File manager app to access iPad folders?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by LibbyLA, Jun 3, 2018.

  1. LibbyLA macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2017
    #1
    I am looking for a file manager app that will let me view (and delete) folders and files on my iPads. The Files app in iOS 11 doesn't do it. I use my iPads to import, view, and "favorite" photos from trail camera SD cards and I have a lot of cameras.

    When I connect the iPads to my Windows PC, I can use Windows Explorer to view:

    iPad 10.5 > Internal Storage > DCIM and I see folders like:

    100APPLE (photos, videos, screen shots that I've either taken, saved, or copied to my iPad)
    317IMPRT
    318IMPRT
    319IMPRT

    etc.

    I want to be able to delete 317IMPRT, 318IMPRT, 319 IMPRT from the iPad. These are folders created when I import photos and videos from SD cards. Once I've "favorited" the ones I want to keep and copied them to my desktop computer, I want to delete the entire folder and everything in it.

    As it is, I have to connect the iPad to my desktop computer, then access each folder, select everything in it, and delete everything, one folder at a time. I can't select a folder or multiple folders to delete. This is very tedious when I sometimes have 20-35 folders (with 10-20K files total) to process in order to clean the iPad.

    Any suggestions for helping me streamline this extremely tedious process?
     
  2. macduke macrumors G3

    macduke

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Location:
    Central U.S.
    #2
    The iPad isn't really made to have access to the internal structure unless you use a desktop app, like you mentioned. It would likely get rejected from the App Store. Furthermore, there are no APIs that let developers access folders of other programs on the system. This is intentional for security reasons. All management of photos can be done from the photos app. If the remnants of a folder still exist, why should it matter? I would think it would get cleaned up at some point. Is it not being cleaned up when you remove the photos because the photos are moved to the deleted album, which is cleared after 30 days, I believe?

    That being said, I'm hopeful we'll see the Files app updated today with additional functionality for iOS 12. It would be nice to be able to copy files to and from external devices using a USB adapter or card reader. Handy for photographers in the field trying to backup their work.
     
  3. LibbyLA thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2017
    #3
    Once the files are deleted from the folder, the folder does disappear. That's not the point. If I can delete the folder in one operation (as I can in Windows), that's a lot simpler than navigating to the folder, selecting ALL the files in it (there can be thousands, which takes a while for the computer to see, select, and deleted), and deleting them.

    It is extremely tedious to clean out all my imported photos. There can be anywhere from 20 to 35 folders and some folders can contain over a thousand pics. I import photos every two to four weeks. I've done over 300 imports on my iPP 10.5. I've tried deleting photos on the iPad and that's even worse than doing it with the iPad connected to my desktop computer.
     
  4. macduke macrumors G3

    macduke

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Location:
    Central U.S.
    #4
    Could you import to the Photos app, select all the photos in your last import, and move to the Files app? Then delete your most recent import maybe? Haven't tried this specifically so I'm not certain it will work this way. But if it does then you could organize things in the Files app.
     
  5. LibbyLA thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2017
    #5
    I just tried that, tried copying 425 photos to Files > both Photo and Keynote and got "The operation can't be completed. Couldn't communicate with a helper app."

    I'm afraid that even if that worked, it would result in two sets of the photos, one in the Photos sandbox and one in the other app's sandbox. I also can't just delete everything from the Last Imported folder after each import because that also deletes the photos that I've favorited from that import.

    I have to import, favorite, and repeat for each SD card. Once I'm back at my desktop, I transfer all favorites to the desktop, then delete all the imported photos.

    Thanks for the suggestions. I've been hoping that there is a workaround that I'm just not thinking about so I really appreciate your taking the time to try to help.

    It just annoys me that the information about folders and file names is out there on the iPad and I can't get to it. I know it's there because Windows sees it and lets me access it (except that I can't delete an entire folder and its contents, I have to delete the contents).
     
  6. macduke macrumors G3

    macduke

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Location:
    Central U.S.
    #6
    The part I was unsure of was if you could easily remove the other photos after moving them. I've moved hundreds of 42MP RAW photos to the files app on my iPad Pro 10.5" before. Don't you have that too, looking at your OP? Should be able to handle it. It's not fast but it should do it. Try rebooting maybe? That seems to sort 90% of unexplained problems, haha.

    Oh wait, are you moving it to iCloud? Do you have enough iCloud space? I use iCloud but I can't remember if Files lets you store files locally on the iPad and I don't have my iPad with me right now. I have 2TB of iCloud space. Maybe it was going to fill it up?
     
  7. chabig macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2002
    #7
    I’m still confused. Why not import the photos to the photos app, then review and delete the ones you don’t want to keep?
     
  8. LibbyLA thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2017
    #8
    I only have iOS 11.4 on my iPad Mini 4 and my iPad Pro 9.7. Am still running iOS 10.3 on my iPP 10.5 because I discovered that iOS 11 "broke" photo transfer for some of my SD cards. (After reading the reviews of the USB card reader at the Apple Store, it appears that I am not the only one that happened to.) After testing on iOS 11.4 this weekend, I'm cautiously optimistic that the problem has been resolved. I transferred files from nearly 20 SD cards (as many as 4000+ photos from a couple of them, over a thousand from a couple more) without any hiccups.

    I am NOT using iCloud. My iPads are all wifi only and I'm usually at our camp (no electricity unless we run a generator, wifi only with a wifi hotspot and cell signal is dicey most of the time, plus I have a 2G per month data plan most of the time) or on the road while doing this. Also, I may look at between 10K and 20K photos, but I seldom keep more than 300-400, if that.

    When you move your RAW files, which app under Files do you move them to? Maybe I chose the wrong apps? I think that it still doesn't solve the problem, unless I copy just the favorites from one card to something under Files, delete Recently Imported, and do that one card at a time.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 4, 2018 ---
    It is a PITA to delete 10-20K photos.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 4, 2018 ---
    I think I may have found a way, thanks to your suggestions, although it is not without issues.

    I can import photos from an SD card, "favorite" the ones I want to keep. I can then copy the favorites for that card to the Photo app in Files, then delete "Last Import" (which also deletes those favorites. I can repeat for each card.

    Once all my favorites are in Photo (or whatever app), I can select them, share through an app that transfers to my desktop, then delete from Photo using Files.

    The downside of this approach is that I can't view the photos in the Photos app once they've been copied and that's a big negative. I often like to review the favorites on the iPad before I am able to transfer them to my desktop.

    I just discovered something interesting. Even though copying to Files (to both Keynote and Pages) produced error messages, the photos did get copied to those folders.
     
  9. whitedragon101 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2008
    #9
    FileBrowser from stratospherix is amazing.

    A proper FileBrowser and connects to cloud storage and drumroll ....
    Network drives.

    It also supports drag and drop so you can for example drag a file straight off your windows desktop directly into an app on the iPad.

    It is what the files app should be

    If there were a list of essential power user apps this would be at the top. It has allowed me to say draw a design on my iPad and save directly back into the documents folder on my windows desktop to keep working with.
     
  10. LibbyLA thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2017
    #10
    I will take a look at that. Thanks for the suggestion.

    Cloud storage doesn't help my situation, though. However, as long as I can transfer the files at home pretty easily, that works.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 4, 2018 ---
    By golly, I think this is it! I had five folders of imported photos from the tests I'm running. I used FileBrowser to look at Photos, then selected Recently Added. I was able to select all, then delete. It didn't take too long to delete the 3000+ photos and when I connected the iPad to my computer to look for the xxxIMPRT folders, they were gone!

    I haven't tried copying files from the iPP to my computer yet, but the problem of deleting all those imported pictures has been solved.

    Thank you so much for sharing this information with me. FB will be worth the small cost just for saving me the annoyance factor of having to delete all the files the hard way.
     
  11. LibbyLA thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2017
    #11
    I discovered that I need one extra step, but it's an easy one. I can't delete files from the "Recently Added" category in Photos because I may have screen shots or other files that I don't want deleted.

    I created an album called Temp. After each import, I select all in Last Import and add to Temp. Once I transfer my favorites to the desktop, I can delete all from Temp.

    I have other file transfer apps so I may not have needed FileBrowser to do this, but it's a nice app to have because I can see and navigate to folders on my desktop computer.

    I just need to experiment a bit to determine the best work flow but I think it's under control now. Again, thanks for the suggestion, which gave me the info I needed to develop a resolution to my problem.
     
  12. LibbyLA thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2017
    #12
    Thank you for recommending FileBrowser. It's exactly the app that I need to deal with transferring the pictures and videos from my iPad to my Windows desktop and to allow me to see the file names.
     
  13. ericwn macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2016
    #13
    Documents by Readdle might also be worth looking at.
     
  14. LibbyLA thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2017
    #14
    I already have Documents by Readdle, but FileBrowser is what I have needed all along. Thanks for the suggestion. I'll have to take some time to tinker with all the apps I have so I'll know more about them.
     

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