How to Transfer Files from iPhone/iPad to USB Flash Drive

If you want to give your iOS files to someone or you simply want to keep them secure on a USB flash drive, you will be interested in learning how to transfer files from an iPhone/iPad to a flash drive. This guide shows various methods to help you do that on your iOS devices.

Joy Taylor Last Updated: Nov. 06, 2020

If you have been in the Apple ecosystem for a while, you probably already know how closed the entire system is. If you ever want to share a file from your iPhone to a non-Apple device, you have nightmares as there are not any easy methods to do that. Sometimes, you may want to transfer files from an iPad or iPhone over to a USB flash drive. This is possible but takes effort.

While you can definitely transfer various files from your iOS device like iPhone and iPad to a USB flash drive, you will need to find the method that helps you do this. Unlike other platforms, you cannot simply copy and paste your files. This guide covers various ways for you to transfer your iPad and iPhone’s files to a USB drive.

Part 1. Transfer iPhone Files to USB with Files

If you have used an old iOS device, you know that there used to be no file manager on these devices. In order to share or transfer something from your phone, you had no option but to rely on specific apps on your device. Things have changed in recent years and you now have a file manager app on your iPhone and iPad devices.

Files, as the name implies, allows you to work with and manage the files on your iOS devices. You can use Files to create folders, save your files, access your files, and even transfer files from your iPhone or iPad to a USB flash drive.

With Files, you can move all the files that you want from your iPhone over to your USB flash drive. Keep in mind that you will need to first share your files from the apps on your phone with the Files app. The following should teach you how you can use all these features to copy your files.

Step 1. Connect your external USB flash drive to your iPhone using a compatible connector.

Step 2. Launch the Files app from the main screen on your iPhone.

Step 3. Tap on the folders and they will open letting you access your files. Find the files you want to copy to your external USB drive, tap and hold on them, and choose Copy.

Copy Files from iPhone to USB Flash Drive with Files

Copy Files from iPhone to USB Flash Drive with Files

Step 4. Go to the main interface of the Files app, select your USB flash drive, tap and hold anywhere blank, and choose Paste.

Paste Files on the USB Flash Drive

Paste Files on the USB Flash Drive

Part 2. Transfer iPhone Media Files to USB with the Photos App

Most of the time it is the media files like photos and videos that you may want to transfer from your iOS device to a USB flash drive. While there are several online ways to send these files to a computer and then onto a USB drive, you may prefer something local so that your files can be copied faster than the other methods.

Both Windows and Mac machines come with an app called Photos. This app allows you to easily fetch photos and videos from your iOS device to your computer. You can then copy these files from your computer over to your external USB flash drive.

You will need to first import your iPhone or iPad’s photos into the Photos app and the following shows how you can do just that. Make sure there is enough space available on your computer before you start the import process. The following procedure is performed on a Mac.

Step 1. Connect your iPhone to your computer via a USB cable.

Step 2. Click Launchpad in the Dock, search for Photos and open the app on your Mac.

Launch the Photos app on your Mac

Launch the Photos app on your Mac

Step 3. When the Photos app opens, you will see your iPhone listed in the left sidebar. Click on your iPhone to view the media files stored on your device.

Select Your iPhone

Select Your iPhone

Step 4. On the following screen, you will see all the photos and videos stored on your iPhone. To import these into the Photos app, click on the Import All New Items button at the top-right corner of your screen.

Add photos from iPhone to Photos and Photos to USB flash drive

Add photos from iPhone to Photos and Photos to USB flash drive

Step 5. When the files are copied to your computer, connect your USB flash drive to your computer and copy the files to it.

Part 3. Transfer iPhone Files to Flash Drive with AnyTrans

If you are unable to copy certain files with the Files app and Photos app methods, your last resort should be to use a third-party app to do your task.

AnyTrans allows you to easily and quickly copy files from your iPhone and iPad devices to a flash drive. All you need to do is launch the app, select what you want to copy, choose your destination, and you are good to go.

One-Click to Transfer All Your iPhone Files to a USB Flash Drive

Step 1. Download the latest version of AnyTrans and run it on your computer > Connect your iDevice to computer > Plug in your flash drive.

Free Download

Free Download

* 100% Clean & Safe

Step 2. Click on the Content to Mac/PC shortcut button on the homepage.

Go to Device Manager and Click Content to PC Button

Go to Device Manager and Click Content to PC Button

Step 3. Select the items you want to transfer > Select Export Path to set the flash drive as destination > Click on the Next button on the right side.

You Can Choose Export Path and Photos Category

You Can Choose Export Path and Photos Category

Step 4. Wait for a while, you will see the Transfer Completed screen on your computer.

Photos Transfer Completed

Photos Transfer Completed

Selectively Transfer Your iPhone Files to a USB Flash Drive

If you only want to transfer certain files from your iPhone or iPad to a USB flash drive, AnyTrans has a feature for that kind of transfer as well. There is a selective transfer feature that allows you to selectively copy files from your iOS devices to your other storage.

With this feature, you can transfer individual files from various categories on your iOS devices. This will let you transfer your chosen photos, videos, music tracks, and various other items from your iPhone or iPad to your USB drive. The following shows how to use this feature.

Step 1. Download the latest version of the AnyTrans and run it on your computer > Connect your iPhone to the computer and launch it > Click More on the right side.

Choose Device Manager and Click More

Choose Device Manager and Click More

Step 2. Choose the files to transfer from the iPhone to your computer > Click on the To PC button at the top and then your selected files will be copied to your computer.

Select Photos and Send to PC

Select Photos and Send to PC

Step 3. Insert a USB flash drive into your computer and copy your iPhone files to it using the file manager app.

Conclusion

Transferring files from an iPhone/iPad to a USB flash drive is fairly easy and there are multiple methods to do that. In case the built-in methods do not work for you, you can always use a third-party app to get your task done.

Joy Taylor

Member of iMobie team as well as an Apple fan, love to help more users solve various types of iOS & Android related issues.