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Sometimes I want to download files straight from the link on a website as it can be done on a desktop computer. I'm not talking about streaming video sites like YouTube, just plain href links designed to be downloaded with something like right-click and "Download linked file as..." on a PC or Mac.

On Android, for example, I can tap on a video link and have the MP4 file saved locally in a downloads folder so I can watch it offline. So I am wondering how I can do the same on an iPhone (running iOS 12)?

I've seen an answer on the Apple Discussion forum that involves clicking on the share button in Safari. One of the actions is download to Dropbox (which I haven't managed to get working yet) but I cannot see "save to Files", at least for videos, which is what I need.

Also tried two apps that have an integrated browser that lets you download the files when tapping the link. I've found them to be extremely unreliable as I couldn't get them to finish downloading a full video, so I gave up on them.

From an old similar question for the iPad I'm guessing it's not possible, but I just want to be sure if there any good solutions that I'm missing, or will have to develop my own application or switch to Android? Seems like a basic functionality to me.

  • It's the same functionality that you've see with "Save to Dropbox". Have you tried Siri Shortcuts? There's many custom shortcuts that people have made to save to Files. – fsb Jun 28 at 20:04
  • No I haven't. Just looked at support.apple.com/en-ie/HT209055 now and don't see how that would help. What is missing is a "Save to files" activity, but I don't know yet how to add this. Thanks for the hint. – Nagev Jun 28 at 20:10
  • If you have the Files app on your device then you should see that in the Sharing extenstion. It might be hidden so see if you can turn it on. – fsb Jun 28 at 20:13
  • It’s definitely not there, even if I tap “more”. But I can see it if I do “share” on Pages, for example. – Nagev Jun 28 at 22:54
  • I love that you included w3schools - I wonder if any of the sites you are browsing don’t just work follow the download file guidance. My initial hunch is those sites are making it hard to just download? w3schools.com/howto/howto_html_download_link.asp – bmike Jun 29 at 16:32
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Safari is getting a download manager in iOS 13 which is due to release sometime later this fall.

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    No no no, they should switch to Android. Didn’t you see all the clues in the question? – bmike Jun 29 at 16:28
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    @bmike Sarcasm? 🤔 – Nimesh Neema Jun 29 at 16:29
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    Never, the internet doesn’t allow for that and neither does this site. 😱 – bmike Jun 29 at 16:33
  • By the way, this now also shows on Apple's official iOS13 preview: "Downloads folder: A new downloads folder gives you a central place to access your web downloads and attachments from Safari and Mail." – Nagev Jul 4 at 7:55

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