How to connect a USB flash drive to a tablet

How to Connect a USB Stick to a Tablet

Tablet computers are very limited in internal memory. Plus, most of them are intentionally deprived of the possibility to use microSD memory. It follows that many users, and not once, have wondered how to connect the USB flash drive to the tablet?

Everyone was faced with the need to quickly copy files or move the necessary documents, as the tablet is increasingly penetrating into our everyday life. It’s hard to imagine the modern man without a touch screen gadget, because it is:

  • Convenient and practical;
  • Everything you need for everyday tasks is always at your fingertips;
  • Mobile, minimal weight and size is the goal of any manufacturer.

Full-size USB

Some touchscreen devices are equipped with a full-size USB connector, which allows you to seamlessly connect any peripheral. In the picture below, you can see a Gigabyte tablet running Windows 7.

Microsoft’s Surface line of tablets is also equipped with a separate USB port. By the way, many transformers that come with a docking station are also equipped with a functional connector. If the tablet does not see the flash drive, then there are only three possible options:

  • Mechanical damage to the port itself;
  • Drivers have not been installed correctly, in the case of Windows OS;
  • Flash card has become unusable.

OTG mode

A very useful technology which thankfully is supported by many devices. Allows you to eliminate “dancing with diamonds” during the attempts to connect the external flash drive to your gadget. Here’s a little lanyard, allows you to easily synchronize both devices for data exchange.

The price of such an adapter is not very high, so that every owner can buy and try it. To check if your device has OTG-mode, you can do it in two ways:

  • Study the specifications in detail. the manufacturers indicate this option;
  • Practice, buy and personally test the performance.

If the tablet does not see the flash drive, alas, we must admit that the manufacturer has decided, for his own reasons, to deprive the gadget of this ability.

How to connect a USB flash drive to a tablet

Tablet computers have become quite popular type of gadgets because of its compactness and functionality. However, novice users of tablets can face certain problems, which are associated with the specifics of this type of device. For example, many people wonder how to connect USB flash drive to the tablet.

A flash drive (USB flash drive) is one of the most common devices for storing, transferring and sharing data. Its advantage is versatility. the stick can be connected to any device that has a USB-port. However, when connecting a flash drive to a tablet, users may encounter certain difficulties.

If the tablet is equipped with a USB port and is running on a Windows operating system, there should be no problems: the connection of the flash drive is carried out in the same way as in the case of a personal computer or laptop. However, most tablets run on the Android operating system, which has a slightly different way of working with flash drives.

When connecting a USB stick to an Android tablet, you may find that the tablet does not see the stick. You can usually resolve this issue by installing StickMount and a file manager, such as ES File Explorer, free on Google Play.

Although StickMount was created for Nexus tablets and the Android 4.0, it works on other tablets with Android 3.1 and higher. Please note, that you need a tablet with built-in Root access, which allows you to create, copy and edit files in the system partitions of the. After installing both programs, connect the flash drive to the tablet. Allow StickMount Root access.

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A message should appear in the notification area saying that the drive is successfully connected. After that launch File Manager and find the appropriate folder (the content of the USB device will be in /sdcard/usbStorage/xxxx/).

If you do not have Root access you can use the Nexus Media Importer app, which is also available on Google Play. True, it is not free, but it does not cost that much. Primarily the application is intended for Nexus tablets, but it can also work with some other models of tablets, the main requirement is Android OS version 4.0 and above.

However, this method works only if you have where to connect the flash drive; in other words, the tablet must have a standard USB port for this. But in some models of tablets (especially compact ones with a small screen diagonal) this port may be missing. What to do in this case?

Most often a mini USB or micro USB port is used in such tablets as an alternative to the standard USB port. In this case you usually get an OTG-cable with your tablet which you can use to connect your regular flash-drive to the tablet. In fact, this cable is an adapter: one end is plugged into the mini/micro USB port on the tablet, and the other end can be used to connect a flash drive or other USB-device.

If the cable did not come with the kit (which is unlikely), or just lost, it can be purchased at a computer store. We recommend that you come with a tablet and a flash drive so that you can test the functionality of the cable on the spot. The procedure to connect a USB flash drive using OTG-cable will not differ from the connection “directly”, described above.

If you think that these methods of connecting the USB-drive to the tablet are too laborious, we advise you to think about using cloud data storages, which will allow you to access the necessary files from any device.

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How to connect a USB flash drive to Android tablet or smartphone via MicroUSB

If your tablet or smartphone uses a MicroUSB port, then connect such a device will not be difficult. You just need to shell out a couple of dollars and buy a USB OTG cable. That is, you insert the appropriate end of the adapter into the slot of the device, and the flash drive is connected to it. If you have an OTG-enabled Android smartphone or tablet then your USB device will be detected automatically.

If your manufacturer spared on the USB connector, and instead equipped its device only a proprietary connector for synchronization, then you have to spend a little more. But even in this situation there is a solution: you need one more additional adapter which fits exactly to your plug. You will need to insert the USB OTG cable into it.

That’s all, I hope you found my post useful.

Founder of the 4iDroid project.com, author of hundreds of articles and tutorials on configuring and customizing mobile devices. than 7 years of helping solve problems with smartphones and tablets running Android and iOS. Since the launch of the site has changed more than 15 devices (from manufacturers such as Xiaomi, Huawei, Meizu, Samsung, HTC, LG, Google, Nokia, Wileyfox, Bluboo and Blackview), each of which became the “test subject” for testing applications and firmware, system customization, root rights, unlocking the bootloader and other manipulations. Currently using two smartphones on a regular basis: an iPhone 12 Pro running iOS 14.7 and Nokia 4.2 on stock Android 11. It also uses Xiaomi Redmi 4X, Huawei P Smart 2019 (updated to EMUI 10), Samsung Galaxy A51 with One UI 2 graphical shell.1, Bluboo D1 and Xiaomi Mi A1. Learn more about the author →

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Home / Instructions / How to connect the flash drive to your Android tablet or smartphone

How to Open Files from USB Flash Drive on a Tablet

Once you have connected the flash drive to the tablet you need to access the files that are stored on the flash drive. This can be done with the help of a file manager. For example, you can use the free application ES Explorer.

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Once the flash drive is connected, open your file manager and go to mnt/sda/sda1. Here will be the files on your connected flash drive.

A special case for users of Google Nexus tablets. To open files from the flash drive they do not need a file manager, but the Nexus Media Importer application. The application is free and can be downloaded from Google Play.

Windows devices

This configuration option for the tablet is the most successful because the USB port and the operating system from Microsoft make it very easy to connect the flash drive to the tablet. The process is not much different from plugging a USB flash drive to your computer or laptop: plug it in, open it on the tablet and use it.

There are many more tablets with this operating system on the market. But in most cases connecting the drive to these tablets requires additional work with the device. This is necessary in view of the not quite good default “exlore”, so when you connect a flash drive, it is likely that the system will not be able to identify it. So this article gives a detailed guide on how to connect and how to open a flash drive on your tablet.

File Manager

First you need to install a file manager, let’s look at two examples:

StickMount. set root rights for the app. Plug in your flash drive, start the file manager and go to /sdcard/usbStorage/ where you will find your drive.

ES Explorer. run the application and open the SD card section. Opens the folder tree, where you follow the path mnt/sda/sda1, which displays the contents of the flash drive.

Safely remove the drive

No less important question, how to remove the flash drive from the device, because the lifetime of the drive depends on it. To do this, go to Settings. Memory. Disable memory card, where all flash drives are located.Connecting an Apple flash drive will not be considered due to the company’s strict policy on external devices.

Reading files from a flash drive without root

Two other apps that allow you to read files from a USB flash drive on Android are Nexus Media Importer and Nexus USB OTG FileManager, both of which do not require root rights on your device. But both are paid on Google Play.

The applications support not only FAT and NTFS partitions, but unfortunately only Nexus devices (you can check if the Nexus Media Importer will work on a non-Nexus device by downloading Nexus Photo Viewer, a free flash drive photo app by the same developer).

I haven’t tried any of them, but judging from reviews, they generally work as they should on Nexus phones and tablets, so the information won’t be out of place.

Cable. the solution to the problem

To solve this problem can be solved in one single way. And this way is to use a special cable. It is called USB OTG. This name is very important to remember. This cable looks something like this

Although on the market you can find many other options. So there are shorter cables, longer cables, made in a single block without a wire, and so on. In any case, on one side of the device will be input microUSB, and on the other. the connector for regular USB.

It is worth saying that at the moment almost all Android phones have a connector microUSB. Through it performs charging and connecting all kinds of devices. But if the phone is still no such plug, the situation is somewhat more complicated and the question “How to connect your phone to the flash drive?”remains unsolved.

For example, the latest iPhone models have their own unique connector called Lightning. Then you will need to order another adapter. from the connector that is on the phone to microUSB. As for the same iPhone, there is a small and neat adapter from Lightnin to microUSB. It looks like this

Of course, to perform the above connection, you need to buy such a cable and possibly an adapter. Such devices are inexpensive. The same OTG USB you can get in Russian stores for only 330.

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And the quality of even this sample will be high enough. you will have no problem to connect your flash drive to your smartphone or tablet with Android, iOS or any other operating system for several years. And here is the adapter, which is designed for iPhone, is about 1500. However, it is not surprising, it’s Apple! The most popular brand name, by the way.

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How to use the cable?

No questions on how to insert the flash drive and the wire from the phone, in principle, should not arise.

Here’s everything you need to know about using the cable:

  • If you use some additional adapter, it connects to your phone or tablet, then to the microUSB. In idea, after inserting all this into their sockets, the devices should work, and on the phone or tablet, the flash drive should be detected as a normal memory card.
  • You don’t need any special software to read the flash drive in this case. However, these applications do not really exist in nature. It’s interesting that some people use such a concept as a program to read a flash drive from your phone, but by it they mean the usual file managers.
  • Of course, to work with a USB stick you need a file manager of some kind. If we are talking about an Android device, in most cases the usual File Manager will be enough. If this program can’t see the flash drive, try ES File Explorer, FX File Explorer, Total Commander or Solid Explorer. These are more advanced managers and they should see the connected device.

But what if the indicators (LEDs that tell you it’s connected) on your devices are lit, but you can’t open files from the flash drive on your phone or tablet? This means that it simply does not see the removable medium.

In this case, there are two solutions to the problem:

About root rights

In general, there are a lot of ways to get these same root access, i.e. the developer rights. It is needed in order to see some hidden features and files of the system, which inexperienced user, it’s better not to see, out of harm’s way.

Getting root, in fact, helps to solve the problem that the device does not see some removable media, which are connected to it and, accordingly, it is not possible to open them. We will focus on those ways, which are the easiest.

The easiest way to obtain such rights is using the VISIONary program. All you have to do is to download it on Google Play, open it and click on “Attemp Permroot now”, that is “Get permanent root rights”.

Here are a few more programs that make it just as quick and easy to get root rights:

There are also applications for some brands of smartphones and tablets.

About Nexus Media Importer

You will have to pay for this program, but there are also “hacked” versions on the internet. In any case, the Nexus Media Importer automatically, forcibly, detects absolutely everything that is connected to the device on which it is installed. This actually includes flash drives connected via OTG cables.

Its use is very simple and consists of the following:

  • All you need to do is plug in a flash drive and open Nexus Media Importer.
  • It will then detect if something is plugged in and ask “Do I use a program to work with this medium??”. This window is shown in the picture
  • It is better to answer “OK”.

Important: Nexus Media Importer works not only with Nexus products, but in general with all phones and tablets.