How to Fix USB OTG Issues in Android Devices

Last Updated: January 18, 2017

The USB technology has been around for some time and has played an incremental role in uplifting the usability of the smartphone. The USB OTG (On The Go) capability has boosted the smartness of today’s phones a notch ahead. The fact that you can access files by plugging your USB flash drive to your phone is not only cool but convenient too, if you have a phone with low storage. Plus, improvements in technology like the USB Type C format has made accessing files through OTG, a lot faster. However, there are certain USB OTG issues that many Android users face. Well, we are listing down the various USB OTG problems along with how you can fix them:

The USB OTG flash drive isn’t connecting to the phone!

This depends on two major reasons – the first one being that you have overlooked the specification sheet of your handset. In that case, you should read it back and find out if your phone supports USB OTG functionality or not.

The second reason is that users have ensured the compatibility factor but haven’t delved into technicalities of how USB OTG works. We have broken down these reasons below:

1. Is your USB OTG drive as old as Charles Babbage’s machine?

We often prefer to swap our month-old smartphones for the latest offering but do not pay attention to our ageing accessories. Older flash drives were designed keeping in mind the devices from yesteryears. The older generations of USB devices are slower and comparatively, more resource hungry. Plus, they need a substantial amount of power and voltage to aid transfer of data.

On the other hand, modern day smartphones are technically advanced and are designed to run on lower power for optimum efficiency in performance. So, the ports in smartphones give out lesser power to slave devices, limited by their manufacturer. New USB OTG devices are designed to work on old, as well as new devices. They can adjust to varying levels of power input from USB ports of the host devices.

2. Software Compatibility Issues

Since the inception of computers, the annoying issue of file format compatibility has plagued us, making our lives more stressful. Your phone’s hardware might detect the attached peripheral but the software fails to recognize its file format system.

What’s the solution?

Well, you can’t get rid of them completely. But, there are some workaround solutions for USB OTG issues, that can do the job for the time being.

  • For the first issue

Prefer upgrading to newer thumb drives, especially from renowned manufacturers like SanDisk. USB OTG drives from renowned makers might be a tad bit expensive but chances are, they will work a lot better with your device. They provide faster data transfer speeds and are designed to work on low power with smartphones. They won’t affect the health of your phone’s battery and the chipset, thus ensuring that the hardware is happily synchronizing with the software.

usb-type-c-pendrive

  • For the second issue

If your device does support USB OTG and software incompatibility is the issue. I would suggest you to switch to a better file manager app that has clever algorithms to figure out a way to deal with file formats of your portable devices. It will able to detect your new thumb drive or even an old thumb drive. You can find many capable file managers on the Play Store, each with its own advantages.

For instance, I plugged in a relatively old flash drive on my new Android phone and the native file manager failed to identify it. I could access the files only after I installed a separate file manager like ES File Explorer that can deal with advanced levels of system file operations.

SEE ALSO: 12 Unique Ways to Use USB OTG on Android

Fix Your USB OTG Problems

The USB OTG functionality is a great feature, which comes in handy for various situations. Therefore, ironing out its issues will help you get the best out of your Android device. However, we recommend you to always upgrade to the latest technology every year. We know that it might be heavy on your wallet but newer gadgets and accessories always deliver a better experience.

If you have any other issue related to the USB OTG functionality or have better solutions to the above-mentioned problems, you can share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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