On some sources I have read that it is impossible to use external hard drives over USB OTG. Is it really impossible? Isn't there some kind of workaround? Update: Apparently ES file explorer can see the disk but can't open it. I heard there are such issues with NTFS hard drives on Android.

  • Obviously it is possible, if your device supports it.
    – Izzy
    Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 16:47
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    @Izzy You see the issue is I am not just tryin to connect any USB device, I am trying to connect an external hard drive. Those things require a lot of power. I have even tried connecting it, but so far no luck. The issue is usually that a phone can't give it enough power. But apparently if I connect the USB hub to a power source it should be enough. I have also tried that and still no luck. Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 20:58
  • I have never tried that. Just the linked question popped up earlier today and showed someone obviously uses this, so it's possible. So I thought I leave you a hint. Cannot say more on it – but I admit, you have your point with the power source (where a second USB connected to a power bank might be a way).
    – Izzy
    Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 21:08

2 Answers 2


Absolutely possible, I do this almost every day. You need to have an otg dongle (not just a cable) that permits adding an external power source. I use a dongle I bought on amazon for £12 and normal usb battery pack. Then I can load films onto my phone from a 2tb WD passport.

Without the additional power source you are not able to read the drive as your phone (or tablet) can't output enough current to properly operate the HDD.

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    Actually, my N7 2013 can power certain 2.5" drives, but you can guess what happens to my battery :) Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 0:22
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    Yeah, but it seems my phone can't read ntfs. And although I am a Linux user, I don't want to reformat my drive to ext4 because of compatibility with Windows PC's. I am trying to install ntfs support on my phone ATM. Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 10:02

I read in several places that using hard drives with USB OTG was possible with Samsung Galaxy phones because Samsung reads NTFS-formatted drives. (I have an A9 Pro.)

But while I could use flash drives and micro-SD cards up to 200GB, I could not get NTFS-formatted external hard drive to work, with or without powered hubs.

Until...I prepared a WD Passport 2T drive, yes 2 terabyte.

How did I do it? I reformatted using exFAT. That's it. Then no powered hub, no lag, no overheating. No problems at all.

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