How to browse all your Mac’s folders from the iPad’s Files app

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The days when a MacBook was vastly better than an iPad are over.
Browse your Mac’s files from your iPad.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Have you ever sat on the couch, or out on the porch with your iPad, and realized that the file you need is on your Mac? And only on your Mac — not in Dropbox or iCloud Drive or some other easy-to-reach storage? You have to get up, walk to the Mac, and then work out how to get that file onto your iPad.

It doesn’t have to be this way. With one app, you can put all of your Mac’s (or PC’s) folders and files right there inside the iPad’s Files app, ready to browse. Let’s do it.

How to use external storage with Files app on iPad or iPhone

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You can even browse wireless SD cards from Files app.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Did you ever hold your iPhone in one hand, and a USB hard drive in the other, and look back and forth between them, muttering “Why, oh why?” Well, today we have good news for you. You still can’t hook them together with a wire, but with one app you can browse all kinds of external storage devices right from iOS’s Files app.

Hard drive hooked up to your Time Capsule? Check. USB storage connected to your fancy router? Check. Home network storage devices that work great but have really hideous iOS apps to access them? Check. With this tip, you can put any of these in your Files app’s sidebar using the excellent FileBrowser app. You might not be able to plug a USB-C drive into your 2018 iPad Pro, but until Apple relents on that score, this is the next best thing.

FileBrowser Streams NAS Movies To Any App On Your iPad

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Stream metwok movies to any app you like.

FileBrowser, the – uh – file browser app for iOS, has gotten a slew of new features in a recent update, one of which will make movie-downloading iPad owners very happy: Now the app can not only browse network-attached drives (like the Time Capsule), it can stream movies of any format to other apps on your iPad.