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How to Transfer Files from iPhone to USB Drive

My iPhone is overloaded with too much files and keeps saying 'storage is running out'. It drives me crazy. I want to transfer files from iPhone to USB stick, so as to back up data and delete them on my iPhone. Do you know any way to transfer files from iPhone to USB drive? Expect your earliest reply.

One of my friends Paul sent an e-mail to me and wanted me to teach him how to transfer files from iPhone to USB storage. For people who have the same question, I am sure today's guide will show you how to make files transfer from iPhone to USB stick easily and effectively. In this tutorial, some useful methods would be introduced to solve the problem.

Part 1: How to Transfer Files from iPhone to USB Drive with iTunes?

iTunes enjoys concise and modern interface appearance. And it embodies a lot of functions like playing music, making ringtone for iPhone, and transferring files between iOS devices and computers. The drawback of iTunes is that it can only transfer purchased items from iPhone to USB storage. Next, the following steps will teach you how to transfer files from iPhone to USB drive.

Step 1: Plug USB flash drive to computer and launch iTunes. Make sure you have the latest iTunes.

Step 2: Go to "Edit > Preferences > Devices", and click "Prevent iPhones, iPods and iPads from syncing automatically".


Step 3: Now connect iPhone to computer via USB cable and iTunes will automatically detect it. Head to "File > Devices > Transfer Purchases from 'iPhone'" and you can choose USB flash drive as the output directory in the pop-up window to make file transfer from iPhone to USB stick.


Sometimes, the iPhone data would be lost by accident during the transferring process with iTunes. Because iTunes will first erase existing data on your iPhone, and then import new data. Moreover, the transferring speed is quite limited. Therefore, a third-party iPhone transfer tool would be useful here. Read on to learn more details.

Part 2: How to Transfer Files from iPhone to USB Drive Without iTunes?

Leawo iTransfer is top-rated software that helps to move data like photos, music, movies, TV shows, ringtones and so forth between iPhone, computers and iTunes. As mentioned, this iPhone transfer software enables users to transfer various kinds of files, including apps, music, movies, TV shows, eBooks, ringtones, photos, contacts, text messages, and more. You can back up any content to your iTunes and computer so as to avoid iPhone data losing accidentally. What's more, if you want to manage iPhone files, like deleting unwanted files or creating more playlists, Leawo iTransfer can also help you realize it. Now check the following steps to learn how to transfer files from iPhone to USB flash drive.

Step 1. Download Leawo iTransfer

Download and install Leawo iTransfer on your computer.

  • itransfer
  • Leawo iTransfer

    - Transfer files among iOS devices, iTunes and PCs with ease.
    - 6x faster than iTunes
    - Transfer up to 14 kinds of data and files without iTunes.
    - Support the latest iOS devices like iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, etc.
    - Play back, view, and delete data and files on iOS devices.
    - Support Windows & Mac OS

Step 2. Connect iPhone with computer and open Leawo iTransfer

Connect iPhone and USB flash drive to computer. After that, open the software, and your iPhone will be automatically recognized by it. In the left sidebar, you can see different kinds of contents like photos, movies, TV shows, apps, etc.


Step 3. Select files to transfer

Here will take music transferring as an example. Click the name of "iPhone" and navigate to "iPhone > LIBRARY > Music". A list of music shows up in the right interface. Hold "Ctrl" and select songs you want to transfer. After that, right click them to choose "Transfer to > My Computer". Or you can simply click on the transferring icon in the lower right corner.


Step 4. Start to transfer files from iPhone to USB flash drive

A pop-up window will ask you to choose a destination folder. Check "Save to folder" and select USB flash drive as the output directory. Afterwards, click "Transfer Now". A progress bar will appear in the interface to show the process of transferring. After it is done, your USB flash drive gets files you need.


If you want to transfer other categories of contents like movies, TV shows, notes, contacts and so on, you can go to the corresponding category and locate files you need. After that, repeat the above steps to transfer them from iPhone to USB storage.

Part 3: How to Transfer Files from iPhone to USB Drive with External USB Adapter?

If you prefer to transfer files from iPhone to USB drive without computer, then you can turn to external USB adapter. It can directly connect your iPhone and the USB drive to make the transferring process run smoothly. This USB adapter could easily transfer the files on your iPhone to USB directly. Here, follow the steps below to complete the transfer.



  1. Purchase a proper external USB adapter, which can be connected to both your iPhone and USB drive directly.
  2. Connect one port of the external USB adapter to your iPhone, and the other port to the USB drive.
  3. Open your preferred files app, like Photos on your iPhone. Then, choose your target files and click Share button to transfer files to Files app. Transferred files can be stored on the Files app on your iPhone. Finally, open Files app and select the files you would like to transfer to USB drive.

Part 4: How to Transfer Files from iPhone to USB Drive with iCloud?

Another way to transfer files from iPhone to USB drive is via iCloud. iCloud backup is helpful in backing up iPhone information like photos, contacts, emails, calendars, etc. Usually, iCloud information comes from iPhone. In other words, if you want to transfer files from iPhone to USB drive, you can first transfer files from iPhone to iCloud. Here are the detailed steps.

Step 1: Log in the iCloud account on your iPhone, and make sure you have synced and uploaded the files on your iPhone to iCloud account.


Step 2: Connect USB drive to your computer.

Step 3: Go to website, and log in your iCloud on computer with the same account information. Then, click different file options to view files. Here, let’s set Photos as the example. Generally, after uploading files on your iPhone, those files will be shown on iCloud.


Step 4: First check target photos you want to transfer from iPhone to USB drive. If there is no problem, now you can select your preferred photos from iCloud Download Selected Item panel. And then click to download these photos to the USB drive directly.


Part 5: How to Transfer Files from iPhone to USB Drive with Windows Explorer?

You can directly copy the photos and videos from iPhone to your USB drive with Windows Explorer.



  1. Connect iPhone to your computer with a proper USB cable. At the same time, use another cable to connect the USB drive to your computer. Then, Tap “Trust” or “Allow” to give your computer access to your files on your iPhone.
  2. Once they have been connected to your computer, you can find the storage folder under the Computer. Open the iPhone icon under the Windows Explorer and click the “DIMC” folder, which contained all photos on your iPhone. Select all the preferred files in the folder and right click to choose copy.
  3. Open the USB storage drive folder and confirm the final saving route to store these files. Wait patiently, the preferred files can be transferred from iPhone to USB drive immediately.

Part 6: Comparison Between 5 Ways to Transfer Files from iPhone to USB

If you are not sure which method you should adopt to transfer files from iPhone to USB, the following comparison chart would be referential to you. You can choose the most proper solution based on your own needs and situations. Each method has its own pros and cons. Generally speaking, Leawo iTransfer could be the best one that is capable of transferring these files from iPhone to USB drive with ease and accuracy.

iTunes Leawo iTransfer External USB Adapter iCloud Windows Explorer
Easy to use No Yes No No Yes
Supported file formats Only purchased files All iPhone data and files Only digital files, not including email, contacts, etc. All iPhone data files Only photos and videos
Transferring speed Low High High Low High
Data losses Yes No No Yes No
Wired or wireless Wired Wired Wired Wireless Wired
Additional payment No Yes Yes Yes No
David Brooks

David Brooks

With long-term dedication into the latest market demands and technologies, the author has become an expert in posting practical, in-depth and user-oriented how-tos, tutorials, recommendations, reviews, and more digital multimedia solutions in Blu-ray, DVD, video, audio, picture, Apple utilities, etc.

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