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How to connect USB stick to iPad

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How to connect USB stick to iPad How to connect USB stick to iPad: Your iPad is chock full of important documents, and to be more comfortable, you would like to make a copy and save it in a safe place, like a USB stick. The problem, however, is that you do not have the faintest idea how to carry out this operation, since you have never had the need to address the subject before.

How do you say? Did I guess right? Perfect, then take five minutes of your time and dedicate them to reading this guide of mine: below, in fact, I intend to explain to you in detail  how to connect a USB stick to iPad to transfer files from one place to another, either by carrying out a direct connection by making use of “special” devices, or by operating with the aid of a computer.

Don’t worry if you have never done anything like this: the instructions I am about to give you are easy to apply and can be put into practice even by those who, like you, are not very familiar with the world of technology. So, without hesitating further, make yourself comfortable and continue reading this guide of mine: I’m sure that the final result will be more than satisfactory. Happy reading and… good work!


Use a USB-A / USB-C adapter, Lightning stick, or portable hub

IPads do not have the classic USB ports that you can find, for example on your computer, but only have Lightning input or, as regards the iPad Pro models released in 2018,  USB-C input . with this last technology, know that you cannot connect “direct” common USB sticks usually used for PCs, desktop readers or other compatible devices, if not using a USB-C / USB-A adapter  specially designed for the purpose (you can buy them for a few euros, even on Amazon).


RAMPOW USB C to USB 3.1 Adapter [OTG – 2 Pieces] Type-C Adapter …

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Anker USB-C to USB 3.1 Adapter, Converts USB Type C Female to USB-A …

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Alternatively, there are keys that, instead of the classic USB A connector, have a USB C connector and therefore can be connected directly to ports of this type.


Sandisk Ultra Dual USB Drive Type-C 32 GB, USB 3.1 Type C, Black / Silver …

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Do you have an iPad with only Lightning input? Also in this case, you can connect a storage drive in a “direct” way using a  special key equipped with a Lightning connector  (therefore created specifically for Apple devices), or a  portable file hub , that is a specific Wi-Fi storage device for the purpose. Below I point out some of the best devices of this type, available for purchase on Amazon.


Sandisk iXpand USB 3.0 32GB Flash Drive for iPhone and iPad

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Once you have the device that best suits your needs, you simply need to install its  dedicated app on your iPad (which you can usually find on the App Store) and follow the instructions provided to transfer files from one place to another.

Unfortunately, I cannot give you detailed instructions on each possible case, since Apple does not have a “standard” procedure for moving files to such devices: in principle, what you need to do is start the file manager of the specific app. to the storage drive you have, choose whether to transfer files from iPad to key or vice versa, and follow the procedure shown on the screen to complete the operation.

Connect USB stick to iPad via computer

Don’t plan to spend money on a dedicated adapter or storage device, but still want to connect USB stick to iPad to move files from one place to another? Then this is the most suitable section for your case. Below, I am going to show you how to carry out this operation in an “indirect” way, using a computer, the special Lightning / USB-C cable supplied with the iPad and the iTunes software .

If you have a  Windows  PC and you have not yet installed iTunes on your computer, you must perform this operation to ensure that the tablet is correctly recognized by the operating system: to begin with, connected to the Apple website , click on the Download button  to immediately start the copy of the installation program on your computer and, once this operation is finished, launch the file just downloaded (eg  iTunes64setup.exe ).

Once at the initial setup screen, click on the  Next button , remove the check mark from the  Use iTunes as default player for audio files box if you do not intend to use the program as the default player, then click on the  InstallYes  buttons twice and  End and, to conclude, press the  Accept button if you intend to share your library data with Apple, or  No, thanks otherwise. For further instructions on the procedure for installing iTunes on Windows, I invite you to consult my specific guide on the subject.

Once the setup is complete, start the program by calling it from the  Start menu or the Windows desktop, connect the iPad to the computer using the supplied  USB-A / Lightning (or USB-A / USB-C ) cable and wait for the  Authorize button to appear on the tablet screen: after touching the latter, type the  security code set on the iPad in the iTunes window and, if you do not intend to complete the first synchronization, close the program.

At this point, also connect the  USB key to the computer , start  File Explorer , select the  Computer / This PC icon  and, from the left bar of the window that opens on the screen, double-click the iPad icon , then move to the folder that contains the files of your interest and  copy them  to the USB key, whose icon is located in the same bar. If you have difficulty completing the procedure described above, you can refer to the appropriate section of my guide on how to transfer files from tablet to USB stick for further support.

With this method, however, it is not possible to carry out the reverse step, as this technique does not allow the writing of files in the internal memory of the iPad: if you need to perform this operation for music, images or videos, I recommend that you rely on it directly. to the iTunes program, as I explained to you in my guide on how to transfer files from PC to iPad.

As for macOS, you can follow the same procedure (without having to install iTunes, which is already “standard” in the system), but in reality I recommend that you refer to the AirDrop transfer system, which I will talk about in a few paragraphs .

Wireless transfer systems

How do you say? Did the above solution fail to satisfy you, as you don’t have the Lightning cable or USB-A / USB-C cable to connect iPad to computer? Don’t throw in the towel yet: thanks to some programs designed for wireless transfer, you can move the files of your interest from iPad to USB stick (and vice versa) in a very simple way. Below I am going to show you how to take advantage of two of the most popular solutions of this type: AirDrop (available only on Mac) and Send Anywhere .


If you have a Mac , the simplest method of connecting a USB stick to iPad using your computer as via is  AirDrop , a file transfer feature built into both  macOS  and  iOS .

To use it, click on the Go menu located in the Mac menu bar , select the AirDrop item from the proposed menu and, if necessary, activate Bluetooth and / or Wi-Fi using the appropriate button that appears on the screen. Finally, click on  the Allow me to find me at  setting to enable file sharing even with those who are not in the Contacts app .

Once this is done, move to the iPad and call up the  Control Center , then tap the  AirDrop icon to activate the feature and, in the screen that appears, select the Only contacts item , if the tablet and the computer share the same Apple ID ; otherwise, select the  All item to make the two devices see each other.

At this point, the game is practically done: open the file you want to transfer on the iPad, tap the  Share button (the square with the upward arrow) and select the item relating to the  Mac of your interest from the proposed menu. Once this is done, move to it and confirm your willingness to accept the file by pressing the appropriate button displayed on the screen. When the transfer is complete, the file is saved in the  Downloads folder .

Finally, you simply need to connect the USB stick to the Mac and use the  Finder  to move the file from the  Downloads  folder to the stick in question. If you need further clarification regarding this procedure, I invite you to take a look at my guide on how AirDrop works.


If AirDrop failed to meet your expectations, you can rely on third party software that can help you transfer files between iPad and USB stick, via computer. The program I recommend you try is called SendAnywhere and is an application that, once installed on both your computer and tablet, allows you to send files from one device to another via a simple confirmation code.

SendAnywhere is compatible with the major desktop and mobile platforms (Windows, macOS, Linux, Android and iOS) and is also accessible via the Web, where however it allows you to upload files as large as 1 GB, instead of 20 GB as happens for applications.

Before going ahead and explaining in detail how to use it, however, I would like to tell you that its free version allows you to upload up to a maximum of  10 GB of data in 48 hours . To bypass this limit and fully unlock the features of the service, you need to subscribe to a Plus subscription, with prices starting at $ 5.99 / month .

Having made this necessary premise, it’s time to take action: to download SendAnywhere on your computer, connect to the program’s website  and click on the  Download button located under Windows. After downloading the installation file (eg  SendAnywhereSetup.exe ), start it and click on the  Yes,  Install  and  Finish buttons to complete the setup. As for Mac, you can download the application directly from the  Mac App Store and complete the setup as usual.

At this point, to move the files from the USB stick to the iPad , connect the latter to the computer, start SendAnywhere, click on the  Send button (located at the top left) and, through  File Explorer / Finder , open the USB stick and drag in the program window the file (or files) you want to transfer. Once this is done, press the  Send button and write down the  code that appears on the screen.

To finalize everything, install SendAnywhere on the iPad via the App Store , launch the app, grant the necessary permissions for operation by tapping the  Allow button several times , tap the  Receive button and type the code you wrote down just now: i previously selected files will be immediately transferred to the iPad.

Note : If you are using Windows, you may be asked if you want to allow Send Anywhere in the system firewall. Answer affirmatively to the dialog box that is offered to you.

Performing the reverse step, i.e. moving files from iPad to USB stick , is even simpler: open the file you want to move on the tablet, press the  Share button (the square with upward arrow), choose the  SendAnywhere option among those available and, without closing the window, write down the code  that is shown on the screen.

Note: if SendAnywhere does not appear among the sharing options, tap the  More  button located next to the apps available for sharing, move  the lever corresponding to SendAnywhere to ON and tap the Finish button

To initialize the transfer, move to the computer and, after starting SendAnywhere, enter the code noted previously in the text field located under the heading  Receive and press the Enter  and  Download buttons .

At this point, wait for the transfer to complete (you can view the progress on the iPad screen) and that’s it: the file is automatically saved in the  Downloads folder on your computer. All you have to do is connect the USB stick  to it and move the file to it using the  File Explorer / Finder . Easy, right