How to use external hard drives on your iPhone or iPad

iOS 13 and iPadOS versions, launched this September will bring support for external hard drives to both iPhone and iPad models. While Apple has just talked about this feature for iPad, the company has then confirmed that it ould work with iPhones. Once a drive is attached, you can then move files around freely between the connected drive and your iPhone or iPad.


Furthermore, Apple also allows third-party apps to get files directly from the connected external drive without the need for opening the Files app. This great feature will speed up workflows, allowing you to import your photos directly into Lightroom CC faster, for example. Although this feature is dependent on third-party support, there will be many apps to implement it in the future.

Using an external hard drive or even an SSD drive with your iPhone or iPad is pretty simple, and even easier than doing it on a Mac computer. Here’s how to use an external drive on iPhone/iPad running iOS 13/iPadOS 13.

Connect external drives to your iPhone/iPad

The process is straightforward. But if your device is using Lightning instead of USB-C, you will need an Apple’s Lightning-to-USB cable for the transferring data.

  1. Plug your external drive into your iPhone or iPad, directly to its Lightning or through USB-C port, or using an adapter.
  2. On your iPhone/iPad, open Files app.
  3. Tap on Browse if you are using an iPhone.
  4. Choose your drive name from the list of


Move files from external drives to your iPhone/iPad

  • Inside the Files app, select your external drive from the browse menu on iPhone or sidebar on iPad
  • Tap on Select.
  • Select all the files that you want to move.
  • Tap on Move.
  • Choose the location to move the file, including iCloud Drive, Dropbox, or On My iPhone/iPad.
  • Select the folder that you want to store the item if you don’t like storing it on the top of your file service.
  • Choose Copy


Move files from your iPhone/ iPad to external drives

Aside from moving files to your iOS device, you can also move files to your external drive from your iPhone or iPad in the same way.

  • Tap on your storage device from the Browse menu or sidebar in Files app
  • Choose the folder from that want to move a file.
  • Tap onSelect.
  • Select all the files that you want to move.
  • Tap on
  • Choose your external drive from the menu
  • Tap on the folder to store the item if you don’t want to store it on your drive.
  • Tap on Copy.


That’s how to use External drives on iPhone/iPad. Got any question? Let’s know in the comment below.

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