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How to use external hard drives with iPhone and iPad

Between our ever-expanding camera roll, storage-hungry apps & games, messages, files, health data, and other things, our device’s storage is bound to exhaust sometimes. So, Apple’s wise decision to bring hard drive and SD card support for the iOS device is very beneficial. Thanks to it, you can use an external drive with iPhone and iPad and seamlessly back up your precious data.

Notably, to support this feature your iOS device should be running on iOS 13 or later. Plus, you should have the right lightning/USB C connector or card reader.

How to connect an external hard drive to iPhone or iPad

  1. Connect your external hard drive to your iPhone/iPad.
  2. Open the Files app and tap on Browse from the bottom of your screen.
  3. Find the drive name from the list of locations and tap on it to get your hard drive connected.

How to move Files from iPhone to external hard drive

  1. Open the Files app and long press on the folder/file you want to move.
  2. Tap on Move and select the External Drive from the menu.
  3. Select the folder if any preference and then tap on Copy to confirm the move.

Remember, this action has just copied the file or folder to the drive. You will have to manually delete it from your iPhone/iPad to clear up space.

Move Files from external hard drive to iPhone

  1. Launch the Files app, open External Drive and find your file or folder.
  2. Long press the folder/file and tap on Move.
  3. Next, select the location where you want to save and tap on Copy.

Notably, you can also copy the files directly to your iCloud, Dropbox, etc., by selecting these options accordingly.

While iCloud storage is a viable backup option, it could be expensive in comparison. Plus, if you own an external SSD for Mac, all your data can be accumulated in one place. And all you will need is the right data transfer cable!

I hope you enjoyed reading this guide. Feel free to share any related queries in the comment section below.

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  • Arshmeet

    A self-professed Geek who loves to explore all things Apple. I thoroughly enjoy discovering new hacks, troubleshooting issues, and finding and reviewing the best products and apps currently available. My expertise also includes curating opinionated and honest editorials. If not this, you might find me surfing the web or listening to audiobooks.

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