Use iPhone as an external hard drive

It is quite simple to use an Android device as an external hard drive, useful for carrying all types of files and documents, but what if you have an iPhone and want to do the same?

There are different methods and in this article we will see some solutions to use iPhone as an external hard disk. The new iPhone satisfy almost all the functions of MP3 player, used to listen to music. Would not it be nice if you could deliver USB flash drives to the annals of history and use the phone to carry around in addition to music files and documents necessary for work or leisure?

Fortunately, it is possible. Here are five different ways to use an iPhone as an external hard drive, where you can store all sorts of documents you need to carry around for work or hobby.


How to use iPhone as an external hard disk

Having the need to carry around a large amount of files for work, I looked for the appropriate solutions that would use my iPhone that I always carry around. Here are the five most used methods I found to turn an iPhone into an external hard drive.

File Manager (Free)

File Manager is undoubtedly the best phone app for this list. Not only it manages files, it also acts as a virtual USB drive for both iPhone and iPad. Once the application is installed on your device, there are two ways to upload files to iPhone:

Use iTunes

Connect your iPhone to your computer (Mac or Windows) with iTunes installed. Go to Applications and find the File Manager app in the list. Click on it, and now you can drag and drop the files you want to upload to iPhone in the Documents section in the right panel.

Use Wi-Fi

In the application, from the bottom menu go to Settings > Upload by Wi-Fi Sync and it will give you an IP address. Enter the address in a browser on the computer that is on the same network as the phone, and you will be able to transfer files between the two devices.

Files: Document & PDF Reader (free)

Files: Document & PDF Reader is an app similar to File Manager. However, it offers a couple of extra ways to transfer files; you can use iTunes and a Wi-Fi network, but you can also use Windows Explorer and Finder.

This application has only one disadvantage, it has a limit of 200 MB of data. You will need to purchase the Full version if you want unlimited storage. The Pro version that costs $4.99 also adds support for Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, and Microsoft Onedrive.

SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive

Of course, it is not necessary to use an app. Probably we already carry around several dongles to connect the iPhone to several other devices, bring one more is not a problem.

There is an entire sector dedicated to USB drives for iPhone. They are all equipped with a Lightning connector to connect it directly to your iDevice.

This drive will automatically backup photos, transfer any file type and turn off the phone, and it is USB 3.0 enabled. It also has a USB port; if you have a USB cable, you will be able to transfer data from the flash drive directly to any device – even if there is no Lightning port.

HooToo Flash Drive

This is another USB 3.0 high-speed memory that has an affordable price. It comes in a 32 GB format with a speed of 80 MB/s in reading and 30 MB/s in writing. 100% compatible with all iOS devices with lightning port (ios 8.0 or higher). Warning: it is not compatible with iPhone 8. This is a 2-in-1 Lightning Pen Drive and USB 3.0 and also works as a normal pen drive, for transferring data to your computer.

The OTo HooToo flash drive comes with password protection software, allowing users to protect the privacy of their private files.


Finally, it is also worth mentioning iTunes that will also allow you to use iPhone as hard disk and copy most of the files to and from the iPhone. It is not as elegant or simple as the other methods I mentioned before, but if you do not want to rely on third-party products and do not want to transfer some kind of unusual file, this method does a good job.

To transfer files, connect the phone to the computer and launch the application. Select the device and click on Applications. Under File Sharing, select the application for which you want to transfer a file. Now you have two options:

  • To transfer a file from your phone: Right-click on the file, choose Save in, and then select the destination.
  • To transfer a file to your phone: Select Add, choose the file you want to move and click Open.

You do not need to be able to open the file using the specified application, just remember where you put the file and download it elsewhere.

Thus, we have learned that it is possible to use iPhone as an external hard disk. But there’s no denying that moving files to carry around on a portable device is rather old-school in the cloud storage era. As an alternative to the methods outlined above, you can use cloud services – read the best free cloud storage services – where you will keep all the useful files to view even on the move through the apps on your device.

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