Without a doubt, one of the problems that Android users complain about the most is the scarce capacity that their devices often have to store files.
Of course you can expand this limit by installing an SD memory card, as long as our smartphone or tablet with Android has a slot for this type of expansion.
Installing an SD card in an Android device allows us to store much more music, videos and documents, however, if our phone or tablet with Android do not have a slot for SD cards, we can always use external disks, pendrives and external memory cards through the USB connection.
In this article we will find all the necessary steps to achieve it safely, easily and quickly.
Currently, most Android devices offer support for connecting USB storage drives, however, there is still a large pool of Android phones and tablets in which it may be necessary to use routing techniques to achieve this.
From this point we will know the necessary steps to connect a USB storage unit to our Android easily and conveniently.
Simple OTG cable method
Chances are that we noticed long ago that our device does not have a normal sized USB port, it is much smaller. That is why to connect USB storage drives we will need an adapter cable, called USB OTG (On-the-go).
Basically, this is a short adapter cable with a small MicroUSB connection on one end and a standard USB connection on the other end, which can be obtained at any electronics store at a fairly affordable price.
Unfortunately, despite having this adapter, our device may not have the ability to use this adapter, not because of a physical issue, but because of design.
Many Android phones and tablets cannot act as a USB host by design. Therefore, before purchasing the cable, it may be necessary to conduct an Internet search to verify that the make and model of our device is compatible with USB OTG.
If so, then we will have no problem, just connect the cable to the device at the right end and the other to the corresponding USB drive. It should be noted that through this adapter we can add to our Android device all kinds of accessories such as keyboards, mice and joysticks, among others.
About Supported File Systems
For a storage drive to work properly, it should be formatted using a file system called FAT32, which would ensure the best possible compatibility between the devices that will use this drive.
It is also possible that we find in the market some Android phones or tablets that use the exFAT file system, but no doubt we will not find any that supports the NTFS file system, typical of Windows, which really would be a guarantee of total compatibility without any problem.
In the event that the storage unit is not formatted in the appropriate file system, we will have to give it the appropriate format, which we can do without problems in the same Android device.
It should be noted that when formatting a storage unit, all data stored in it will be lost, so we must make a backup if these data are important.
Use an external storage drive in Android without being root
On most modern Android devices, when you connect a storage unit via an OTG cable, a notification will appear warning that the unit is ready for use.
Most likely we will also receive other types of notifications, depending on the version of Android we are using on our device, in which case we should go to the user manual to find out its meaning.
It is also possible that in the same notification we find a button that allows us to access the contents of the storage unit, in addition to another button that serves to eject the unit safely, ie to prevent data loss, in the same way as we would with Windows.
Once we click on the button or the notification, if it is an older version of Android, the system will take us directly to the file scanning application, where we can manage the files of the USB drive as if they were files stored in the internal memory of the device, ie we can manage the content of the unit to delete, create a folder or store contents of the device in it.
It should be noted that it is also possible to install a third party file management application, which often offer features that do not have the default Android manager. In this sense one of the best file managers is FX File Explorer, which is free in its Lite version.
If you wish, you can download and install FX File Explorer by clicking on this link.
Other ways to manage a USB storage drive on Android
Having the ability to connect a storage unit such as a pendrive or external drive is an excellent alternative to carry with us music, videos or documents that would otherwise take up a lot of space on the device.
In this sense, there are many ways in which we can access and check the occupied space of documents and files contained in an Android USB drive. In addition to the ways to manage files mentioned above, we can also check how much space is used and how, for this all we have to do is access the configuration and click on the “Storage”.
There we will be able to check the capacity of used space and the one that we still have left of the USB drive, and also of the other storage media installed in the device.