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Svyatoslav Teterin
Svyatoslav Teterin

Connect and Access External Hard Drive on Android with exFAT/NTFS



How to Use an External Hard Drive on Android




Do you have a lot of files that you want to access or transfer on your Android device? Do you want to watch movies, listen to music, or view photos from your external hard drive on your smartphone or tablet? If so, you may be wondering how to use an external hard drive on Android.




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An external hard drive is a portable storage device that can store large amounts of data. It can be connected to a computer or other devices via a USB cable or wirelessly. You may want to use an external hard drive on Android for various reasons, such as:



  • Backing up your important data from your device



  • Freeing up space on your internal storage



  • Expanding your storage capacity



  • Sharing files with others



  • Enjoying media content on the go



However, using an external hard drive on Android is not as simple as plugging it in and accessing the files. You may face some challenges, such as:



  • Your device may not support OTG (On-The-Go), which is a feature that allows you to connect USB devices to your Android device



  • Your device may not provide enough power to run the external hard drive



  • Your device may not recognize the file system of the external hard drive, which could be NTFS (Windows), HFS+ (Mac), or others



Fortunately, there are solutions for these challenges. In this article, we will show you how to connect, access, and transfer files between an external hard drive and Android. Let's get started!


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How to Connect an External Hard Drive to Android




The first step is to connect your external hard drive to your Android device. There are two ways to do this:


Using a USB OTG cable or adapter




A USB OTG cable or adapter is a small device that allows you to connect a USB device, such as an external hard drive, to your Android device. It has a micro-USB or USB-C connector on one end and a USB-A connector on the other end. You can buy one online or from a local store.


To use a USB OTG cable or adapter, follow these steps:



  • Plug the micro-USB or USB-C connector into your Android device



  • Plug the USB-A connector into your external hard drive



  • Wait for a few seconds for your device to detect the external hard drive



Note: Not all Android devices support OTG. To check if your device supports OTG, you can use an app like USB OTG Helper. The app is free and does not require root access.


Using a powered USB hub or externally powered OTG cable




If your device supports OTG but does not provide enough power to run the external hard drive, you may need to use a powered USB hub or an externally powered OTG cable. A powered USB hub is a device that has multiple USB ports and its own power source. An externally powered OTG cable is similar to a regular OTG cable but has an extra micro-USB port for connecting a power source.


  • Plug the micro-USB or USB-C connector of the OTG cable into your Android device



  • Plug the USB-A connector of the OTG cable into the powered USB hub or the external power source



  • Plug the external hard drive into one of the USB ports on the powered USB hub



  • Wait for a few seconds for your device to detect the external hard drive



Note: You may need to use a separate power adapter for the external hard drive if it does not have its own power source.


How to Access Files on an External Hard Drive on Android




Once you have connected your external hard drive to your Android device, you can access the files on it. However, you may encounter some issues depending on the file system of the external hard drive. The file system is the way that the data is organized and stored on the drive. The most common file systems are NTFS (Windows), HFS+ (Mac), FAT32, and exFAT.


The problem is that not all Android devices support all file systems. For example, most Android devices can read and write files on FAT32 and exFAT drives, but they may not be able to read or write files on NTFS or HFS+ drives. This means that you may not be able to open, edit, or transfer some files on your external hard drive.


There are two ways to solve this problem:


Using a file manager app that supports different file systems




A file manager app is an app that allows you to browse, manage, and manipulate files on your device and other storage devices. Some file manager apps can also support different file systems and enable you to access files on NTFS or HFS+ drives. Some examples of such apps are ES File Explorer, Solid Explorer, and Paragon exFAT/NTFS/HFS+. These apps are free or have a free trial version, but they may require root access or in-app purchases for full functionality.


To use a file manager app that supports different file systems, follow these steps:



  • Download and install the app from Google Play Store or other sources



  • Launch the app and grant it the necessary permissions



  • Navigate to the external hard drive and tap on it to access the files



  • You can now view, edit, or transfer files as you wish



Using a dedicated app that enables access to NTFS or HFS+ drives




A dedicated app is an app that is specifically designed to enable access to NTFS or HFS+ drives on Android devices. These apps can mount the drives and make them readable and writable by other apps. Some examples of such apps are Microsoft exFAT/NTFS for USB by Paragon Software and Total Commander - file manager. These apps are free or have a free trial version, but they may require root access or in-app purchases for full functionality.


To use a dedicated app that enables access to NTFS or HFS+ drives, follow these steps:



  • Download and install the app from Google Play Store or other sources



  • Launch the app and grant it the necessary permissions



  • Select the external hard drive and tap on Mount



  • You can now access the files using any other app that supports external storage



How to Transfer Files Between an External Hard Drive and Android




Now that you can access the files on your external hard drive, you may want to transfer them between the drive and your Android device. You can do this in two ways:


Using the file manager app to copy, move, delete, or share files




If you are using a file manager app that supports different file systems, you can use it to copy, move, delete, or share files between the external hard drive and your Android device. To do this, follow these steps:



  • Launch the file manager app and navigate to the external hard drive or your device storage



  • Select the files or folders that you want to transfer



  • Tap on the Copy, Move, Delete, or Share button at the bottom of the screen



  • If you are copying or moving files, navigate to the destination folder and tap on Paste



  • If you are deleting files, confirm your action by tapping on OK



  • If you are sharing files, choose the app or service that you want to use and follow the instructions



Using the dedicated app to export or import files between the drive and the device




If you are using a dedicated app that enables access to NTFS or HFS+ drives, you can use it to export or import files between the drive and your device. To do this, follow these steps:



  • Launch the dedicated app and select the external hard drive



  • Select the files or folders that you want to transfer



  • Tap on the Export or Import button at the top of the screen



  • Choose the destination folder or source folder and tap on OK



  • Wait for the transfer to complete



Conclusion




Using an external hard drive on Android can be very useful and convenient for various purposes. However, it can also be challenging due to compatibility and power issues. In this article, we have shown you how to connect, access, and transfer files between an external hard drive and Android using different methods and apps. We hope that this article has helped you to use an external hard drive on Android with ease.


If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to leave a comment below. Also, if you liked this article, please share it with your friends and family. Thank you for reading!


Frequently Asked Questions




Here are some of the most common questions that people ask about using an external hard drive on Android:


Can I use an external hard drive on Android without root?




Yes, you can use an external hard drive on Android without root if your device supports OTG and provides enough power to run the drive. You can also use some apps that do not require root access to enable access to different file systems.


Can I format an external hard drive on Android?




Yes, you can format an external hard drive on Android using some file manager apps that have this feature. However, be careful when formatting an external hard drive as it will erase all the data on it. Also, make sure that you choose a compatible file system for your device and your computer.


Can I encrypt an external hard drive on Android?




No, you cannot encrypt an external hard drive on Android using the built-in encryption feature of Android. This feature only works for internal storage and SD cards. However, you can use some third-party apps that can encrypt files or folders on an external hard drive.


Can I use a wireless external hard drive on Android?




Yes, you can use a wireless external hard drive on Android if it has Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity. You will need to install the app that comes with the wireless external hard drive and follow the instructions to connect it to your device.


Can I use a SSD (Solid State Drive) as an external hard drive on Android?




Yes, you can use a SSD as an external hard drive on Android if it has a USB interface or a USB enclosure. A SSD is a type of storage device that uses flash memory instead of spinning disks. It has faster performance and lower power consumption than a traditional HDD (Hard Disk Drive). However, it is also more expensive and has less storage capacity.


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