On My Ipad - Secure Storage

Hi all, are files in the “On My Ipad” section of my IPad Pro synched with the cloud, or on device only? If so, how do i create a secure file in On My Ipad? I want to store some financial files locally, I don’t want in the cloud, and I’d like to password protect.

Apologies if this has been asked before. I searched but couldn’t see that topic.


Hi and welcome to the MPU community!

On My iPad means that everything there is stored on your device. It stays there and it is NOT synced with iCloud.

As an asterisk: if you have set up iCloud Backup, the iPad will backup all data to the cloud (including “On My iPad”). The backup is encrypted. More on that at Backup methods for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch - Apple Support

If you go down the path to prevent those local files being on Apple’s servers at all, you would have to disable iCloud Backup. Which means that you have to think about different means to backup your data using a Mac or a PC - or you lose everything that is not being synced in case of a hardware failure. How to back up your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch with your Mac - Apple Support

Regarding your question about password protection of those local files: You have to use apps that can handle the file types of your financial files and those apps have to be able to protect those files with passwords. If we are talking about PDFs: there are several apps that can do that. If we are talking about Numbers: Password-protect a Numbers spreadsheet on iPad - Apple Support. If we are talking about Excel: Microsoft’s iPad version of Excel does not support this so far, as far as I know. I might be wrong though.

A different approach would be to rely on encryption and security not on a file basis but on the system level and leave it at that:

  • Setup a secure passcode for your iPad.
  • Rely on iClouds encryption and device encryption (both are enabled).
  • Do not bother with passwords on a file basis.

The last bullet point might be something you are not comfortable with. I get that. Then we are back to the iPadOS dance dealing with local files using apps that fulfill your need.

Another approach: Consider putting your financial data not in a file but into an application that provides additional encryption (most of them have a cloud, though).

My experience:
If you want to deal with password-protected files, a Mac (or even PC :wink: ) might be a better solution.

What am I doing? My financial data is not on my iPad. Only on my Mac. If I need to, I connect to my Mac from my iPad using Jump Desktop and I work on my Mac - from my iPad.

Hi Christian,

Thanks for your very comprehensive and helpful reply.

Got it re the “On My Ipad” being on local except for encrypted back ups. Thanks for clarifying. I won’t go down the disabling cloud sync path because i have (after much delay) finally gone all in with iCloud.

Thanks also for the advice re password protecting. I will use numbers for password protected.

I guess what I was really hoping was for something like a Mac encrypted sparse image type storage. What I would really like to achieve is a secure encrypted “container” I control which then sits on device or within Apple’s encrypted iCloud.

Colour me paranoid but I have yet to place my full faith in cloud encryption. Whilst I am sure Apples systems are amazing, and I am not protecting financial data for a Warren Buffet style fortune (more his chevrolet), my inner doubter likes to keep some control.

Thanks again though for your response. Very helpful.

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I do not think that you are paranoid. Same here. There is stuff I do not put on any cloud, either. What you are doing is exactly what I am doing with some of my files: an encrypted image on my Mac (with a local backup).

If I need to access this image, I will use my Mac. Most of the time, I will use the Mac directly. Sometimes, I connect to the Mac from another device (Jump Desktop).

The thing with iPadOS’ filesystem is that it still is limited in comparison to the one on a Mac (or any PC).

Thanks Christian!

Seems my MacBook Air has a longer life than planned. Besides it provides an excellent back up for photos also, and the odd non Ipad friendly website. But seems an expensive way to overcome the final 10% of functionality the IPad lacks.

Appreciate your time. Cheers

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One option is to use an encrypted APFS formatted external SSD. When you connect the drive to your iPad you will be prompted to enter a password. When finished just close the document and disconnect.

Note: you will need to prepare the drive on your Mac.

Thanks Wayne, guess my Mac still has a role!

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