Accessing a USB drive on iPhone or iPad is a feature that has been long-awaited. With the release of iOS 13 and iPadOS 13, you can now access a USB flash drive and transfer files of any kind to your iPhone or iPad using a proper USB adapter. This wikiHow teaches you how to access a USB drive on iPhone and iPad.
I figured someone might find this helpful someday.
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Sorry if this is stupid.
Issue: My Macbook often shows me a pop up that says: «USB accessories disabled: Unplug the accessory using too much power to re-enable USB devices» and I can’t tell if my expectations are too high or something else weird is going on. My mac friends say something weird, none of them have seen this ever, but what it would be, I don’t know.
First things first, I have a 2017 Macbook Pro 15″ running Catalina 10. Just incase this ends up mattering, the other specs (some the only option but for ease of reference):
- 2.9 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 processor
- 16 gb memory
- Graphics: Radeon Pro 560 4 GB
- 4 usb c ports
The accessories I have plugged in are
The last is the one I plug things into that causes this to go haywire. Ive tried everything, from the smallest stuff I have. I have a 3d conexxion space mouse thats wireless that I have to unplug something to use (which SUCKKKKSSSS because I use CAD software a lot) but ive tried very small things and ive tried apple native things (if i want to charge my wireless apple keyboard I have to unplug something — yubikey not one of of the things that makes a difference)
My first issue is — I cant tell if its absurd to expect that this computer can handle two monitors, an on brand trackpad, and then one other thing without going bonkers? Especially while plugged in (ie one of the ports is contributing rather than draining). This happened pre yubikey and ive tried removing it, it doesnt seem to matter. I deliberately bought all the bells and whistles on this thing, so its 3 years old but it was the best one at the time.
If its not an absurd ask, what is going on here? Does one of my dongles suck? Two hdmis too much? Two dongles at a time too much? (Both monitors are regularly going at once, so its not like that DOESN’T work so its not compatibility at least).
And even dumber question that I cant seem to figure out, how does one determine which accessory is drawing ‘too much power’.
Google doesn’t help too much on this issue so far, or at least what there is I haven’t found helpful, which is why I turn to you. However, I do recognize the saying «if it was a snake it would have bit you» exists for a reason and I apologize if I managed to just totally overlook my answers.
Whenever there is a power surge or the Mac thinks there is one, then to safeguard the system it disables all its USB accessories. This issue can be caused by a device if you have attached a device to the Mac that is power-hungry. And in that case, the USB accessories disabled message on your Mac can be cured by using a USB-powered hub.
- Outdated OS of the System: If the macOS of your system is not updated to the latest build, it may conflict with other OS modules/kernels (like USB extension kernel) and cause the issue at hand.
- Corrupt SMC: SMC manages the low-level settings like power to the different system devices including USB ports. If the SMC itself has become corrupt, it may cause the false positive of a power surge on a USB port, thus forcing the Mac to disable all the USB accessories.
- Corrupt NVRAM and PRAM: If any of these memories are stuck in an error state, then can cause a power surge on a USB port and thus cause the error under discussion.
- Make sure the USB ports and any other device that you are using on it are clear of lint/debris. Also, check if the pins inside the USB ports are not making a wrong connection to another side.
- Check if re-plugging all the USB peripherals solves the issue.
- If the issue is triggered after inserting another device, then make sure the cable of that device is not damaged or try another cable with the device.
- Check if booting your Mac with the bare minimums solves the issue.
- If the issue is occurring due to a card, then check if using a card adapter clears out the issue.
- Check if plugging the problematic device into another port solves the issue, especially, inserting to the backports of the Mac.
If the macOS of your system is not updated to the latest build, it may conflict with other system modules (like USB ports) and cause the USB accessories disabled message. Here, updating the macOS of your system to the latest build may solve the USB problem.
- Open the system’s Preferences and open Software Update.Open Software Update in the Mac’s Preferences
- Now, check if an OS update is available.
- Once the OS is updated, restart your system and check if the USB accessories issue is resolved.
Boot Your Mac Machine into the Safe ModeWhen you boot your Mac into the Safe mode, it clears out certain logs, directories, kernels (like USB kernel extension) that may be causing the USB issue. In this context, booting your Mac into the Sade Mode may solve the problem.
- Firstly, power off your Mac.
- Now power on your system and immediately hold the Shift key, just before seeing the Apple logo.
- When the Apple logo is shown, un-hold the Shift key and let the progress bar complete.Boot MacBook in Safe Mode
- Once the system is booted into the safe mode, boot it into the normal mode and check if the USB disabled issue is resolved.
Rese the NVRAM and PRAM MemoriesNVRAM and PRAM are memories used to store certain Mac settings and are quickly access then when needed. If any of the memories are stuck in an error state, then the Mac may fail to access certain USB ports, resulting in the USB accessories disabled issue. In such a case, resetting NVRAM and PRAM to the defaults may solve the USB problem.
- Keep holding the above-mentioned keys till you hear the startup sound for the 2nd time and then release the keys. In the case of a Mac with T2 chips, you may release the above-mentioned keys when the Apple logo is shown on the screen for the 2nd In both cases, it may take you to hold the keys for around 30 seconds.
- Once your Mac machine is powered on, check if the Mac is clear of the USB accessories.
- If that did not work, then you may reset SMC (as discussed later in this article), and when your system boots from the SMC, perform an NVRAM/ PRAM reset to check if that clears out the USB issue.
- Launch a web browser and download a free virus checker like Bitdefender.Download Free Version of Bitdefender
- Once the scan is complete, remove any detections made by the scanner and then check if your system is working fine.
If the directory structure of your disk or disk is having some errors, then the Mac may throw the USB error at hand. Here, using First Aid in the Disk Utility to repair the disk errors may solve the problem.
- Launch the Finder and open Applications.Open Utilities in the Applications folder of the Mac
- Now select Utilities and open the Disk Utility.Open Disk Utility in the Mac’s Utilities
- Then, in the sidebar of the Disk Utility, select your Macintosh HD.
- Now, on the top bar of the window, select First Aid and let the process complete.Run First Aid on Macintosh HD
- Afterward, check if your Mac is clear of the USB accessories issue.
Perform an SMC ResetSystem Management Controller or SMC controls the low-level settings of your Mac like thermal or power management of the system, etc. If in a rare event, the SMC of your system is in an error state, it may affect your Mac’s performance like the current USB issue. In such a scenario, performing an SMC reset of your Mac may clear the USB accessories disabled message.
- Power off your Mac system and attach it to the charging adapter.
- Now press and hold Ctrl + Option + Shift + Power button for 10 seconds. You may notice a brief change in the MagSafe light as an indication of resetting of SMC.Reset the SMC of Mac to Defaults
- Then release the four keys and press the Power button to power on the system.
- Once powered on, check if the USB accessories disabled issue is resolved.
Disable DDC/ CI Function of the Monitor
- Launch the monitor’s Setup menu and select System or System Input.
- Now open DDC/ CI and select Off. For some models, you may find the option in the OSD Setup menu.Disable DDI/ CI in the Monitor’s Settings
- Then check if your system is clear of the USB disabled issue.
Disable Notifications or Enable Do Not Disturb Mode of Your SystemIf none of the above solutions did the trick for you, then disabling the notifications or enabling the do not disturb mode of your computer may solve the problem. But keep in mind that this option will only stop the notifications if the USB ports are working fine for you. Also, note that this will disable all notifications like calendar notifications, etc.
- Launch the Preferences and open Notifications.
- Now disable all the notifications and check if the USB accessories disabled message is cleared.
- If you do not like this option or it does not work, open the Control Center and click on the Do Not Disturb.
- Now close the Control Center and hopefully, the USB accessories issue is resolved.
Thanks for your response. I also saw that configuration on YouTube so that’s the direction I’m headed in. I did pick up a cheap Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter and applied power and it won’t support the SanDisk. I may need to use the actual Apple dongle. I’m going to take a look at the Pluggable brand adapter as well. BTW, did yo format as ExFat?
Thanks. Yeah, I found the Apple adapter and just ordered that. I don’t have time to play around with Lightning. Blech.
Yeah, as the saying goes — buy cheap, buy twice. Seems to be true with Lightning adapters of any kind.
Well, there are some things where I find cheaper (but not too cheap) is better. I’ve always preferred the Anker Lightning cables over Apple’s original ones. The original Apple cables were always fraying around the joint/relief within 1-3 months of use for us.
That’s a good saying. That’s what I did. I’m smart like that. I too am an avid Anker consumer. Their cables are higher quality than Apple’s and designed for actual use. Cables, chargers, I have a USB-C hub from them, etc.
iPhone 13 Pro Max. Any ideas on what I’m doing wrong anyone?
Is the power source then the laptop? If so, I wonder if it can provide enough power to that setup.
Well, I’ve tried a 16″ MBP port, my Anker USB-C hub’s Lightning charging port, the Anker’s Anker USB-C hub’s USB-C charging port, and an Apple USB-C brick and cable for the iPhone 13 Pro Max. The phone is happy and receives a charge. LOLLast edited: Dec 22, 2021
Umm, are you trying it on your iPhone or your iPad? I’ve only tested on the iPad. Also, try powering up the adapter using a USB-A to Lightning charging cable with a 10-12W USB wall charger. I think you might need to go old school here since as far as I recall, USB-C PD doesn’t support the 5V/2. 4A charging protocol.
I’m currently testing with my iPhone 13 Pro Max. I receive the iPad next week or earlier if I’m lucky. Do you think that makes a difference? I’d imagine iPadOS’ 15. 2 file system is a bit more advanced than IOS 15. 3 beta 1. Do you think I’m just wasting time until I receive the iPad?
So, I ran across someone on the web where they specifically stated that the SanDisk Extreme 1TB SSD will not work with the iPad using the USB 3 Camera Adapter at all. I’ll go for a Samsun 7 or 7 Plus. Still waiting for arrival. The delivery date moved 4 days sooner. Hoping for another jump. It would help if they had actually shipped it by now.
So the Gen 9 10. 2″ iPadlanded today. Finally. I set it up and upgraded to the latest beta. I’m using the power brick that came with the iPad to power the Apple USB 3 Camera Adapter. I’ve plugged the SanDisk Extreme 1 TB SSSD into it using the ISB-C cable with a USB-C to USB adapter. It is seen on my Mac. It is seen on my Windows 10 rig. It is still not seen on the iPad. It’s formatted as ExFat. I’m at a loss. As I mentioned before, I read where someone stated that the SanDisk Extreme 1TB SSD will definitely not work. I have to rack that down and dig. I may have to pick up a Samsung T5 or T7, etc.
Per your recommendation, I just popped in a 32GB USB Flash Drive from Micro Center (LOL) and it’s fine. So, there appears to be an incompatibility between the Sandisk Extreme 1TB SSD. Not sure which version it is but I’ve had it a few years. Not heavily used. What’s odd, is that it works fine under Moneterrey 12. 2 Beta 2, Windows 10 latest rev. no issues. On YouTube, people are using Samsungs even with the iPhone with the adapter and power. Looks like it’s Samsung time.
Alas, iPadOS caused corruption a couple of times so I don’t quite trust it with any data that doesn’t have a bunch of backups.
This. I never use a drive on my 12. 9 or Mini 6 with data I care about unless it’s backed up elsewhere first — I always assume it could be corrupted by the iPad.
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This article was written by Travis Boylls. Travis Boylls is a Technology Writer and Editor for wikiHow. Travis has experience writing technology-related articles, providing software customer service, and in graphic design. He specializes in Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Linux platforms. He studied graphic design at Pikes Peak Community College. This article has been viewed 35,486 times.
Purchase a USB3 Camera adapter. Update to iOS 13or iPadOS 13. Connect the USB3 Camera adapter to your iPhone or iPad. Plug your charging cable into the USB3 Camera adapter. Plug your USB drive into the USB port on the USB3 Camera adapter. Open Files on your iPhone or iPad. Tap Browse. Tap your USB drive under «Locations
Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 35,486 times.
- Update to iOS or iPadOS 13. In order to access a USB drive on an iPhone or iPad, you need to have the latest version of iOS. You can update to the latest version of iOS in the Settings menu under «General».
- Connect the USB3 Camera adapter to your iPhone or iPad. Use the lightning cable port at the bottom of your iPhone or iPad to connect the USB3 Camera adapter.
- Connect your charging cable to the lightning port on the USB3 Camera adapter. The lightning port is to the right of the USB port on the USB3 Camera adapter. Use the same charging cable you use to charge your iPhone or iPad and connect it to the adapter. This ensures the USB3 Camera adapter has enough power to allow your iPhone or iPad to access a USB drive.
- Connect a USB drive to the USB3 Camera adapter. Plug your USB drive into the USB port on the USB3 Camera adapter.If you receive an alert that says your device cannot use your accessory because it requires too much power, either your USB adapter or flash drive is incompatible with your iPhone or iPad. Some larger USB drives, such as an external hard drive, will not work with an iPhone or iPad, even with the USB3 Camera adapter.
- If you receive an alert that says your device cannot use your accessory because it requires too much power, either your USB adapter or flash drive is incompatible with your iPhone or iPad. Some larger USB drives, such as an external hard drive, will not work with an iPhone or iPad, even with the USB3 Camera adapter.
- Open Files . Files has an icon with a blue folder. Tap the icon on your home screen to open Files.
- Tap Browse. It’s the second tab at the bottom of Files. This displays a list of all connected devices.
- Tap your USB drive. It’s below «Locations» in the file browser menu. Tap files to open and view them. Tap and drag files to move them. You can also tap and drag files to other locations, such as «On my iPhone/iPad» or «iCloud Drive» to transfer the files on your USB drive to other locations.