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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Apple wants iPhone and iPad users to be able to format external drives connected to their device, without the need for a Mac, based on the latest find in the iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 developer betas (via MacStories).


Writing in his ByteBits substack, Kaleb Cadle said he made the discovery of new file format options while tinkering with the Files app:
Now in the Files app on iPadOS 18, when we right click or hold press on an external drive and select "Erase", new options appear for reformatting the drive. Currently, the format options here are APFS (with options for Case Sensitive or Encrypted), ExFAT, and MS-DOS (FAT), the same format options available in Disc Utility (with the exception of macOS extension formats which wouldn't make much sense for this feature on iPadOS). This is a major improvement for iPad power users and it will be interesting to keep an eye out for new improvements to this functionality and others within the Files app over the course of the iPadOS 18 beta cycle. It seems Apple may be taking a similar tact to the way they incorporated much of the functionality of the Preview app into the Files app via Quick Look, but now with functionality from Disc Utility.
File format options in the Files app on iPadOS 18 (Image: Kaleb Cadle).

iPadOS 18 and iOS 18 are currently in beta. Apple plans to release the second betas to developers on Monday.

Update: Added iOS 18 beta references after confirmation that the formatting options are present on iPhones as well as iPads.

Article Link: iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 Include Support for Formatting External Drives
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macrumors 65816
Sep 1, 2021
macOS features and capabilities slowly becoming available in iPadOS...

Maybe just add touch functionality to macOS and install it on the iPad...

Yes, iOS was a derivative of macOS and iPadOS was a derivative of iOS so why not go straight to the source?


macrumors regular
Feb 11, 2021
The iPad was a life saver when Mac refuses to mount the encrypted drive.

So many reports of this and Apple has yet to resolved it. Luckily, iPad or iPhone can still read and transfer the files out.

mystery hill

macrumors 6502a
Apr 2, 2021
There is now a ‘keep downloaded’ option for folders and files stored in iCloud Drive. This can be applied to multiple folders and files at once.

Unlike the Photos app, there isn’t an option to keep all files downloaded.
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macrumors 65816
Apr 30, 2010
Finally. iPadOS should’ve had this feature from years ago especially when they introduced m1 (thunderbolt) to iPad.
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