How to use iPhone or iPad as USB Flash drive on Windows

Quite a lot of people who just got an iPhone or iPad often wonder how to use the huge mass memory as USB flash drive instead of just for music, videos and apps. Connecting your phone through USB will only display your photo folder under “My Computer” and the drive is just a ROM (Read Only Memory), you can’t write data into it.

There are so many apps that lets you use your iPhone or iPad just like a pen drive but in most cases, you still need iTunes to move files between your mobile device and computer but no jailbreak is needed to do this. Some of these apps include:

1. iFiles

ii. Phone Drive

iii. USB Flash Drive

All these apps work similarly but I personally use iFiles though it’s a bit expensive at $2.49. You can get the others two for free but there may be some limitations if you don’t upgrade to the full version. You’ve got two options to use your iPad or iPad as a USB flash drive.

i. Through USB cable with iTunes

ii. Over WiFi without iTunes

Using iPhone / iPad as a USB Flash drive through USB cable with iTunes

– Connect your phone through USB and launch iTunes

– Click your iDevice on the left panel and go to Apps

– Scroll down till you see a list of apps supporting file transfer

– Select iFile, USB Flash Drive, Phone Drive or whichever you installed.

– Select “Add” to add files to the drive from your computer.

– To copy files from your PC to your phone, just select “Save to” and choose the location you want the files to be copied to.

Using your iDevice as USB Flash without iTunes over WiFi

This is very useful in a case where the computer you want to connect with has no iTunes installed. You can easily transfer files from and to your device over WiFi by mapping a network drive.

– Launch either of the three applications and turn on the WiFi option. Be sure your computer’s WiFi too is connected.

For USB Flash Drive app:

how to use your iPhone as a usb flash drive

For iFiles app:

how to use your iPad as usb flash drive . how to use your iPhone as a pen drive

For Phone Drive:

using your iPod tough ad usb drive . using your iPhone as pen drive . how to use tour iPad as usb flash drive

– With WiFi turned on, you should see your phone’s IP address on the screen, something that looks like You should note this.

– On your PC, right click on “My Computer” and select “Map network drive”

network drive for iPhone on Windows

– Input the IP address you copied earlier in the space labelled “Folder.” Be sure the IP address shown on the application is what you enter here.

use iphone ipad ipod touch as usb flash drive

– Windsows should now map a drive for your device in a matter of seconds. You can go to My Computer to see the drive mapped for your phone.

how to use your iPhone as a pen drive

From here, you can easily copy, delete and move files between your iPhone / iPad and your computer. Like I mentioned earlier, I personally use iFiles app but the price is a bit high at $2.49. It’s got quite a lof of features you may not find in other apps. It doesn’t only work as an effective file manager, it opens videos, pdf files and more.

Filed Under: Apple iOS

Author: Don Caprio

Don Caprio is a full time blogger / web designer living in Nigeria and apart from blogging, my other obsession is music. I'm a self-confessed Tupac fan, an iOS lover, an Android user, a Windows 8 power user, a writer with a 5-year old unfinished novel... and the list goes on and on. You can add me on Facebook, follow my updates on Twitter or add me to your circles on Google+! By the way, if your blog needs a custom design, you can contact me here...


  1. says

    Is it necessary to go through all this on Mac? It wouldn’t make much sense to carry around a 64GB device but can’t use it on the go for mass storage. It’s not like everyone can download 64GB worth of music and movies over their cellular networks.

      • says

        I agree, iPhones and Macs were meant to go together like traffic and weather. I have always wanted to get an iPhone but its personality stands in the way of its good looks. Lol

  2. says

    As a matter of fact, this process is very similar on Mac too, you still to mount a shared disk by going to Finder > Connect to Server. The simpler alternative that works on both Windows and Mac is simply typing your phone’s IP address in your web browser address bar.

      • says

        I quite agree with you. Even with a jailbreak, there are limitations you have to live with but once you step into the Apple ecosystem, it’s hard to get out. I still love iOS despite its shortcomings.

  3. says

    Great blog you have here. I have a jailbroken phone and I got an app that’s the same like this. I have here a list of repositories that you can get great app. Here is the link

  4. says

    I think this issue has been frustrating many iPhone users out there who want to use their phone as USB flash drive on their laptops. But thanks Don for sharing those great apps and great tutorial for all of us here. Gonna bookmark this page for future read.

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