How to Turn any Smartphone Into Your Own Personal USB Flash Drive

How to Turn any Smartphone Into Your Own Personal USB Flash Drive

One of the fastest methods available to transfer digital files between a smartphone and a computer is to turn the smartphone into a USB drive and access its storage directly. While turning your smartphone into a USB drive is a standard feature on Android phones and BlackBerry smartphones, it is not a supported feature on the Apple iPhone or Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7. To turn either of these two smartphones into a USB drive, you have to install special software on your computer and change its configuration settings.

Android

Connect your Android phone to your computer with a USB cable. Follow the wizard prompt to install drivers for your phone if necessary. Press “turn on USB storage” when it appears on the smartphone’s USB connected screen. Press “OK” to confirm. Click the Start button and then click “Computer” in the Start menu. Look at the list of disk drives on your screen and find the group labeled Removable Drives. Locate one or two drives at the bottom of the list called Removable Disk. Double-click the first drive to access the main Android phone storage if there is only one Removable Disk drive in the list. Double-click the second drive to access the external storage card if there are two Removable Disk drives in the list.

BlackBerry

Select the “Option” menu on your BlackBerry’s home screen. Choose “Device” and “Storage.” Use the menu key to put a check in the box labeled Media Card Support if it is unchecked. Press “Menu” and “Save” to save the options. Connect your BlackBerry to your computer with a USB cable. Choose “USB Drive” from the menu that appears on the BlackBerry screen. From there click the Start button and then click “Computer” in the menu that opens. Look at the list of disk drives on your screen and find the group labeled Removable Drives. Locate one or two drive at the bottom of the list called Removable Disk. Double-click the first drive to access the main BlackBerry phone storage as a USB drive if there is only one Removable Disk drive in the list. Double-click the second drive to access the external storage card if there are two Removable Disk drives in the list.

iPhone

Select an application for your computer that enables you to use the iPhone as a USB drive, such as iPhone Folders, DiskAid, or iExplorer. Download and install the application on your computer. Connect your iPhone to your computer with a USB cable and wait while the software automatically launches. Click the Start button and then click “Computer.” Look at the list of devices and drives displayed and find either an iPhone under the heading Other Devices or the last disk drive under the heading Removable Drives. Double-click either the iPhone icon or the Removable Disk drive to access the iPhone as a USB storage device.

Windows Phone 7

Download and install the Zune desktop software on your computer, if it’s not already installed. Navigate to the Zune site, click “Get the Zune Software” and then “Download Now.” Click “Save” to save the file to your hard drive and click “Run” after the download is complete. Follow the prompts to install the software on your computer. Click the Start button, “All Programs” and then “Accessories.” Right-click “Command Prompt” and choose “Run as Administrator.” Click “Yes” to confirm. Type “regedit” in the black command-prompt box and press “Enter” to open the Windows registry editor. Find HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE in the tree on the left and click the arrow next to it to expand the tree. Continue opening inside branches of the tree by clicking the arrows to the left of SYSTEM, CurrentControlSet, Enum and USB.

Find ZuneDriver in the tree under USB, find the Windows 7 phone entry and click it to display the corresponding registry settings. Find ShowInShell, right-click and choose “Modify…” Type “1” in the Value data box and click “OK.” Then find PortableDeviceNameSpaceExcludeFromShell, right-click and choose “Modify…” Type “0” in the Value data box and click “OK.” Find EnableLegacySupport, right-click and choose “Modify…” Type “1” in the Value data box and click “OK.” Close the registry editor window. Connect your Windows 7 phone to your computer with a USB cable and wait while the Zune software automatically launches. Locate the Windows 7 Phone icon inside the Zune software and double-click the icon to open the Windows 7 phone storage as a USB drive.

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Vincent Clarke

Vincent Clarke is the Universal Serial Bus (USB) Guru for USBtips.com. When he's not writing tutorials and catching up on the latest USB news, Vincent is busy preparing his next blog post and answering USB questions from his readers and subscribers.

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