I have a Sandisk Extreme Portable SSD 500 GB. It works fine with Windows 10 but it cannot be detected by any of my Android devices. I tested with an Nokia 3.1, Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact and a Sony Xperia 10 Plus, both with and without a Transcend OTG adapter. As well, I reformated it with exFAT and NTFS. What could be wrong?

The tablet runs Android 6 while the two phones run Android 9.

Other USB memory sticks work fine with the OTG adapter on all devices.

  • What's the power rating of SSD? Did you check kernel log (requires root) if something gets detected on USB? Oct 5, 2019 at 17:14

2 Answers 2


There are one major differences between an USB stick and an USB SSD: power consumption

As SSDs usually don't have the possibility to use a separate power supply you have to place an active USB hub (a hub with an own power supply) between the phone and the SSD.

The SSD is optimized for high performance and therefore requires much more power than a simple USB stick.

The Sandisk Extreme Portable SSD 500 GB requires about 4 Watt. Most smartphones only support USB 2.0 and therefore the output is limited to 5V at 500 mA = 2.5 Watt. Only a very few smartphone support USB 3.0 or USB power delivery in OTG mode which would make it possible to use an SSD via OTG.

On a regular computer the SSD works because USB 3.0 allows 900 mA (5V at 900mA -> 4.5 Watt) and therefore it can power the SSD correctly.

  • I have Xiaomi RN4, originally released with Android 6, officially stating USB 2.0 support but it supports USB 3 (xhci-hcd driver). So I can run my old WD 500GB HDD on it which won't be drawing amperage less than a SSD. Also many SSDs claim to be drawing less than 2W though there could be high ampere surges depending on how efficient internal circuits and silicon cells are. So I think it's hard to define a thumb rule w.r.t. power usage. Oct 6, 2019 at 12:49
  • 1
    @Irfan: I think it is more the question if the used USB device implements the USB rules in a strict way or just uses as much power as it wants. Especially HDDs without extra power supply often work on USB2.0 ports even though this should be impossible.
    – Robert
    Oct 6, 2019 at 14:03
  • @Robert Thanks, that makes sense! Nowadays you take it for granted that USB always delivers enough power, but of course mobile devices may be limited.
    – craesh
    Oct 6, 2019 at 19:55

I had the same issue before. Android doesn’t recognize the NTFS file format but some phones can read exFAT. You can try the app Total Commander and exFAT/NTFS for USB by Paragon Software.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .