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I'm currently running iPadOS 14.6 and I don't understand how Files app integration with cloud storages works.

I have Yandex.Disk application (think of it as Google Drive alternative) which does have its own "Offline" section, so I can download some files and access them locally without internet connection.

I also have Yandex.Disk visible in stock Files app and I can download files from there. The issue is that I have no idea how to delete files which were cached in Files app.

For example: when I open Files app and download some 1 Gb file from Yandex.Disk opened in Files, I do see that Yandex.Disk cache was increased in 1 Gb (System Settings -> Storage), however there is no "Delete" option in Files since it shows Yandex.Disk mounted as "Read-only". For now the only way I see to clear that cache is to completely delete the app and re-install it.

What's wrong with the Files app?

edit: I'd like to add some extra info to this question since more people may encounter this. I had a chat with Apple Support and they confirmed that there's no "Clear cache" option in Files app and it should clear cache "automatically after some time". They also suggested opening a feature request ticket at https://apple.com/feedback

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Not having used Yandex.Disk before, it is difficult to say exactly how to go about fixing this. The only similar experience that I've had based on your description was when I had a OneDrive account through school and certain folders were considered to be read only. In that case I simply was not able to change things in those folders, which was (I assume) an intended aspect of the OneDrive app. My best guess is that the developer(s) of the Yandex.Disk app either limited this functionality intentionally, or haven't updated the app to do be able to take advantage of the files app.

My suggestion would be to just do everything in the Yandex.Disk app and forgo the Files app completely since the app's page on the app store does seem to indicate an offline mode which presumably allows you to remove downloaded files and folders. Also, since this is most likely a problem with the Yandex.Disk app and not the Files app, you could try sending feedback or a support ticket to the developer to ask about this.

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  • Thank you for the answer! I’ve just checked some other cloud storages and they all have the similar issue (Dropbox, Google Drive and other). As soon as I “open” some file through Files app in any cloud storage, its file size is added to “Documents and data” counter in System Settings - Storage
    – Groosha
    Jun 13 at 5:29
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    Yeah so I think the solution is to just not use the Files app. It's already pretty limited, and it gets even more so when you use third party storage, so using the third-party apps is likely the best option for now.
    – Shock9616
    Jun 13 at 6:28
  • I guess it's the only way, though I'll still wait for any new answers for a bit. Thank you!
    – Groosha
    Jun 13 at 6:46
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I don't understand how Files app integration with cloud storages works.

The first thing to know is that iPadOS does not store files like Windows, Linux or macOS does on computers.

On computers, you can directly create folders and save and organise your files in whatever folder anywhere on your disk. (Apps on computers will thus ask you where you want to save a file). But on iPadOS, a user doesn't create folders to organise their files in it. The iPadOS does this automatically for you.

When you install a particular app from the App Store, like Pages or MS Word, iPadOS automatically creates a folder (or more than one, if necessary) for each app. The app then usually save any files created by it in these specific folder(s). Other apps aren't allowed to directly access them - only you can manually open file from another app's Folder.

This allows iPadOS to automatically organise the files in your device and also keeps it secure.

This is why when you open the Files app and select 'On My Device' (under 'Locations'), you will see that all the folders shown in it are named after the apps you have installed on your device.

(Note: Latest versions of the Files app now allows you to create your own folders too).

The Files app also integrates with online storage services, like iCloud Drive and Yandex.Disk, and these can be accessed under 'Locations'. Tapping any of these locations will show you all the files that you have uploaded to these services.

I also have Yandex.Disk visible ... and I can download files from there. The issue is that I have no idea how to delete files which were cached in Files app.

Apparently, the Files app has a different approach of working with cloud based storage.

If you tap to open any file from any cloud storage services, the Files app tries to simulate the experience of opening a file from them similar to you opening a file from your device.

Since this cached file acts like a direct link to your file on the cloud storage service, iPadOS doesn't allow you to delete it manually. (With iCloud, any changes you make to these files - like a Pages or Word Document - will also be saved directly to the file on iCloud).

So opening a file directly from a cloud based service in Files app is not equivalent to downloading it permanently for offline use.

This is the confusion you are experiencing with the Files app - you think you are downloading a copy of the file from the cloud storage, where as iPadOS treats it like a link to the file on the cloud storage.

To actually download a copy of the file from iCloud or Yandex.Disk to your device that you have full control over, you have to copy the file to a folder in your device in the Files app. (See - Use the Files app on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch - to know how to do this).

As for the cached files, they are automatically deleted by iPadOS when you are running out of disk space. The cached files can also be deleted by signing-out of the cloud storage service. (More details here - Can’t delete ‘locally stored’ content in the Files app? Here’s what’s going on).

Yandex.Disk mounted as "Read-only"

As @Shock9616 explained in another answer, Yandex.Disk may be "Read-only" by design on the Files app as Yandex would like you to use their own dedicated app Yandex.Disk. So it would be better to use Yandex's app when you are downloading or uploading files from Yandex.Disk.

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  • > This is the part I didn't understand clearly - If you are not sure where a file was downloaded or cached on your device (end of quote). I'm sure, that the file was cached, though there is no way to clear such cache if it was cached from within Files app.
    – Groosha
    Jun 15 at 20:05
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    @Groosha Ok, since I don't use cloud storage services, I wasn't fully aware of how they actually work with Files app, and thought about it the same way as you did. But now I understand it better - please read the updated answer.
    – sfxedit
    Jun 15 at 22:38

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