iOS Flash Drives-A Complete Backup Solution for iPhones & iPads

Last Updated: February 4, 2017

iPhone Flash Memory is a First Aid Solution for your iPhone if you are struggling with low memory. These USB Flash Memory Devices can work just like External Hard Disk for iDevices like iPhone, iPad or iPod.

Compare to iTunes backup; these devices are pretty easy to operate. These devices can connect directly to iPhone’s lightning connector and take backup of your phone with few taps on the drive app. These Flash Drives can back up all sensitive data like media files, contacts, and documents from your iPhone to this drive with a single tap.

Related: Forget iTunes, Save iPhone Photos to PC or MAC over WiFi

These backup drives are offering easy solution transfer of files between your iPhone and personal computer. For example, if you want to transfer a large video file that you have on your iPhone. Just insert this backup drive into your iPhone, move the file into the drive. Once the transfer complete, then connect the drive back to your MAC or Windows computer to drag the video from the backup drive into your computer hard disk.

Do you already have an external hard drive with you and you want to know how to connect this external drive to your home network? Please refer this article How to Connect External Hard Disk to Home Network over WiFi without PC for more details.

You can use this drive to transfer files from your computer to your iPhone or iPad too. This drive is ideal to copy video/movie files from PC to this drive, and you can watch later on your iPad while you travel by just connecting this drive to your iPad’s Lightning connector, no Wi-Fi / Data or external power supply need to work with this backup drive.

These drives are built as portable, lightweight and elegant appearance that can carry with your key chain where ever you want to connect to your iPhone when you want to backup or need additional memory to save some video that can directly record with your iPhone camera.

Device App Features

The iPhone backup drives are interacting iOS with the help of dedicated apps. These apps build feature rich and smart enough to detect the different format of the data files. Before you select your driver, check the backup drive apps from iTunes and make sure the app is offering a variety of backup options, media format support, direct photo/video recording, document reading capability, etc.


We tested HooToo iPhone backup drive which will prompt you to download the app iPlugmate for the first time and open app automatically when you insert the drive every time after installing the app on your iPhone. This app allows you to browse files downloaded from the flash drive to your iPhone, iPad or vise verse and also can back up and restore your contact list.

Device Media Player Support

Apple devices are not supporting to play all the media formats that we want. Just in case, if you have MP4 or 3GP video files on your backup drive, you may need additional apps to play these files on your iPhone. Please check the drive apps before you buy the backup drive and make sure the app is supporting all the video/audio formats you need. Most of the drive supporting apps are coming with built-in support for eBooks, major video, and music formats. This lets you read eBooks, view images, and stream videos directly from the drive on your iPhone or iPad screen.

Please be aware that you can’t transfer recorded voice memos, media files (DMCA Files) downloaded from iTunes or other 3rd party apps, those files are DRM (Digital Rights Management) protected.

iPlugmate for HooToo can open VLC player to run the video file directly from the drive itself and support the formats like MKV, MPG formats that can not play direct on iOS and can buy HooToo iPhone Flash Drive USB 3.0 from Amazon.

Organized Media Backup

Apple iDevices are smart enough to organize your photos and videos while recording based on the date and time. You can see your media files on your phone organized with date stamps if you switch the view mode into collections on iOS Photo app.

You can expect the same organized folders when you backup your media into the iPhone backup drive. The supporting apps coming with the drive should offer the same feature to organize the media in different folders based on the dates or months to organize your media for easy access.

Easy File Transfer

While you use iPhone backup drive, there is no need to depend on iTunes to backup your data. These drives are easy to use, coming with dedicated apps that can copy data files between your iPhone and the backup drive.usb-flash-driveYou can just select and drag the files you want and backup into the flash drive. No need to struggle with iTunes on your PC or time consuming backup procedures.

Drive USB Standard

iPhone USB backup drives are coming with two end ports, one with Apple Lightning port and the other end with standard USB port that connect your PC. Theoretically, USB 2.0 can transfer data at 60 MB/s per second where USB 3.0 can handle up to 640MB/s, that is ten times as fast as 2.0 maximum.


image credit: HooToo iPhone Flash Drive USB 3.0 from Amazon

When you select the backup drive, chose USB 3.0 to get the maximum speed to transfer files with PC those can work on speed up to 80 MB/s reading and 30 MB/s writing speed, good to transfer lengthy video files from USB to your PC.

Drive Compatibility with Computer OS.

Windows Operating System works with NTFS format drivers, and MAC OS is working on Mac OS Extended (Journaled) format. All the USB drives are formatted into the FAT32 format by default, which is compatible with both MAC and Windows.

iphone-usb-os-compatibilityThe only downside of FAT32 format is, that can support only up to 4GB size of a single file. But you can transfer the files bigger than 4GB by reformatting these USB drives into exFAT format that will support both Windows, Linux and MAC operating system.

Lightning Connector Length

The USB backup drive is coming with lightning connector to connect with iPhone. This lightning connector length is very critical if you are the one using a protective cover with your iPhone. It is better to get lightning connector extended far enough (like 2-4mm extra) length from the body of the drive to insert into the iPhone connector without having to remove the protective case.


HooToo iPhone Flash Drive USB 3.0 drive has an extra 4mm extension that makes sure you can properly insert this drive to iPhone lightning connector even with thick iPhone cases.

iOS / Device Backward Compatibility

Please make sure the drive is going to support the iOS version that you have on your Apple device. There are old Apple devices still working on iOS 7 and iOS 8. All these USB drives will support old iOS versions and make sure the drive you are planning to buy is going to support that particular iOS. As you know, the old drives have 30pin connector instead of lightning port, but these USB drives are coming with lightning port. You can still use these drives with the help of a converter that can convert lightning port to old Apple 30pin port.

Form Factor / Body Material

Most of the manufacturers are build memory drives as portable, lightweight and beautifully crafted to carry with you wherever you want. The drives are built with plastic/metal/aluminum alloy to make it lightweight with elegant appearance. You can choose 32GB or 64GB based how much media files you have in your iPhone to backup.

Related: Get Complete Command of iPhone Data Usage & Save Money!

Always keep a copy of your valuable data and media file. Apple’s 5GB iCloud backup won’t be sufficient for your backup needs and media files. For a low memory phone, you can save the songs or movies direct into this external drive and watch them while you travel.

There is no need of data connection or extra space or your phone; the drive apps can directly play videos or music from drive to your iPhone screen. These iOS backup drives are an ideal solution and coming with a lower price with higher memory size that can meet your backup needs without any external power supply or data consumption.

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