File read problems on Xamarin + iOS

The repro code for this post can be found here:

Note: The solution to the problem is not in that repro, it’s below. The repro helped us figure out what was happening.

I was having some quite severe issues when reading content in my Xamarin.iOS app. Data would either come back corrupted (out of order) or the file read operation would return the entirely wrong data (old data!).

The corruptions were what tipped it off first. We were saving serialised entities to the filesystem but when reading them back again the JSON parser started throwing errors. The text would be out of order, parts replicated, and double end braces and other strange bits and bobs.

The problem was using IsolatedStorageFile! Don’t use it! It sort of works sometimes… seems the problems occur after a while. I didn’t get to the bottom of exactly what was causing the problem or why, but essentially don’t use it!

Instead use File.WriteAllText and the other related methods as outlined in the Xamarin documentation here:

For a working example see


        public async Task<bool> SaveString(string fileName, string data)
           var path = _getPath(fileName);

            File.WriteAllText(path, data);
            return true;

        void _createDirForFile(string fileName)
            var dir = Path.GetDirectoryName(fileName);

            //Debug.WriteLine("Creating Directory: {0}", fileName);

            if (dir == null)

            if (!Directory.Exists(dir))

        // <summary>
        /// iOS 8 Specific get path
        /// </summary>
        /// <param name="fileName"></param>
        /// <returns></returns>
        private string _getPath(string fileName)
            var documents = NSFileManager.DefaultManager.GetUrls(NSSearchPathDirectory.LibraryDirectory, NSSearchPathDomain.User)[0];
            var str = documents.Path;
            var result = Path.Combine(str, fileName);
            return result;


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