Hard Drive Not Showing On iOS 13? Here’s How To Fix It.
Apple wants its iPad to be a suitable replacement for traditional laptops and desktops. He also wants his phones to be taken seriously versus workhorse-centric phones. iOS is an operating system that Apple has serious plans for the future. This is why one of the key features introduced in the latest and greatest iOS release is support for external storage devices.
On most Android phones over the past few years, this has been pretty easy to do. Just plug the drive into your phone’s USB port and it will appear in the file manager.
However, iOS only underwent a major overhaul of its file system in version 12. Giving users access to system folders that one would expect from a “real” computer. Thus, this new disk support feature is a natural evolution of a new approach to file management.
The problem is that sometimes connecting the drive to the iOS device does nothing. No error messages, no indication of why you can’t read or write to disk.
The good news is that the number of causes for this problem is pretty short. So if you’re not enjoying your storage expansion adventure, it might be worth striking each of these likely suspects off your list.
How to connect an external hard drive to an iOS device
You probably already know this when you first go to this article. However, it’s worth figuring out how you should connect the drive to your iOS device in the first place.
If you have an older iOS device that uses the Lightning port, you will need something like an official Apple Camera connection kit with a full-size USB Type A port. When connecting the official kit for the first time, make sure you have an internet connection as firmware update may be required.
If you have one of the latest iOS devices with a USB-C port, you can use just about any USB-C (OTG) adapter to connect the drive to your device. It is so simple.
If everything is working correctly, you should see the drive under Location in the Files app in iOS. If not, read on for a few tips.
Restart and Update
We can get this out of the way first. Make sure your iOS device has the latest update. Some adapters, such as the Apple Camera Connection Kit, may require a firmware update before using the hard drive.
Therefore, when connecting the adapter to the system for the first time, make sure you have an active internet connection. Third party adapters may need to be updated manually. To find out if this is a problem, refer to the relevant documentation sets.
Restarting an iOS device is also at the top of the list. This is probably not the case, but it only takes a minute and you don’t want to know that a simple restart will fix the problem.
Does it work on other devices?
It’s always a good idea to troubleshoot suspects one at a time when troubleshooting technical problems, and the easiest way to do this is to swap parts between known good devices.
In this case, we want to make sure that the hard drive (or flash drive) is not actually damaged. So plug it into another computer and see if it works. If the drive isn’t working on your iOS computer, then the problem is probably iOS related.
The cables can really confuse you. One minute they work fine, the next minute they are dead. Try replacing the cable if the drive does not seem to work. It could just be a broken internal wire or a damaged connector.
Listen to the click of death
If you are using a mechanical drive and it makes a loud click when turned on, we have bad news. This is one of the classic signs that a mechanical drive is dead or dying. In this case, this is not your iOS device. Drive leaves bye bye. If that still works, try making a backup what you can.
Is the drive properly?
Hard drives and flash drives must be formatted before use. Formatting is the process of organizing disk space according to the system. It’s like the books in the library, arranged in Dewey’s decimal system. Only there is no universal file format. If your disk is formatted according to a standard that iOS doesn’t support, you won’t see the disk popup at all!
Your external hard drive will most likely be formatted with NTFS, which is suitable for Windows. To use it with an iOS device, you need to change this. exFAT is a good alternative that iOS and Windows can understand without issue, while still supporting large file sizes.
However, there is two bad news. Firstly, iOS itself does not provide an opportunity to reformat hard drives. So you will need to find a computer that can reformat the drive to exFAT.
Secondly, if there is any data on this disk, formatting will erase it! So either come to terms with it or find a place where you can back up it all and then move it back to disk after formatting.
Does it have enough strength?
Some hard drives require more power than a humble iOS device can provide. They may even need a USB cable with two plugs for extra power, although this is rare these days. If the drive works on other devices but not your iOS device, try using a powered hub where power doesn’t come directly from your device.
No more tough times
Hopefully Apple will add more robust hard drive utilities in future versions of iOS. It’s great when the computer has features like support for an external hard drive, but it’s a bit frustrating to have no obvious way to fix things when things go wrong.
However, with these troubleshooting tips, you can get started quickly.