External Files and Folders

In addition to the built-in clients for (S)FTP, WebDAV, Dropbox, and Google Drive, you can also use the iOS document picker to open files from a huge number of third party file providers.

Open Files and Folders Using the iOS Document Picker

Open… command

Opening Files

Tap Open… or press Cmd-O on an external keyboard to open files using iOS document picker.

Select a location on the left and tap on a file on the right to open it in Textastic.

iOS document picker

You can also tap on the Select button in the top-right corner and select multiple files to open them in tabs.

Files opened in this way are not imported. Instead, they are opened in-place. Changes you make to the files are automatically saved to their original location.


If you plan to use the built-in web preview to preview a HTML file with external JavaScript, CSS, or image files, it is recommended to use one of the built-in clients for (S)FTP, WebDAV, Dropbox, or Google Drive to download your website files first and edit and preview them locally. If you open a single file with the document picker, linked files cannot be accessed by the web preview due to the iOS security sandbox that limits an app’s access to files in other apps.

Adding External Folders

For some file providers it’s also possible to open folders. This currently works with the Git client Working Copy, the SFTP client Secure ShellFish, folders in iCloud Drive, and the “On my iPad/iPhone” location.


Other file provider apps (like Google Drive or Dropbox) would need to be updated by their developers to support this. Those locations are currently disabled in the folder picker by iOS. You can however use the Open… command (see above) to open individual files from these file providers.

As an alternative you can use Textastic’s built-in Google Drive and Dropbox clients to download whole folder hierarchies.

  • Tap Add External Folder… to add a folder using the iOS folder picker.

  • Select a folder.

  • Tap Done.

Open Folders

The selected folders will be opened as external folders and behave the same as the Local Files and iCloud locations.

External Folders

Renaming and Removing External Folders

Invoke the context menu by taping and holding or right-clicking an external folder and choose Rename:

External Folder Context Menu

You can also Remove an external folder from the context menu or use the Edit button or a swipe gesture to remove external folders.

Add Third-Party File Providers

By default, the Files app only allows you to open files from iCloud Drive and the “On my iPad/iPhone” location. However, there are many third-party apps with file providers that integrate with the Files app:

  • Microsoft OneDrive

  • Dropbox

  • Box

  • Adobe Creative Cloud

  • Google Drive

  • Working Copy (Git client)

  • Seafile

  • OwnCloud

  • … and many more

Follow these steps on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 11 or later:

  • Download and set up the third-party cloud app.

  • Open the Files app.

  • Tap Locations > Edit.

  • Slide to turn on the third-party apps that you want to use in the Files app.

  • Tap Done.

If you don’t see one of your third-party cloud services in the Files app, check with your cloud provider.

Please also have a look at this Apple support article to see how to use the Files app on iOS.