This is a simple tip, but until I worked it out it was driving me crazy. In landscape orientation, the iPad Files app’s sidebar is always present, making it easy to get to any favorite folder, location or label, pretty much instantly.
In portrait, though, the sidebar disappears. However, there are two easy ways to make it come back, neither of which involves tapping the back arrow until you arrive at the root level of iCloud Drive.
How to show the Files sidebar in portrait orientation
In portrait orientation, iOS hides the Files sidebar (like the Mail sidebar) by default. There are two ways to reveal it. One is to swipe right on any blank section of the main view. In the case of the GIF above, I swiped on the white section below the images. (This trick also works in Mail and most other apps that have sidebars that disappear.)
The other way to reveal the sidebar is to tap the Browse folder at the bottom of the screen. If you are already in Browse view, it will toggle the sidebar. This can be the best option if the main view is full of files and you don’t want to accidentally select them.
That’s it. A short and sweet tip, but one that will save you a lot of frustration.