iOS Assistant

[Solved] How to Use iPhone as USB Drive in a Few Simple Steps


As we all know, with a USB drive, people can easily transfer all kinds of files from one computer to another. Then, how about using the iPhone, the most popular mobile device, as a USB drive? Can you use iPhone as USB drive, and how? In this guide, we will tell you the answer and help you transfer files between your iPhone and computer.

use iphone as usb drive


Part 1. Can You Use Your iPhone as a USB Drive?

Many iPhone users wonder if they can use iPhone as USB flash drive. While iPhones aren't designed as conventional USB drives, there are ways to leverage their storage for file transfer and storage purposes.

You can use your iPhone to store and transfer files using the cloud services. Additionally, there are also third-party applications available that facilitate the transfer of files between your iPhone and computer. So, it is feasible to use iPhone as USB drive.

Part 2. How to Use iPhone as USB Drive with iTunes

iTunes, Apple's media player and device management software, can be utilized to turn your iPhone into a USB drive. Here's how to use iPhone as USB flash drive with iTunes to transfer files:

Step 1. Connect your iPhone to your computer and launch iTunes.

Step 2. Select your device in iTunes.

Step 3. Navigate to the "File Sharing" section.

file sharing on itunes

Step 4. Click on the app you want to transfer. Here are two options:

To transfer a file from your phone:

Highlight the file in the list and click the "Save" button.

To transfer a file onto your phone:

Click "Add", pick the file you want to move, and then click "Open".

You May Like: Want to know how to transfer photos from iPhone to USB? Here is a ste-by-step guide.

Part 3. How to Use iPhone as Flash Drive Without iTunes

In this part, we mainly discuss how to use iPhone as external drive without iTunes to transfer files between your iPhone and computer. Here are four methods you can try, including both wired and wireless methods.

Method 1. How to Use iPhone as Flash Drive with Coolmuster iOS Assistant

The first and foremost method is Coolmuster iOS Assistant, a professional iPhone transfer application. It is a user-friendly software designed to manage your iOS device on both Windows and Mac computer. With this powerful tool, users can seamlessly transfer, backup, and manage various types of data on their iPhones, iPads, and iPods.

Key Features:

  • Effortlessly back up and restore your entire iPhone/iPad/iPod with a single click.
  • Transfer iOS files at your discretion after previewing and selecting them.
  • Completely manage iTunes backup files and iOS data directly on your computer.
  • Freely edit, add, or delete data information saved on your iOS device from your PC/Mac.
  • Compatible with the latest iOS 17.

Feel free to click the download button below to acquire the tool now.

Here is how to use iPhone as USB drive via Coolmuster iOS Assistant to transfer files between iPhone and computer:

01Download the correct version of the software to your computer and connect your device to the computer using a USB cord. Once the software detects your device, the main interface will be displayed.

connect your ios devices to computer

02Start the transfer progress.

Transfer from iPhone to computer:

Select the desired data for transfer from the left panel. Preview the detailed files on the right side, then click on the "Export" icon to initiate the data transfer to the computer.

Transfer from computer to iPhone:

Select the file type you intend to transfer. Select the "Import" option and browse the files you wish to import to your iPhone. Then, click on the "OK" option to initiate the process.

transfer files via coolmuster ios assistant

Video Tutorial:

Method 2. How to Access iPhone as Drive via iCloud

iCloud provides a cloud-based solution for using your iPhone as a drive. However, this method is more suitable for photos, videos, and other iCloud-supported file types. Besides, iCloud only provides 5 GB of free storage space for users to synchronize their data. Therefore, if you're not dealing with extensive photos or videos, it is a viable option. Here's how to use iPhone as flash drive via iCloud:

Step 1. Open "Settings" > Scroll down and tap "Photos" > Toggle on the "iCloud Photos" option. Once "iCloud Photos" is enabled, your photos and videos will be automatically synced to iCloud.

enable icloud photos on your iphone

Step 2. Launch a web browser and navigate to the iCloud website. Sign in using your Apple ID and password.

Step 3. Select the "Photos" icon to access your synced photos and videos.

visit icloud on your computer

Step 4. Choose the photos or videos you want to transfer to your computer.

Step 5. Use the download icon or the "Download" option to transfer the selected files to your computer.

See More: Click here to learn how to back up iPhone to Flash/USB/Thumb Drive.

Method 3. How to Use iPhone as USB Storage via Google Drive

Google Drive, a widely adopted cloud storage service, presents another alternative. Here is how to leverage Google Drive to transform your iPhone into a USB storage device:

Step 1. Download, install, and launch the Google Drive app on your iPhone. Sign in with your Google account.

Step 2. Tap the "+" icon within the Google Drive app. Choose "Upload" and select the files you want to transfer from your iPhone to the computer.

upload the file you want to transfer to the google drive

Step 3. Open a web browser on your computer and go to the Google Drive website. Sign in with the same Google account you used on your iPhone.

Step 4. Locate the uploaded files in your Google Drive on the web. Choose the files you want to download to your computer. Click the "More" option (three vertical dots) and choose "Download".

download the files to your computer from google drive website

Method 4. How to Use iPhone as Hard Drive on Windows Using File Explorer

For Windows users, utilizing File Explorer to treat your iPhone as a hard drive is a straightforward and efficient method. However, this methods only supports photos and videos. Here is how to access iPhone as drive on Windows using File Explore:

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

Step 2. Unlock your iPhone and tap on "Trust" to establish a connection.

Step 3. Open File Explorer on your computer and locate your iPhone's name in the left menu.

Step 4. Navigate to "Internal Storage". Depending on the type of files you want to transfer, navigate to the appropriate folder. For example, photos are often found in the "DCIM" folder.

Use iPhone as hard drive Windows using file explorer

Step 5. Copy the desired files and paste them into a folder on your computer.

Wrapping Up

That's all ways you can use iPhone as USB drive:

  • If you use iTunes, it has limitations when it comes to managing and transferring iPhone data.
  • If you use iCloud and Google Drive, it requires a high-speed network connection, and the available free storage space is limited.
  • If you use File Explorer, it only supports videos and photos, and other file types are not supported.

Therefore, Coolmuster iOS Assistant is the best choice for you. It doesn't rely on internet and supports various file types. Download it and give it a try.

Related Articles:

How to Transfer Videos from iPhone to USB Stick with or without a Computer?

2 Easy Ways to Transfer Music from iPhone/iPod to an External Hard Drive

How to Back Up iPhone to External Hard Drive on Windows or Mac

How to Transfer Photos from Flash Drive/USB/Thumb Drive to iPhone 15/14/13/12/11

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