How to use the new Column view in the iPad Files app

iPad Files Column View

When you’re working with items in the Files app, you need an easy way to get to the documents you want. You may have a folder with 20 subfolders and 100 files and either aren’t sure which one you need or happen to need more than one.

With the new Column view in iPadOS, document management in the Files app just got a bit easier. You can now drill down as far as you need to within your nested folders while still keeping your hierarchy open and in view. Here’s how to use this new Column view in the iPad Files app.

Access Column View in Files on iPad

Open the Files app on your iPad and then do the following to access the Column view.

1) Tap Browse and select your folder location from the left if needed.

2) Swipe down from the top of the right to display the toolbar.

3) All the way to the right of the toolbar, tap the Column View icon.

iPad Files Column View Button

4) This puts your folders into a list view with arrows. Tap to expand a folder (or select an item).

5) If you pick a folder, you’ll see a new list in the right column with the folder’s contents. If you select a file, you’ll see a preview of it in the right column.

iPad Files Column View

6) You can continue to tap the arrows to open each subfolder and as you do, a new column will display to the right.

When you finally arrive at the file you want, like mentioned above, you’ll see a preview of it with details like size and modified date. From that preview, just tap to open it.

iPad Files Column View File

You can move the Column view back to the left to select a different folder or file by swiping. And you can return to a Grid or List view by swiping down at the top, just like you did to select the Column view.

Wrapping it up

If you prefer the Column view in Finder on your Mac, then you’ll love the Column view in Files on your iPad. Let us know your thoughts on this new iPadOS Files feature in the comments below.