How To: Use an OTG Cable on Android

OTG USB for Smartphones

How To: Use an OTG Cable on Android

Have you ever connected USB devices to your Android phone?

USB devices can be connected to supported Android devices through OTG.

What is OTG?

OTG stands for On the Go and is a standard that allows communication between devices. Common OTG devices are keyboards, mice, storage, and gaming controllers.

Why Use OTG?

There are several reasons to use OTG as outlined below:

More Storage

Not every phone comes with an SD card memory expansion. Using OTG to add memory sticks and hardrives increases the available storage space of your device.


More Productivity

By attaching a keyboard and mouse to a mobile device typing out long emails or documents becomes much faster.


More Devices

There are a large range of USB devices that can expand the capabilities of your mobile device. Use a USB hub and connect multiple web cameras, connect a barcode scanner or use an external powered hardrive.


How do I activate OTG?

While it is important to note that there appears to be no definitive list on which handsets support OTG a simple test is to attach a device and test connectivity.

First you’ll need to enable USB debugging. This simply allows Android access to the USB interface of your phone.

  • Head to Settings > Developer Options > Select USB debugging.


Then connect the OTG cable to the smartphone and attach the device to the cable.

How do I copy data to an external drive?

You can use Android’s File Manager to copy files between the phone and an external drive.

Note: External drives that require power will need to be powered by an external source as the phone’s USB interface has limited output.

From the Home Screen:

  • Select the menu icon and open File Manager.
  • Choose a file to copy and select the tick box next to the file.
  • Select Move To and then Select the external drive (or folder on external drive).


Using this technique can be useful for backing up files from a phone to external media, even using a card reader opens up storage options removeable storage such as SD/Micro SD cards.

Expanding your mobile device is simple with OTG and can make use of many USB devices you may already have.

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