How To Backup an Android Device to an External Hard Drive
Over the years, mobile phones have become just as important as PCs to many of us. Their basic purpose hasn’t changed. We still use them for making phone calls and sending texts, but we also have access to more advanced features like taking photos and videos, storing important documents, sending emails, etc.
In addition, our phones have become a unique storage unit for our most valuable information. If you want to protect this information, it’s recommended to back it up, and one of the best ways to do it is to use an external hard drive.
In this article, we’ll show you several ways to back up data from your Android to an external hard drive.
Backup Android to External Hard Drive Using a Computer
One of the ways to back up the data from your Android device to an external hard drive is to use a computer. In this case, the computer is a mediator between your Android device and the hard drive and acts as a temporary storage space for your files. To use this method, you’ll need to transfer the files from your mobile phone to your computer and then from your computer to the external hard drive.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Connect your Android device to your computer. You can use the cable from your charger to establish the connection.
- Access your Android device’s files using your computer and select the ones you wish to back up.
- Choose “Copy” or “Cut” and save the files in a folder. We recommend creating a new folder and naming it “Back up” or something similar so that you can find it more easily later on. The process could last several minutes, depending on how many files you’re transferring.
- Disconnect your Android device from your computer once the files are transferred.
Now that your files are saved to your computer, it’s time to move on to the second stage of the process:
- Connect your external hard drive to your computer. Use the cable you received when you purchased your hard drive.
- Select the folder you created when you copied the files from your device to your computer and move it to the external hard drive.
- Once the folder is transferred, disconnect the hard drive from your computer and store it in a safe location.
Backup Android to External Hard Drive Without Using a Computer
While using a computer as a mediator when backing up the data from your Android device to an external hard drive can be good, it’s also time-consuming. This especially goes if you’re transferring a large number of files. Plus, not all people have a computer. Fortunately, another way to back up your data is using only your device and the external hard drive. Keep in mind that you’ll need an OTG connector that allows you to connect your device directly to the external hard drive.
Transferring data from your Android device to an external hard drive isn’t complicated, but to do it, you’ll need to determine the file system your hard drive uses. In many cases, this will be NTFS, a format most Android devices don’t recognize. If you’re not sure what file system is used by your external hard drive, you can check the manual that came with the device or follow these steps:
- Connect your external hard drive to a computer.
- Locate the hard drive, right-click on it, and press “Properties.”
- Check what is written next to “File system.”
If you see “NTFS,” you’ll need to install a third-party app that will allow you to connect the external hard drive directly to your device. Follow the steps below to do it:
- Open the Play Store on your device and type “NTFS” in the search bar.
- Tap “exFAT/NTFS for USB by Paragon Software” and install it on your Android device.
- Open the app, read the terms and conditions, and press “I agree.”
- Connect the external hard drive to your Android device using the OTG connector.
- Allow the app to access the external hard drive and choose “Mount.” Keep in mind that the app isn’t free, but you can use a free trial to see whether it works for you.
- Choose whether you want to continue the trial mode or make the purchase. We recommend choosing the trial mode if this is your first time transferring files from your Android device to a hard drive. That way, you can test the features before purchasing the app. Sign in with your Facebook or email account.
Now that you’ve signed in, we can move on to the actual steps for backing up the data from your Android device to an external hard drive:
- Allow the app to access the files on your Android device and tap “Open.”
- A pop-up message informing you that you need to install Total Commander on your device will appear on the screen. Choose “Open Google Play” to go to the Total Commander page directly.
- Tap “Install” and wait until the app is downloaded.
- Open Total Commander and allow it to access the files on your device.
- Find “exFAT/NTFS for USB by Paragon Software” in the list and tap it.
- Find the files you want to back up and tap the copy button in the bottom menu.
- Paste your file on the external drive.
- Once all the files are transferred, disconnect the external hard drive from your Android device.
Thrive With an External Hard Drive
External hard drives can make your life much easier if you’re running out of storage or simply want an offline copy of your files. They represent a secure and convenient way of storing your valuable files in only a few steps. We hope this article helped you understand the different ways to back up your files and that you now have peace of mind knowing your data is safe.
Do you use external hard drives for backing up your files? Do you prefer online or offline storage options? Tell us in the comment section below.