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How to use a USB drive with an iPhone or iPad

Sometimes our Apple devices run out of space. External storage for iPads and iPhones can be difficult to use, so we’ll walk you through using a USB (also called a flash drive or thumb drive) with both an iPhone and an iPad. This will help you to easily transfer things like photos to an external storage device or external hard drive. Moving certain items to external storage will free up space to continue taking pictures and using the device to its full potential. Let’s look at how to use a USB drive with an iPhone or iPad.

Related: Photo Management Guide: How to organize, share and store your iPhone photos

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How to use a USB with an iPhone

The easiest way to use a USB drive with an iPhone is to use a device designed for this purpose, such as a USB drive with a plug-in adapter. This device connects directly to an iPhone without any additional devices. It’s a small, portable and efficient way to expand your storage space by moving items from iPhone to remote storage, so you can free up space on your iPhone.

Most iPhone USB drives have their own apps. No two apps are identical, so we can not guide you through each process, but we can give you an idea of ​​how this will usually work. Here’s a step-by-step explanation of how to use a USB drive with your iPhone:

  1. First, download the app that comes with the USB flash drive. When you connect the flash drive to your iPhone, it may ask you to download the supplied app on your own, but if it does not, you can download it from the App Store by searching for the device name or following the instructions provided. in the device packaging.
  2. If you have not already done so, connect the flash drive to the iPhone.
  3. A message appears on the iPhone screen. Be sure to press Allow on that message.
  4. You will be prompted to go to the app associated with the flash drive. On that screen, you will probably see information such as how much storage space is available on your phone and how much is available on USB. You will also see transfer options. Each USB drive and app will look a little different.
  5. The instructions that come with the USB flash drive will be the most useful. We suggest that you follow these instructions on what to do next.
  6. The app will probably ask you if you want to delete photos or files you have just transported from your phone to the drive. If you try to clean up storage on your phone, you will delete the items you just transferred. Otherwise you are welcome to choose as you wish!

Tips for using a USB drive with an iPad

Using a USB drive with an iPad is a little more complicated. Newer iPads allow you to connect an adapter to use a USB drive. However, some USB drives require more power than an iPad can offer. Before buying a USB drive, make sure it is compatible with an iPad.

Your iPad allows you to transfer photos from the USB drive to the iPad, but you will not be able to add other types of files. You can also transfer photos from iPad to your desktop or keep them on the USB flash drive to use external storage for iPhone.

iPads have a couple of different ports, which means you need to know which port the iPad has before deciding which method will work for you. The iPad Pro has a USB-C port. All other iPad generations have a lightning port. Need to check which iPad you have? Check out our iPad identification article to help you narrow it down.

To use a USB drive with an iPad: Quick Cable Port

election 1: You can follow the instructions used for the iPhone, and use a special USB made for a lightning port

Option 2: You can buy a cable that is Lightning to USB. This type of adapter plugs into the iPad at one end and a USB (flash drive) at the other end. When you connect the USB flash drive for the first time, you will probably be prompted to follow the instructions to download an app and provide access similar to the steps for an iPhone.

To use a USB drive with an iPad: USB-C cable port

You can use a USB-A to USB-C cable to connect the flash drive to the iPad. A USB-A is the technical name for a flash drive. A USB-C cable is the technical name of the port on many Macs and iPad Pro.

  1. Connect the adapter to the iPad and connect the USB-A to the other end of the adapter.
  2. Follow the instructions to move files from iPad to flash drive.
  3. The flash drive comes with instructions. Each flash drive is a little different. For a general guide on how to use the flash drive, follow the instructions for using a flash drive with iPhone.

Now that you know how to use a USB flash drive with your device, you can remove photos and files from your iPhone or iPad to create more storage space. This will help your device work more optimally, and will free up space for you to continue taking pictures!

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