USB Drives in iOS (iPhone/iPad)

Apple’s iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 introduced USB flash drive and hard drive support for iPhone and iPad.

Here is everything you need to know about how to use a USB drive with your iPhone or iPad.


  • Requires iOS 13.0 or iPadOS 13.0 or higher

Supported devices:

  • Requires a minimum of an iPhone 6S, iPad Mini 4, iPad Air 2, any iPad Pro or iPod Touch 6th Generation

Alternative options:


  • Apple Lightning to USB 3 adapter recommended (non-genuine adapters may not be supported or result in poor performance)
    (Link to Lightning to USB 3 adapter –

Drive formats supported:

  • Standard Mac formats – HFS+, APFS
  • Standard Windwos/Linux formats – FAT32 or exFAT
  • NTFS (Windows format) is NOT supported


  • Most drives required additional power to be used, which can be supplied by the port on the Lightning to USB 3 adapter, or using a powered USB hub

Multiple drives:

  • You can connect more than one drive at once using a powered USB hub
    (Link to my recommendation – Tendak 4-Port powered USB hub –

Tips for successful transfers:

  • Large files may take a long time, especially when using USB 2.0 drives – consider other options such as WiFi transfers or devices like the RavPower FileHub
  • There is no progress bar when transferring files
  • Transferring between two drives is possible but very slow – suggest transferring to the device first
  • Using the compress option to zip multiple files can make transfers cleaner and more successful

Links to more videos with more details:

Complete playlist of iOS 13 and iPadOS videos:

Create, Record, Release.

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