I am using the latest iPad Pro model and iPadOS, and I’m still new to how iOS handles files and such.

Whenever I try to download a file (e.g. a pdf article), hit the option ”save to files”, and choose a location for the file on my iPad, I am greeted with a popup telling me that the action is not permitted, and the download is aborted. I’ve tried Googling for how to do this as well as looking in the digital user manual, but I just can’t figure out how to get the files directly from Safari to the local storage.

On the other hand, I can easily download it to third-party apps and drives, such as Google drive or Notability, and even AirDrop it to the local file storage of my iPhone, to then AirDrop it back to the local storage of my iPad!

How do I download files from Safari directly to ”on my iPad”?

  • I am unable to reproduce this problem. Does this happen regardless of which location you choose? I might guess that some apps have folders reserved to them, so that trying to save there from a different location could fail. But that is just speculation. If you have run into an OS bug, the first thing to try is to restart your ipad and see if the problem goes away. Apr 19, 2020 at 10:53
  • Please add a screenshot of the error you get. Also, if the website/pdf is accessible for all, a link to it would be helpful as well.
    – nohillside
    Apr 19, 2020 at 11:11
  • @HaraldHanche-Olsen Restarting the device indeed fixed the problem, so it must have been an OS bug or something. Thanks. If you want to put your comment as an answer I'll upvote and accept it straight away.
    – MonadBoy
    Apr 19, 2020 at 12:19
  • @nohillside It seems that restarting fixed the problem, so I am unable to give a screenshot now, but it was a generic text box saying something along the lines of "the action cannot be performed, permission is required" (my device language is set to Swedish, so the exact formulation in English is likely different). The error occurred when downloading pdfs in general, for example papers from the Arxiv, like this one: arxiv.org/abs/2004.05631 . Didn't work before restart, works like a charm now.
    – MonadBoy
    Apr 19, 2020 at 12:28

1 Answer 1


It's anybody's guess what could be the problem. But restarting the ipad is always a good thing to try when you run into inexplicable behaviour.

  • a reboot is always good 😎 Apr 19, 2020 at 21:26
  • 1
    @SwissCodeMen but it should not be necessary, except to upgrade the OS. Apr 20, 2020 at 6:56

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