How to connect a USB flash drive to a tablet

Tablets are already on par with PCs in terms of performance. However, they have one feature – you cannot play content from USB gadgets, since the required connector is simply missing. How to connect a USB flash drive, what drives and adapters should be used to solve this situation – in the article.

Standard connection methods

The type of operating system (OS) for the options listed below is not important – the methods are suitable for both Android and iOS.

Recommended reading: How to choose a tablet: a comprehensive step-by-step guide describing the key criteria

OTG adapter

A useful technology that allows you to connect flash media to smartphones and tablets without the hassle. With this method, it is enough to connect the adapter first to the USB flash drive, and then to the phone.

Interesting : The average cost of an adapter is around 50-100 hryvnia, so an OTG cable, such as Assmann USB-A to microUSB , will pay off from the very first use.

You can find out about the presence of OTG-mode in the tablet in 2 ways:

  1. Study the technical passport – usually this information is indicated there.
  2. Experienced – to purchase and connect an adapter.

Full size USB

Some tablets, such as the Acer One 10 , are equipped with a full-fledged USB port through which you can connect peripherals, from flash drives to some printer models. Most often, such a connector is found in transformers, which combines the functions of several devices at once.

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Double-headed cable (USB-host)

It is suitable for those who have difficulties with the above options for connecting two devices.

Difference between USB-host and two-headed cable

The difference between them is minimal: if the cable can connect only 2 devices, then the host combines several devices at once.

How does the connection work?

In the tablet itself, there is the possibility of supplying voltage in both directions.Thus, the electrical circuit is closed, due to which data is transmitted along this cord. The micro-USB side of the cable connects to the tablet, while the USB side connects a memory card.

Connection algorithm: 

  1. Connect the micro-USB side to the tablet.
  2. Connect the USB stick to the opposite side of the cable.

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Buying a flash drive with a micro-USB connector

The easiest way to view the contents of the memory card, since it already has the required connector. There is no need to purchase adapters, because devices such as SANDISK Ultra Dual Drive come with an adapter.

Non-standard connection methods

There are devices that cannot be paired in any of the above ways. The reason for this is the manufacturer’s refusal to use a standard connector. This is found in models up to 2014. Then, most manufacturers switched to micro-USB, and since 2019, more tablets have begun to implement the new USB-C standard.

Interesting: How to transfer movies, photos and videos from iPad to computer and vice versa: 7 ways

List of adapters and adapters

Most often on the market you can find adapters for old Samsung and Asus devices. In other cases, you will have to spend time to find the necessary component.

No adapters are needed for iPad. Apple produces certified OTG cables that allow you to connect a USB flash drive without “dancing with a tambourine.” An exception is cases when you need to pair several USB gadgets at once. Then you can’t do without a USB host and adapters from Lightning to Micro USB.

It should be borne in mind that since 2018, many tablets began to be released with a USB-C socket, like the Apple iPad 10.2. And if the memory cards only have a USB output, then you will need to purchase any of the cables above. For example, an adapter for a tablet from USB-C to micro-USB.

Worth reading: Which tablet to buy for a child: 5 selection options

Applications for the correct operation of OTG

Sometimes the tablet may not see the USB flash drive through the micro-USB, even if everything went well. The free android programs listed below solve the problem.

The name of the program What is he doing Do you need root rights
Stickmount Recognizes most connected devices Yes
TotalCommander A universal program that allows you to manage the file system of devices No
Nexus Media Importer Knows how to broadcast content and transfer documents from USB flash drives No

Why the tablet does not see the carrier

The reason may lie in both hardware and software failures.

Tablet / component problem

If the hardware factors of the tablet based on Android or iOS are to blame, then you can connect the USB flash drive by eliminating such problems as:

  • breakage of the flash drive or damage to the cord / adapter – solved by replacement;
  • breakage of the tablet computer socket – solved by repair in a service center.

Software problems

Among the hardware problems that prevent you from viewing a USB flash drive on a tablet, there may be such as:

  • Incompatibility of file systems. Reformatting the flash card or installing the programs suggested above will help.
  • The device may not recognize the data format. If possible, you should change it.
  • Lack of root. Sometimes, for a connection, you need to activate root rights, which change the OS parameters. The appliance loses its warranty when switched on.

You can connect a USB flash drive to any tablet – it’s just that with some models it may come out a little more expensive, or everything will take 2-3 minutes longer. Problems are quickly resolved, and the connection methods are universal and suitable for other USB gadgets.

by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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