Skip to main content

How to connect USB storage devices to your Android phone

how to connect usb storage to android phone
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Many of the best Android phones use USB-C ports for charging and transferring files back and forth with your PC, but what if the files you need to email your boss are sitting on a Flash drive or a full-size SD card?

Fortunately, with an inexpensive adapter cable, you can attach a USB key or card reader directly to your handset. You can even get a USB-C flash drive for an even easier process.

Either way, you will need one of these things to get started if you can't upload the files from the storage medium to a cloud storage provider. So here's how to connect your Android phone to a USB storage device.

What you need

how to connect usb storage to android phone

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
  • A USB Type-C male to USB Type-A female adapter OR
  • A USB Type-C flash drive

How to Connect with a USB OTG cable

1. Connect a flash drive (or SD reader with card) to the full-size USB female end of the adapter.

how to connect usb storage to android phone

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

2. Connect USB-C end to your phone

how to connect usb storage to android phone

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

3. Swipe down from the top to show the notification shade. No need to do this if your file manager automatically appears.

how to connect usb storage to android phone

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

4. Tap USB Drive.

how to connect usb storage to android phone

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

You can now browse the files on the flash drive and copy them to the phone storage. If you want to copy from the phone storage to the flash drive, follow steps 5 to 9.

5. Tap Internal Storage to view the files on your phone.

how to connect usb storage to android phone

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)


6. Find the file you'd like to share. Hold down on it to select it.

how to connect usb storage to android phone

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)


7. Tap the three dots button.

how to connect usb storage to android phone

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)


8. Select Copy.

how to connect usb storage to android phone

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

9. Navigate to your USB drive and tap Done to copy the file.

how to connect usb storage to android phone

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

More Android tips

Android is a powerful operating system with many features, but we can help guide you through some of the things you might not know how to do.

For instance, we've also got guides on how to take a screenshot on Android and how to take a scrolling screenshot in Android 12, plus how to change keyboard on Android

On the apps front, we can show you how to delete apps on Android, and how to update Android apps, while how to clear Android cache could also be useful.

Slightly more niche options include how to record a call on Android and how to scan a QR code on Android, while how to backup and restore text messages on Android should be of use to everyone.

Jordan Palmer

Jordan is the Phones Editor for Tom's Guide, covering all things phone-related. He loves nothing more than relaxing in his home with a book, game, or his latest personal writing project. It's hard to nail down one thing that Jordan is passionate about, since his attention span for a single given topic or activity doesn't last long. Jordan tends to lurk on social media, but you can best reach him on Twitter.

  • Nikit_
    Hey . I have a samsung tab E and when i connect a pendrive to a OTG cable and then coneect it to the tab nothing appearing . and i reqire this thing because i am going out of town tommorow . sp please me
    Reply