iPhone Tips – iPhone External Storage for Photos and Videos – DIY in 5 Ep 80

Never run out of disk space on your iPhone again! Here are some simple ways to copy photos from an iPhone without using a computer.

iPhone Flash Drives
The Bolt from Kingston is designed specifically to be used with an iPhone or iPad. There are other options out there like the Leef iBridge, but for this demonstration we’ll use the Bolt flash drive for iPhone. Transferring photos using the Bolt is easy. Just plug the Bolt into your phone for the first time and you’ll see a prompt to download the Bolt app from the App Store. After it is installed, whenever you plug in the device, you’ll have to click “Allow” to allow the two devices to communicate. From there, you can click transfer, decide what you’d like to transfer and then you even have the option to keep or delete the original photos on the device after transfer, instead of you having to do it manually. The Bolt is super tiny and can easily be stored on your keychain when you are out and about. Now since it is so tiny, you may be worried about it getting misplaced and falling into the wrong hands. You can secure it in the app settings to use a passcode or Touch ID each time the app opens. The Bolt comes in a variety of different capacity and price point options and it even allows you to record or capture directly to the Bolt if you are really in a rush and don’t want to transfer before getting that great shot. You can buy one here:

If you’d rather backup and transfer photos and videos using cloud storage, there are many options out there. This is arguably a less secure way to go, given data breaches in the past, but requires no secondary device to make the magic happen. It does however, require a wifi connection. After finding a wifi connection, go to settings, your name, and tap iCloud, then iCloud Backup, then Backup Now. If you’d rather have iCloud do this automatically each day when plugged in and connected to wifi, you can turn on iCloud Backup in your settings and voila! Done! – provided you have enough available space in your iCloud that is. Packages start as low as $0.99/month if you need to add more.

Google Drive and Dropbox
If you’d rather use another cloud storage option, like Google Drive or Dropbox, there are apps to make that easier as well. The Google Drive app for iOS makes transferring and auto-backup simple. You’ll see similar transfer options to iCloud and you can turn on auto backup by going to settings, photos, then toggle on the switch for auto backup. Dropbox has a similar app as well, however you must be a Dropbox Plus or Professional account holder to enable their “camera uploads” feature, which is their auto-backup option.

Wireless Hard Drives
But what if you like the security of transferring to a local device, but have a TON to backup, like I’m talking a TB or more! Then you may even want to consider an external hard drive – and yes, some of these are designed to skip the computer as the middleman! The LaCie Fuel wireless hard drive is a great example – it’s wireless with up to 10 hours of battery life, so you can take it with you and transfer photos and videos on the go using built in wifi.

NAS Drives
Then there are great NAS drive options. NAS stands for network-attached storage and these are dedicated storage devices that connect to your home router, so that your files are available to you from any device when you are on the go. WD’s My Cloud is an example of such a device that has a very good iOS app making advanced tasks like remote access and family sharing simple for a new user. Plus you can get models with up to 20 terabytes of storage or buy the chassis empty and install your own hard drives or SSDs for a custom storage setup.

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This Post Has 31 Comments

  1. Thanks SO SO much fir such a thorough and quick explanation. I’m out of space everywhere and don’t have a ton to save. Going the usb route for budget friendly and practical!

  2. So biggest problem right now is I have zero space on my iPhone and I try to transfer to SD or PC does let me see what I am transferring so to confirm before deleting it from my phone so thumbnail doesn’t show up in pc or sd how can I fix this or solve this problem.

  3. Is it able to retain the properties of iPhone ‘Live’ photos? In the past I have transferred files from my phone to external hard drives but later when I copied back to my Mac the Live Photos became regular jpg pictures.

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