Downloading files from Dropbox & OneDrive onto the iPad

gametime10

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 30, 2006
174
35
Is there a way to have Dropbox and OneDrive work on my iPad like it does on my MacBook Pro, namely have all the files stored locally on my iPad and constantly syncing with the cloud? I have a 128GB iPad Wifi only, and with plenty of space, it would be great to have my files stored locally so that I can access them anytime without needing an internet connection.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
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Boston
No, the apps don't work that way because of the majority of iOS devices simply lack the storage for such.

I find both apps to be quite beneficial as it stands and for the most part download speeds haven't been bad
 

\-V-/

Suspended
May 3, 2012
3,297
2,619
You can "download" files from Dropbox for offline usage so that you don't need to be online to access the files, but you can't store them locally like on your computer.
 

BenTrovato

macrumors 68030
Jun 29, 2012
2,872
1,879
Canada
I tried doing this with Dropbox so I could just upload my favourite mp3's to a folder from my Windows computer, then access them in dropbox from the iPad or iPhone since iTunes is probably the least convenient way I can manage a temporary music collection. In previous versions of dropbox it would cache files up to a certain amount of specified mb... I used to set it at 500 but I no longer see that option?
 

east85

macrumors 65816
Jun 24, 2010
1,347
494
I just noticed that TOP Files Manager Pro for iPad is free today. Reviews say it's 99 cents to remove advertisements though, but that may have changed because the iTunes store lists no in-app purchases. The app offers both cloud and local storage management so it might be up your alley. I'd try it out right now but my iPad is still coming back in the mail after a service request so I can't really make an assertion about offline file management but it appears from the description that it would do just that. It works across platform with Box, Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive.

Good luck.
 
Last edited:

Traverse

macrumors 604
Mar 11, 2013
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No, the apps don't work that way because of the majority of iOS devices simply lack the storage for such.

I find both apps to be quite beneficial as it stands and for the most part download speeds haven't been bad
Can I ask how you use them?

I recently got the Office University subscription for iPad Office and I now have 30 GB of OneDrive storage. I currently have 7GB of Dropbox and that is sufficient. I use it mostly for backing up my current and past school work and a few personal things. Office only syncs to OneDrive on the iPad so I end up with a few "in-use" documents in OneDrive and everything else in Dropbox. Even if Office synced with Dropbox, I feel like I'm wasting 30GB of space. How do you use them differently?
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
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30,760
Boston
Can I ask how you use them?
I use OneDrive for most of my needs. I have Office, specifically Excel and and so I select a spreadsheet off my OneDrive and edit that as needed. It goes back up to my OneDrive when I'm done.

I still have DropBox but its barely getting used - it holds my FileMaker Pro database and a few PDFs but mostly its unused. I'm not losing out on anything here because I only have the free version of DropBox.
 

infantrytrophy

macrumors regular
Oct 27, 2013
230
61
No, the apps don't work that way because of the majority of iOS devices simply lack the storage for such.

I find both apps to be quite beneficial as it stands and for the most part download speeds haven't been bad
Please pardon if I have misunderstood, but I think that you can store Dropbox files locally in an iPad by tapping the "star" icon (designating the file as a "favorite"). These "favorite" files can then be accessed without wifi or cellular data access.

While it is true that most iPads have limited storage, many of us have iPads with more storage and would like to have better access to the file system. My opinion is that Apple's designers are being stubborn and short sided by not allowing convenient file access.
 

ScottNWDW

macrumors 65816
Jul 10, 2008
1,152
249
Orlando, Florida
question: If you have OneDrive, or DropBox why on earth would you want to have a file stored locally and take up valuable space on your hard drive? With free WiFi available just about anywhere these days I am rarely without a WiFi connection and when I am those are times when I really should not be accessing it anyway (driving). I also have devices that have cellular capability and Cell coverage is pretty much everywhere as it is. Sure free wifi can, at times be painfully slow, which is why I turn it off and go to the LTE service when I suspect a slow connection.

In addition, when you do have a file stored locally, when you update it it is not updated on the One Drive, iCloud or DropBox and therefore when you access that file on another device it is not the latest version.
 

infantrytrophy

macrumors regular
Oct 27, 2013
230
61
question: If you have OneDrive, or DropBox why on earth would you want to have a file stored locally and take up valuable space on your hard drive? With free WiFi available just about anywhere these days I am rarely without a WiFi connection and when I am those are times when I really should not be accessing it anyway (driving). I also have devices that have cellular capability and Cell coverage is pretty much everywhere as it is. Sure free wifi can, at times be painfully slow, which is why I turn it off and go to the LTE service when I suspect a slow connection.

In addition, when you do have a file stored locally, when you update it it is not updated on the One Drive, iCloud or DropBox and therefore when you access that file on another device it is not the latest version.
Due respect, we were discussing local storage on iPads. There are no hard drives on iPads. It's true that storage capacity is limited, but many of us have adequate memory (64GB for me) and would like to store files locally - in my case, PDF files or notes for reading. For example, there excellent tutorials and "how to" articles available on web sites such as 9to5 Mac, Tuts+, AppleInsider, etc. I like to save these articles as PDF files for later reading.

There are many occasions when internet access is not available, or when your cellular data allotment is limited. Examples - no internet on airplane flights, on car trips (not driving of course), at my 90 y/o mother's home, waiting room at doctor's office, on my own patio where wi-fi doesn't reach ...

Dropbox with local storage for designated individual files is OK, but file access equivalent to that in Mac OSX would be better, and useful to many of us. I would like to be able to convert the contents of a web site on Safari in IOS to a PDF file and store the file directly into the iPad's memory, accessible by an app of my choice - iBooks, Dropbox, Documents by Readdle, etc. That is possible using Safari on the Mac, but not in IOS. In IOS, you must go through a multi-step work-around just to save a web page as a PDF file -- PITA.

IOS is designed so that file access is available only within apps. This is a significant limitation and limits usefulness of the iPad for me.

Speaking of limitations ... IOS has another limitation: it cannot handle certain PDF files created by the "export as PDF" function of Safari on the iMac. I have several of these files created from tutorial articles on the 9to5 Mac web site. These PDF files are fine when viewed on the Mac, but any app on IOS (iBooks, Dropbox, Box, Documents) crashes when trying to open the files. There must be some embedded formatting code or links that IOS can't handle. This is a significant problem since the IOS version of Safari can't create its own PDF files.

As good as IOS is, it's not perfect. Apple still has work to do.
 

Drew96

macrumors newbie
Nov 16, 2014
1
0
local access to OneDrive files

Clearly a few responders here either have never taken a plane or love using up their expensive data plans to access files or they use their iPad in there office and never leave the building...

Personally I wish there was a way that I could store OneDrive files locally on my iPad - I fly a lot and travel a LOT so I have 64 GB for a reason - if anyone has a solution it would be so awesome.

Please advise with thanks Drew
 

JTravers

macrumors 6502a
Jun 28, 2010
664
179
I believe both Goodreader and Documents by Readdle will sync Dropbox and OneDrive folders on your iPad.
 

AppleFan0123

macrumors newbie
Nov 19, 2014
3
0
I download files from Dropbox and have it stored on my iPad using TDownloader. Not sure if it will work with One Drive too but if not, there's probably other apps like TDownloader that will work for both. :)