The ability to connect an external flash drive to a smartphone is a little-known trick. Even those who have heard about this are faced with problems recognizing the device or turning it off suddenly.
What do you need to connect a USB drive?
Flash drives connect to Android smartphones without problems when the device supports USB Host. This feature is enabled by default on Android models under 4-5 generation. To connect, you will need one of 2:
- OTG cable with micro USB, mini USB, USB Type-C connectors and a second connector directly to an external drive;
- Double-sided flash memory with USB and micro or USB-C.
The USB-C connector and USB Type-C adapters are suitable for laptops, desktop computers and mobile devices (including tablets). It is good when the flash drive has a FAT32 file system, but it happens that NTFS is enough.
How to connect a USB flash drive to a smartphone: steps
- We connect the OTG cable at one end to a smartphone, at the other. to a flash drive. If the flash memory is double-sided. It has its own USB-C and micro USB ports. no cable needed.
- When everything turned out, a notification about connecting the New Disk from the built-in file manager will appear.
- If a notification about the impossibility of connecting a USB drive is displayed, it means that the drive has encountered an incompatible file system.
- Flash memory inserted, but no notifications. the device does not support USB-Host or there is not enough power to connect.
Sometimes you need to enter Developer Mode on your device so that the flash drive is detected. The path looks like this: Device and privacy. A set of tools for a SIM card, Accessibility. Developer features. Connection in OTG mode (here it is possible to configure Auto power off after N-minutes of inactivity). In some phones, you must additionally check the USB Debugging tab.
How to view the contents of an external USB drive through a file manager?
Third-party programs are more convenient than internal ones and have wider functionality. Examples of successful applications:
- X-Plore File Manager is a free Russified program with a simple interface. There are no extra options that slow down the work. To detect a flash drive, you need to open Settings and Allow access.
- Total Commander for Android. available: copy, move, delete without recycle bin, play media files. For additional functions, you need to install specific plugins.
- ES Explorer. automatically supports playback from NTFS flash drives. In addition to the main function. organization of files and folders. there is access to cloud storage, the ability to manage applications.
Total Commander and X-Plore enable NTFS support with the paid Microsoft exFAT / NTFS for USB utility.
Video: Otg Cable How To Connect To Phone
A frequent advantage of third-party managers over built-in managers. uninterrupted contact of media with memory cards connected via cable. Information from the phone to the USB-drive and back is freely transmitted, and the built-in file manager sometimes ignores memory cards.
Can I connect a USB flash drive to a phone without root?
For smartphones younger than 2016, you can connect as described above. For models older than 2013, third-party applications will be required. Each phone released between 2013-2016 needs to be checked separately. The most simple and affordable applications:
- Nexus Media Importer.
- Nexus USB OTG FileManager.
These programs work without root changes, support FAT and NTFS (both paid).
Gato Negro USB OTG File Manager. the application is free, but with a lower rating. Allows you to add, rename and delete files. Some users noted that the flash drive is recognized, but when trying to copy it gives an error.
If you still need root rights, it is convenient to work in Kingo Root and KRoot Checker programs. At the same time, the developer warns that he is not responsible for the consequences. There is a risk of damage to the smartphone and remain without a guarantee. And yet, for all phone models you need to look for a separate instruction.
If you get root privileges for quick recognition of flash memory with display in any file manager, try the free StickMount application (there is a paid Pro utility). You can download it in the Play Store.
After connecting, you should mark the Start of StickMount automatically for a working device and enable Full access to all functions. After that, the sdcard / usbStorage folders will be located in the file manager.
The program supports file systems of different phones without binding to firmware. The list of available includes: fat and fat32, as well as ext2, ext3 and ext4.
What flash drives are suitable for connection?
Not all external devices are compatible with the Android platform. You can try to connect to a smartphone:
- External USB drives with own power supply, computer mouse, keyboard, joystick, game steering wheel.
- The usual flash drive.
Each of these devices will drain the smartphone’s battery twice as fast.
Why doesn’t Android see a USB flash drive?
There are times when equipment is not recognized. Situations in which the phone does not see the USB flash drive or periodically ceases to recognize:
- In the absence of actions with a flash drive for several minutes. The smartphone begins to save battery power and pretends that it does not recognize external media (the USB flash drive disappears from the list of available devices).
- Mobile phone is not compatible with On-The-Go technology. In this situation, no applications will help.
- When connecting a flash drive using an OTG cable and adapter. Two seemingly identical adapters can have two different pinouts and refers to different technologies (Thunderbolt and OTG).
- In the scheme of a smartphone or tablet, the manufacturer has put a ban on reading flash drives. Sometimes updating the firmware helps. Changing the settings in the root directory may also help.
- The flash drive is formatted in NTFS. Smartphones cannot read this file system. You need to flash the flash drive in exFAT or FAT32 formats.
- Too much flash memory. Do not exceed the 8 GB limit.
To connect flash drives to smartphones, there is a whole range of applications, including free ones. The newer the phone, the greater the likelihood of automatic recognition of flash drives.