How to Read TXT Files on an Apple iPhone

by Adrian Grahams
David Paul Morris/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Although apps that can handle plain text files with the TXT file extension are available from the iTunes App Store, one of the easiest ways to read a text file on your iPhone is to email the document to the iPhone. The plain text file will show up as file attachment at the bottom of the email message. You can then tap the file to open it and read the contents in the standard Quick Look app, or print out the document if your iPhone connects to a wireless printer.

Step 1

Launch the email program on your computer and create a new message in the usual way. Ensure you address the email to an account that you can access from the iPhone.

Step 2

Attach the plain text document to the email and then send the email.

Step 3

Tap the "Mail" app icon on the iPhone's home screen.

Step 4

Touch the "All Inboxes" tab in the Inboxes section at the top of the Mailboxes screen. Alternatively, touch the inbox tab for the email account to which you sent the message with the plain text-file attachment.

Step 5

Tap the message to open it on the iPhone. The iPhone displays a paperclip icon next to the sender's name on email messages with attachments.

Tap the file attachment button in the email message to open and read the plain text file. Alternatively, touch and hold the attachment to choose an installed app that can handle the file. Tap "Quick Look" to read the contents of the text file on the iPhone's screen.


  • If you have the premium Pages word-processing app on your iPhone, you can also open the plain text document with this application and edit the document. After editing, Pages allows you to save the file in PDF, Microsoft Word or Pages format. Another iPhone app that lets you edit as well as read plain text files is PlainText, a free, third-party app that works with the Dropbox cloud-storage service.
  • Press the "Share" button while the text file attachment is open, and then tap "Print" if your iPhone connects to a Wi-Fi printer and you want to print out the text file.


Photo Credits

  • David Paul Morris/Getty Images News/Getty Images

About the Author

Adrian Grahams began writing professionally in 1989 after training as a newspaper reporter. His work has been published online and in various newspapers, including "The Cornish Times" and "The Sunday Independent." Grahams specializes in technology and communications. He holds a Bachelor of Science, postgraduate diplomas in journalism and website design and is studying for an MBA.

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