How to View a Word Document on an iPhone

As of iOS 8, the iPhone doesn't come with any apps that can open Microsoft Word documents, but Microsoft has an official, free Word app in the App Store. If you have an Office 365 account, the app offers more features, but you don't need a subscription to view and make basic changes to a document.

Read Documents in the Word App

Step

Search for, install and open the Microsoft Word app in the App Store.

Install the Word app.
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft
Sign in to Word.
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Step

Tap Sign In and log in with a Microsoft account. To use the app's premium features, such as adding section breaks and columns, you need an account with an Office 365 subscription. Even without a 365 subscription, however, signing in to a Microsoft account provides access to OneDrive and Dropbox storage. To use the app without any account, tap Sign In Later instead.

Pick a location.
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Step

Select the Open tab to pick the location of your file. If you're signed in to a Microsoft account, you'll see your OneDrive folder. The iPhone option lists the Word files saved to your phone. To add another cloud location like Dropbox, tap Add a Place.

Add an online location.
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Step

Pick a cloud service or SharePoint location to add to the app, if you need. After signing in with the chosen service, return to the Open tab and pick the location containing your file.

Pick a file.
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Step

Choose any file bearing the Word icon to load it.

Close a file when finished.
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Step

Read the Word document and tap the text to open it for editing. When you're finished, tap the back arrow. When you close a file after editing it, Word asks whether you want to save your changes.

Send Files to the App

Cloud storage isn't the only option for getting files into the Word app. After installing the app, connect your iPhone to iTunes on your computer to sync Word documents from your hard drive.

Add a file to Word.
credit: Image courtesy of Apple

Open your iPhone's page in iTunes to the Apps tab and select Word in the File Sharing section. Click Add File to browse for a file on your computer. No need to click Sync; as soon as you add the file, it's ready to load in the Word app. Go to the Open tab, tap iPhone and select the file.