How to Access HDD on Android Phone

Holding giant files like 4k videos in your smartphones can make you struggle for stargate management, especially when your phone has limited GIGS of storage left. I know that using a memory card is the best option, but what if storage is still not enough? Getting a big GIGS of memory card is expensive, that’s very much true. I have seen 1TB of memory card on Amazon which can cost you around not less than $250, that’s why people prefer to use HHD (Hard Disk Drive) and then carry them whenever needed unless the drive is in NTFS format.

Moreover, you can access HDD on Android phones but there are limitations. This is useful when you don’t want to carry a laptop but want emergency storage, this could be a lifesaver because who knows when you might need this technique in the future?

How can I access HHD on my Android phone?

Despite having an HHD and Android phone, you need to have a third peripheral tool that will help you to access HHD on your Android phone. And that is “OTG” which stands for On the Go. I have seen three types of OTG and that is:

How To Access Hdd On Android Phone
  • OTG Cable: It consist of a cable that you need to connect one end to the HHD and another end to your smartphone.
How To Access Hdd On Android Phone
  • USB OTG: It is somewhere similar to the USB flash drive; one end needs to connect to HHD and other to your smartphone.
How To Access Hdd On Android Phone

And there is another OTG known as micro OTG, which is used to connect your phone to a tablet or USB flash drive. On the other side, you can also access the HHD of the computer on your Android, but this needs a special 3.5 HHD external case.

Enable USB OTG to access HHD on Android Devices

Once you have connected HHD to your Android device, it might not get detect the HHD in the first place. You need to enable the OTG option to access HHD on your Android phone. Here’s how to do that:

Step 1: Visit the Settings app on your phone.

Step 2: Visit more Settings and scroll down till you see Enable OTG and toggle it on, you can also search the option using the search bar option from the settings menu.

Alternate way to Enable OTG:

Step 1: Attach the USB flash drive or the OTG cable into the charging port of the smartphone.

Step 2: You will get a notification asking Enable USB OTG Support, say it YES.

Your HHD storage option will get appear in the file manager, now you can start accessing your HHD and can transfer the file.

Mind you, not all Android phones support the OTG option, this means limited phones are compatible to support OTGs. Known brands like Samsung, Realme, and Redmi do have an OTG support option. This is something the manufacturer has to enable, if you doubt that your phone is incompatible, then USB OTG Checker is the best application to know your Android smartphone is OTG compatible or not.

Android Devices Cannot Read/Write NTFS Format drives.

Yes, it’s true, Android devices cannot read or neither write NTFS formatted drives. It can only support FAT32 and EXT4 formatted drives. If you want to access the HHD on your Android device, it is important to format your HHDs or SSDs in FAT32 or EXT4 format.

Once done, HHD will get detected by your Android device and then you can start using it.

Also, you can only format partition storage of 32GB when you are formatting storage devices. You can do force format the drive up to 2TB using FAT32 format, another massive limitation is that FAT32 formatted won’t let users save more than 4GB of file size.

You can convert the NTFS format drive to FAT32 using Free NTFS to FAT32 Converter (A Windows app), this will allow you to convert the NTFS drive into FAt32 without losing any data.

Why I cannot able to access HHD on Android device?

Here are the valid reasons why you are not able to access HHD on your Android device with their solutions.

Intermittent connection

  • An intermittent connection won’t allow you to transfer files from Android to HHD, this is because of the loose connection. Your Android device might detect the HHD but when you visit the HHD storage, it might show nothing.
  • Just remove the HHD and again plug it into your Android device correctly in order to transfer the file without issues.

Enable OTG

  • Sometimes, your Android device will not show any notification option and this is strange but not serious. You can visit the settings of the device and Enable OTG.
  • Once done, you can start accessing HHD on Android phones.
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Unsupported File Manager

  • Not every file manager will allow you to access HHD. If you are using any third-party file manager, make sure to use a proper one that will get the job done.
  • You can use the default file manager of the Android device accordingly, there are plenty of file managers available that will allow you to view the HDD partition so that you can access it.

Faulty Peripherals and HHD

  • If everything is good and you are still not able to access HHD on an Android device, it’s most likely to have an issue with the peripherals such as OTG or SATA case make sure it’s working.
  • About the SATA case or external case, make sure you are using a correct one, as we have mentioned above HHD needs 3.5-inch external case, and SSD needs 2.5-inch external case.
How To Access Hdd On Android Phone
How To Access Hdd On Android Phone
  • Also, see if you have given the required power to the HHD, hard drive needs specific amount of power to work, make sure to complete the power requirement.
  • Also try to use another HHD to see if this is working, your HHD might be faulty. In this case, you no option but to change the HHD or SSD entirely.

Improper Drive Format

  • As mentioned, HHD formatted with FAT32 will only support on Android device.
  • In order to get HHD detect on Android device, make sure it’s formatted in FAT32.


Accessing an HDD on an Android device is not that beneficial as you think. Because FAT32 format somewhere makes the technique super limiting because you can only save files up to 4GB on FAT32 formatted HHD drive. This space is not great but somewhere okay to use as an emergency storage space.

That’s it for now, hope this helps! Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below. Till then stay tuned for more info.

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