How to add External Storage to a Android Smartphone or Tablet

By | September 5, 2016

How to add External Storage to a Android Smartphone or Tablet

With phone and tablet manufactures eliminating Micro-SD cards from androids getting extra storage has moved to external devices.
 
There are a few options for backing up and saving your data to a external storage source, including hard drives and flash drives.
 
How are Files Copied to a External Source?
All android smartphones and tablets use a small micro USB slot for charging that can also be used to copy files.
How to add External Storage to a Android Smartphone
While in charging mode only two wires are used to power up the battery, while in data mode other wires can be used that transfer data.
 
OTG cables called On-The-Go are mainly used as a adapter between the micro-USB connection and a standard USB plug.
How to add External Storage to a Android Smartphone or Tablet OTG Cable
This is a good option for those already with standard USB flash drives or external hard drives and want to use them.
 
Some android phones and tablets dont have the drivers installed by default or have the data connections disabled. This is less so in recent years but always check your unit to be sure it is OTG compatible.
 
There are apps such as USB OTG Checker that will show if your phone can support OTG if you are unsure. While apps can be used it is best to look at the specs for your device to be sure.
 
OTG cables are low cost and work very well.
 
OTG Cable on Amazon
StarTech.com 5in Micro USB to USB OTG Host Adapter – Micro USB Male to USB A Female On-The-GO Host Cable Adapter

 
For those looking for a compact all in one solution small flash drives with a Micro-USB plug on one side and traditional USB slot on the other side can also be bought.
How to add External Storage to a Android Tablet
All in-one solutions can be used as storage for a phone or a computer since they have both ports. This makes them useful in many situations since they can be used by a android as well as a computer as flash drives traditionally have been used.
 
Sandisk makes this popular flash drive with standard and micro-USB plugs.
SanDisk Ultra 64GB Micro USB 2.0 OTG Flash Drive For Android Smartphone/Tablet With App- SDDD-064G-G46

 
 
Summary
Setting up most android devices with external storage is usually a plug and play setup with a OTG cable or compatible flash drive.
 
Some devices are not compatible so be sure to check the specifications or use a app to check for you. Many early models needed to be rooted before using OTG but less so in recent years.
 
For those who don’t have OTG support rooting the phone is sometimes a option. Reading about your phone compatibility would be the first step in finding if this is possible.
 
Both OTG cables and USB 2.0 OTG flash drives are low cost solutions.
 
If you need quick portable solution than a compatible flash drive is likely the best option.
 
If you already have many pen drives or want to use a external hard drive than a OTG cable is likely the best way.
 
As always be sure to read more about any product on Amazon or elsewhere to be sure it is the correct unit for your setup.
 
 


 
 

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