Is Documents folder of any app on iPhone secure? Can anybody access it with iTunes, or may be a third party program? Can I protect this folder with a password? (for example, Documents can be encrypted if I lock the device).

I would like to know this to correctly write a privacy policy for an iOS app that uses file sharing.

  • What kind of documents, just text files and/or pictures or other kinds of files? And do you only want free apps?
    – Harcker
    Commented Jun 9, 2017 at 12:54
  • When the phone is locked, everything is encrypted.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jun 9, 2017 at 13:53
  • @Harcker, I mean any files contained in "Documents" folder.
    – kelin
    Commented Jun 9, 2017 at 17:28
  • @Tetsujin, may be you have a link for official documentation that proves this statement?
    – kelin
    Commented Jun 9, 2017 at 17:29
  • You could look into how much trouble the FBI went to to get into that phone last year. They apparently spent over a million dollars getting into it, & that was only iOS 7; Apple toughened up the security since then.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jun 9, 2017 at 18:19

1 Answer 1


The visibility of the Documents folder for any given App since iOS 9 requires the developer to enable iTunes Sharing to make the contents of the Documents folder visible to iTunes (and presumably any 3rd party software that knows how to communicate with the device). By default, file sharing is not enabled.


What you need for File Sharing

  • The latest version of iTunes.
  • The latest version of macOS or an up-to-date version of Windows 7 or later.
  • An iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with the latest version of iOS.
  • An iOS app that works with File Sharing.

Since iOS 11, Apple has introduced a new Files App that gives the user file visibility on the device. Again, the developer needs to use an API to enable what is visible to the user.

  • To speak more exactly, the question supposes that file sharing is enabled.
    – kelin
    Commented Jun 10, 2017 at 21:43
  • You're welcome to read Apple's documentation I linked to that details the various methods to share files. Maybe one of these interfaces will be sufficient for whatever you would like to accomplish? I am unaware of any type of policy management other than "is file sharing enabled." If you're looking to lock files down so you can manage this policy in the app, then I would not recommend enabling file sharing.
    – Tim Reddy
    Commented Jun 11, 2017 at 2:46
  • There is no need to lock or hide the files, because the app is only a fitness timer and a user may add custom sounds. I'm just was trying to write a privacy policy for the app correctly (my perfectionism) and I was surprised that I can't find any official documentation I could link to. Thank you anyway!
    – kelin
    Commented Jun 11, 2017 at 12:36

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