If you want to know how to save PDF on iPhone and iPad because maybe you need to download a file of this format from the Internet on the phone’s internal memory or received via e-mail or through some instant messaging app, just read the following lines.

Content index


On iPhone and iPad you can save Web pages from Safari in PDF format using a feature integrated into the Apple browser that allows you to create them in a very simple way. All you need to do is display on the screen of the device the content you want to export to PDF (eg an Internet page), press on the square containing an arrow pointing up (it would be the sharing icon ) in the upper right corner press on Create PDF that you find among the gray icons.

At this point, all you need to do is press the End button you find at the top left and choose Save File to … from the small menu that appears. After choosing the preferred folder to save the PDF file (eg Numbers ), click on Add placed at the top right to complete the operation.

If you want to apply changes before saving (eg inserting notes ), just press the pencil icon on the top right, make the changes using the desired tool and then proceed with the storage on the internal storage of the iPhone or of the iPad following the instructions given a little while ago.

iCloud and other similar services

If you have an iOS device, you will surely have an iCloud account on which to save several files on the Internet using the iCloud Drive service. The free plan provides 5 GB but if you want you can choose the one from 50 GB at the cost of 99 cents a month, from 200 GB to 2.99 dollars per month or from 2 TB to 9.99 dollars per month. So, using iCloud you can save an online PDF document downloaded from MailSafari or any other application in a very simple way.

After tapping on Save to File from the share menu, just press on the iCloud Drive item, choose the favorite folder and press on Add that you find at the top right of the screen. Then, to access the PDF file, simply open the File app, tap on Locations in the upper left (or swipe from left to right) and choose iCloud Drive that you find under the Locations section. From here, go to the folder where you saved the PDF and open the PDF using the default app.

If you have an iPhone or an iPad with a version previous to iOS 11, you need to follow the steps below:

  • Open the document in PDF format that you want to save on your iDevice via Safari and click on the More … button located at the top left.
  • At this point, choose Add to iCloud Drive from the menu that appears and select the folder where you want to save the PDF file. In case you do not find the iCloud Drive icon in the sharing menu, scroll the second row of icons to the end, press on More and activate the switch next to Add to iCloud Drive.
  • Now, start iCloud Drive by pressing its icon on the iOS home screen and select the folder where you saved the PDF document.
  • Just press on to open it and view the content.

Please note that with iCloud Drive you can also access saved files from your Mac or Windows PC (in the latter case by installing the free client available on the official website of Apple ). This procedure is not only valid for iCloud but also with other cloud storage services such as OneDriveDropboxGoogle Drive or Box.


Apple offers another standard tool that allows you to save PDF on your iPhone/iPad in a very simple way: its iBooks name. It is an application that allows you to read ebooks and generic PDF files on iOS devices and Mac. In addition to this, iBooks integrates seamlessly with iCloud. This means that you will find the Portable Document Format also saved on iPad and Mac if it has been downloaded to the iPhone and copied to iBooks.

That said, let’s see how to proceed:

  • Open the document in PDF format that you want to download via Safari and press on the sharing icon in the upper right.
  • At this point, scroll through the first row of icons and identify the one with the word Save PDF on iBooks (or Copy to Books if you have an older version of iOS at 12).
  • Once you have clicked on the icon, the file will be transferred immediately to iBooks, it will open automatically and will be synchronized with the iCloud library.


If you want to turn paper documents into PDF files from your iPhone or iPad, you can take advantage of the Notes app pre-installed on all devices with at least iOS 11.

To make the most of it, follow the steps listed below:

  • Open the Notes app, tap on the + at the bottom right and choose Scan documents from the small menu that appears.
  • Position your device in correspondence of the paper document that you want to transform into PDF and wait for the application to acquire information automatically. If this does not happen, you can also manually perform the operation by tapping the shutter button. If the document consists of several pages, you just need to take other photos by following the steps mentioned a little while ago.
  • After completing the procedure, press the Save button at the bottom right and then click Finish that you find at the top right.
  • Once the document is open, you can make the desired changes by using the buttons at the bottom.
  • Complete the entire operation by first pressing on the preview of the document, then on the sharing icon in the upper right and choose whether to print it, send it via e-mail or other app or save it on File through the appropriate icons that are shown.


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