If you’re looking for a way to free up some space on your iPhone, the most common answer would be to upload your photo library to iCloud. But what if you don’t want to store your pics on the cloud or pay for more iCloud storage? Fortunately, you can now connect a flash drive to your iPhone and start moving your pictures and videos over to clear some room.
Keep reading to see what external drives you can use and decide which one will work best for you.
Before you move your photos to an external drive
Sure, moving photos off to an external hard drive will free up space on your phone. But you’re still paying for that storage, so why not use it in a smarter way? Make sure you only move the photos and videos you want to keep, not useless clutter. You know, like that picture of the whiteboard in your office or 13 other photos you took to get the perfect angle and smile on your last weekend trip. All of those take up space, and if you don’t need them anymore, you should get rid of them.
The good news is there’s an app that can help you find photo clutter and get rid of it quickly. It’s called Gemini Photos. Once you download Gemini Photos from the App Store and scan your phone, it will show you all the pictures you probably don’t want to keep anymore:
- duplicate photos
- multiple similar shots
- blurry photos
- old screenshots
- photos of text
It’s important to keep in mind that Gemini Photos doesn’t immediately remove those pictures from your phone. So, if you accidentally deleted a picture you want to keep, you can find it in the Recently Deleted album for the next 30 days. But, if you do want to free up this space immediately, just open the Photos app and then tap Albums, Recently Deleted Select > Delete All.
The best external storage options for your iPhone photos
When you run out of space on your iPhone, it’s understandable that you would want to make sure your pictures and videos are backed up so you don’t lose them. And sure, you could save your photo library online, but there’s something nice about having them on a physical drive that you can hold in your hand. Here are a couple of the best external storage options to use with your iPhone.
HooToo iPhone Flash Drive: Best flash drive for iPhone
The HooToo Flash Drive is small and lightweight, making it conveniently portable. It also has a lightning connector on one end and a standard USB connector on the other, so you can plug it directly into your iPhone and computer to transfer your photo library.
Qarfee Drive: 4-in-1 iPhone USB drive
The great thing about the Qarfee USB drive is its versatility and 4-in-1 functionality. It not only has lightning and standard USB connectors, but it also has a Micro USB connector and a USB-C adapter. With this USB drive, you’re prepared for whatever device you need to connect it to so you can back up your photo library.
Sandisk iXpand: Flash drive for iPhone
One of the best things about the Sandisk iXpand flash drive is the iOS app you can use with the drive. It automatically transfers over your photo library, so all you have to do is open the app and plug in the drive.
EATOP iPhone Memory Stick: The most storage for the lowest price
Like other drives on this list, the EATOP iPhone memory stick has multiple connectors so you can connect it directly to your iPhone and your computer. But where it really sets itself apart is how much space you get for the price. On Amazon, you can get 128 GB for under $24.
Leef iBridge 3: Thumb drive for iPhone
The Leef iBridge 3 is probably the most traditional thumb drive on this list. It’s designed so that when you plug it into your phone, you don’t have a massive dongle sticking out like you would with a lot of other drives. Instead, this thumb drive wraps around to the back, making it more convenient to continue using your phone while connected. This is great because you can use Leef’s iOS app to take pictures and videos while saving them directly to the USB storage, so you don’t have to worry about transferring them later to free up storage space.
iDiskk: iPhone photo stick
If you’re looking for a drive that you can take with you everywhere you take your iPhone, then iDiskk Photo Stick is the drive you need. It’s made with an aluminum casing that helps protect it from falls without adding any unnecessary weight. This makes it an easy and convenient drive to go wherever you go.
LIY7: Pendrive for iPhone
Just as its name implies, the LIY7 is not only a convenient flash drive that you can use with your iPhone, but it’s also a pen you can write with. Its versatility makes it easy to slip into your bag or even your pocket to carry with you. And that way, you always have a pen with you, as well as extra storage for your iPhone when you need it most.
LaCie Rugged Mini: External hard drive for iPhone
Maybe you were hoping for something with a little more storage to store your entire photo library. In that case, you’re going to want an external hard drive like the LaCie Rugged. Rugged Mini hard drives start at 1 TB and are currently available up to 5 TB, which should satiate even the largest of libraries.
As you can see, there are a ton of options when you’re looking for external storage for your iPhone. It all just depends on your specific needs and how you want to use that storage. Hopefully, reading this article has helped you figure out which options will work best for you. And for more storage options, check out the online photo storage sites and apps we covered earlier.