on from the Settings app. Thus, it would be wise to give this nifty solution a try if Files app is not working on your iPhone.

Start the Settings app on your iPhone and tap on your name at the top of the screen. Now, tap iCloud and turn off the “iCloud Drive” toggle on the next page.

Now, restart your device. After your device has rebooted, go back to the iCloud setting and turn on the iCloud Drive toggle. This, should help you fix the iCloud files not downloading on iPhone issue.

10. Sign Out of iCloud and Sign Back Again

If the Files app is still not working, you should sign out of iCloud on your iPhone then sign in again. To do this:

  1. Start the Settings app on your iPhone and tap [Your Name].
  2. Scroll all the way down and tap Sign Out.
  3. If prompted, enter your Apple ID password to Turn Off Find My.
  4. Choose what data to keep on your iPhone—anything you don’t keep is still saved to iCloud—then tap Sign Out.
  5. Return to Settings to sign in again using your Apple ID and password.

11. Reset Network Settings

If your Wi-Fi or cellular network seems to be weak or ill-functioning, it’s a good practice to reset the network settings and it might resolve the problem you are having with the Files app on your iPhone.

When you reset network settings, all of your iPhone’s Wi-Fi, Cellular, APN, and VPN settings will be erased to factory defaults. Before you perform this reset, make sure you’ve written down all of your Wi-Fi passwords! You’ll have to reenter them when you reconnect to your iPhone to Wi-Fi networks.

To reset network settings, open the Settings app and go to General > Transfer or Reset iPhone -> Reset > Reset Network Settings. Enter your passcode and tap Reset Network Settings. Your iPhone will reboot when the reset is complete.

Successfully Fixed zFiles App Not Working on iPhone

You’ve fixed the problem and you can now use the Files app to manage your files on your iPhone. Next time Files app is not working on your iPhone, you’ll know exactly how to solve the problem. Thanks for reading our article, and we hope you’ll share it on social media, or leave us a comment down below if you have any other questions!

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GeeksModo Staff is a team of iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch experts led by Moses Johnson. We're passionate about all things Apple!
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