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Basic Guide on How to Transfer Photos from Phone to USB Stick 2024


Introduction to our Guide on How to Transfer Photos to Flash Drive

Welcome to the basics of how to transfer photos from phone to USB stick!

In this how-to guide, we will discuss the processes involved in how to transfer pictures from phone to flash drive or USB stick.

As mobile phones come in at least two different operating systems, we'll also see what you need to do when your phone runs on either Android or iOS.

How to Put Photos on a Flash Drive: First things First

The advent of integrating photographic or imaging technologies with mobile telephony is seen as one of the most innovative ways of making photography accessible to all.

However, even the latest phone models have limits when it comes to storage. Even if you have a memory card installed, you'll soon find that you may soon need to delete images from your device – and that's something to worry about for those who use their phones to capture precious memories.

While some operating systems enable users to back images up onto a cloud drive, most of us would be more comfortable having a secondary backup system for our photos. That is where photo sticks, image-only external drives, come in. 

how to transfer photos from phone to usb stick: photo of photostick mobile

Methods on How to Transfer Photos to USB Drive from Phone

Depending on your Android phone model, there are two methods by which you can transfer photos to flash drive or from phone to photo stick.

Method 1: Phone > PC > USB Stick

Here are the steps on how to transfer photos from phone to memory stick:

  1. Plug your phone into your computer using a USB cable;
  2. Plug your photo stick into your computer's other free USB port;
  3. Give your computer access to your phone's internal and SD storage through the box that pops up on your computer and / or device screens;
  4. On your PC, access the DCIM folder of your phone's internal / SD storage;
  5. Open the Camera folder; 
  6. Select the images you want to transfer;
  7. Drag and drop the selected files onto the icon / open window of the USB stick.

This is the most conventional way to address how to transfer your photos to flash drive or from your phone to a photo stick. It's somewhat cumbersome, but it actually gives you the flexibility to choose the specific files to transfer.

The second method on how to put pictures on a flash drive is actually more direct as it involves using photo sticks that were specifically made to be used with mobile phones.

Method 2: Direct Transfer Method on How to Transfer Photos from Phone to USB Stick

So what are the steps on how to transfer pictures to USB from phone?

  1. Plug the USB-C end of the photo stick into the charger port of your phone;
  2. You will get a message on your screen informing you that the drive is connected;
  3. Tap EXPLORE;
  4. Tap CATEGORIES from the options shown at the bottom of the screen;
  5. Select IMAGES from the given options; 
  6. Choose the images you want to transfer;
  7. Tap the three-dot icon at the upper right corner of the screen;
  8. Select COPY;
  9. Select the USB drive option on the next screen;
  10. Choose or create a target folder in the USB drive; 
  11. Select the PASTE option to transfer your selected files into the drive.

In addition, some photo stick brands offer their own proprietary software for transferring files.

How Do I Back Up Images from an IPhone to a USB Stick? 

Backing up from an iPhone to a photo stick involves a similar process if you're transferring files from the phone through a Mac and into a photo stick.

holdingshot 02 thephotostick
holdingshot 02 thephotostick

In this context, you will need to attach the iPhone to your Mac (or even your PC) using the lightning cable, while the photo stick goes into another USB port on your computer. That said the process is practically the same as that for an Android device. Likewise, it becomes even easier if you use Apple's proprietary pre-installed photo app to move files from one device to another.

But can you transfer files directly from your device and into your photo stick. This can be done through the following method:

  1. Plug your iPhone-compatible drive or photo stick into the phone's lightning port;
  2. Select the photos you want to transfer from the phone gallery;
  3. Select the COPY option;
  4. Go into the Storage / Files area of the phone;
  5. Select the relevant device / drive;
  6. Select or create a destination folder;
  7. Paste the selected files into the folder.

Note that some drives may automatically run their own proprietary applications to make the transfer process easier and faster.

What About How to Transfer Pictures from Android to Flash Drive?

In the case of Google Photos installed in your device, you can go the USB-C route (method 2 in the Android section of this guide) for a relatively quick transfer.

Quick Method:

  1. Create a new album in the destination drive;
  2. Select items to transfer in Google Photos;
  3. Use the Add to Album option in Google Photos for the selected items;
  4. Select the album you created;
  5. Files are automatically transferred based on your selection.

Alternatively, you can access Google Photos on your PC, Mac, or Chromebook to transfer photos. Simply attach your photo stick into an available USB port and begin transferring.

Why You Should Back Your Photos Up onto a USB Stick 

Here are some of the reasons that it's best if you know how to transfer photos from Android to flash drive or from iPhone to flash drive;

  • With cloud hacking becoming disturbingly more common, it pays to have a secondary backup system for precious files;
  • It gives you a fast and convenient way to access your files away from your phone;
  • You are able to free up storage space on your phone, especially in direct transfers which allow you the option of deleting items once you've moved them to the photo stick;
  • Moving files to a photo stick also gives free rein to your creativity as it allows you to use photo files for a variety of applications.

Conclusion to our Guide on How to Transfer Photos from Phone to Flash Drive

Nowadays, you can never be too careful with your files, especially photo and video files that are a visual reminder of milestones in your life. Being able to transfer your photos into a reliable photo stick will enable you to keep these memories for longer. 

Be sure to follow the methods suggested for your device or check the following section for recommended applications and external devices you can use.

Applications and Devices to Consider 

If you’re the in the market for a photo stick, we strongly recommend the following:

  • ThePhotoStick Omni – A photo stick you can use with practically any operating system – mobile or desktop – ThePhotoStick remains the gold standard device on how to transfer photos to USB Stick and backing up both still images, videos, and even audio recordings;
  • ThePhotoStick Mobile – Another offering from ThePhotoStick, this device is recommended for mobile devices.
  • JSL JDTDC Photo Stick – Developed for use with Apple desktop and iOS devices, this item is reliable and user-friendly, making it an excellent choice for daily use;
  • ScanTransfer – A relatively new addition to the file transfer arsenal, this application works for any device running any operating system to facilitate the easy and secure transfer of photos from your device into an external drive.


Are there any devices that are not OS-dependent?

You may want to check out ThePhotoStick Omni as it works with both mobile and desktop devices regardless of what operating system they’re running.

What is the primary benefit of backing up my photos?

Backing up your photos into a photo stick or any other form of external storage device gives you a ready archive you can easily access even as you free up space on your phone.

If you've read all the way through this guide on how to transfer photos to USB stick we are grateful. We have reviewed several products in detail, feel free to check them out;


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